The Volunteer Park Trust tells CHS the planned August start will allow community groups to use the stage through most of summer. Work was originally being planned to begin this month. “By starting in August, we will be able to maximize use of both the old stage this summer and the new Amphitheater for next season,” a VPT representative said.
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In September, CHS reported on the final, simplified design to replace the old brick stage with a “modern facility that will have a roof, storage and green room space, all-gender bathrooms, upgraded electrical access, and a resilient floor that will even accommodate dance performances.”
According to the Trust, the design of the new amphitheater combines necessary renovation with the parks historical identity. The new amphitheater’s modern appearance is planned to enhance the historic features of Volunteer Park’s Olmsted landscape, a characteristic integral to the park since its inception in 1904, while providing the community with a venue featuring better acoustics, protection from the elements, improved amenities for performers, ADA-compliant pathways, and a safer performance space.
Wednesday, the Landmarks Preservation Board is scheduled to discuss removal of the old bandshell and construction of the new facility in the historic park.
The trust, meanwhile, is finalizing its fundraising campaign. Last year, the state legislature approved $500,000 for the project. CHS reported on a $900,000 grant for the project from the Seattle Parks District in 2018. Private donations have boosted the amphitheater project to near its $3 million goal. “While we still have some final dollars to raise, we are fortunate thanks to the many donors to date that we can move forward with the project,” the VPT representative said.
The late summer construction follows this winter’s reopening of the park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum after a three-year closure and a $56 million renovation.
You can learn more about the amphitheater project and making a donation at volunteerparktrust.org/project/amphitheater.