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Seattle makes $300K call for artists for projects to help connect Capitol Hill to the Waterfront

People walking the Viaduct before its demolition began in early 2019 (Image: Chun Kwan/City of Seattle)

Officials hope the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct won’t just reshape Seattle’s connection to Elliott Bay. The plan also looks to the east and the connection all the way from the water, up Pike and Pine to Capitol Hill.

To help build that connection, the city is looking for artists to create new works to encourage people to move through, explore, and enjoy their streets in new ways:

The Waterfront Seattle project will create 20 acres of new public spaces, streets, parks and buildings. Pike and Pine Streets will connect the waterfront to the Capitol Hill neighborhood through the downtown retail core. The artist/s will work with the city and its design team to create a unifying identity for these streets and sited artwork that act as gateways and/or gathering space.

A call for artists from the Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects, the Office of Arts & Culture, and the Seattle Department of Transportation is putting up $300,000 for the effort.

“The selected artist or artist team will collaborate with the Pike Pine Renaissance Streetscape and Bicycle Improvements Project design team, including ZGF Architects,LLP, project stakeholders and community members to design integrated streetscape elements and/or original artwork or series of artworks on Pike and Pine Streets,” the call reads. “The artist will help design elements that may be well-integrated into the site, helping to unify the streetscape, and may also be asked to consider gateway elements (if feasible) or other identifiers for the corridor. These latter artworks should be very legible as autonomous artistic interventions at key intersections. Artworks must be durable and low maintenance in this urban environment.”

To be considered, artists must show “a record of successfully realizing projects of a similar scale in the public realm” or the “ability to potentially do so.”

The deadline to apply is January 20th.


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8 thoughts on “Seattle makes $300K call for artists for projects to help connect Capitol Hill to the Waterfront

  1. So far we seem to have spent $b to replace the viaduct with a long stretch of car parking. The tourist junk is still overwhelming on the waterfront, and the rest is 8-10 stories of offices which I guess now have a nice view and can increase their rents. Was it all worth it ? Oh and you get to pay a toll to drive on what was free…

    • It’s definitely worth it. I am thrilled to see how the demolition of the ugly, intrusive viaduct has opened up the waterfront, including some amazing views of Elliott Bay from downtown east-west streets. But the area is far from finished. The best (landscaping, parks, completion of the new ferry terminal, etc.) is yet to come!

  2. Maybe suspend a large mirror over the city so we can at least see it again, move the waterfront closer by flooding downtown or install zip-lines to expedite the trip

  3. Too late. Have you seen public spaces in other cities? Let’s find it. Seattle is not Seattle anymore. It’s a developer’s and tektite playground. The art project will never happen.

  4. Capital Hill has its own thriving culture and feel, if you are looking to create connectivity maybe try connecting Pioneer Square to the waterfront… Pioneer Square could use the influx of business and there is a lot less highway in the way. A better way to support Capital Hill would be to hire queer artists and architects to support the queer art community and make the project about safety and inclusion in a major part of the city (downtown and the waterfront).

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