Pared back plan for new Volunteer Park Amphitheater still has one crucial rainy Seattle feature: a roof

On a cold and drizzly weekend, let us think of summer days on the Volunteer Park lawn, enjoying music and maybe a cup of wine. That stage where the music is coming from? The plan to create a new amphitheater in Volunteer Park is moving steadily forward from dream to reality.

Volunteer Park Trust is continuing to look for opportunities for support for the Amphitheater Project, including applying for a Major Projects Challenge Fund grant,” the group’s Jeff Crandall tells CHS. “In doing so, we are seeking letters of support from community organizations for the project. We have been working with public officials on obtaining funding support from city and state funding sources. And in order to make the fundraising more manageable, we’ve been working with ORA Architects on a design review to seek cost savings from the original estimate.” Continue reading

Cayton Corner’s path from empty lot to Seattle park a long and winding road

The path to building a park in the City of Seattle takes years and years and thousands and thousands of dollars. So, CHS got a little excited when we saw work underway at the corner of 19th Ave and Madison. The excitement was a little premature. Cayton Corner will be a nicer open space this summer with a safer, less trip-y sidewalk but the money needed to complete the full vision for the park is still an open question.

Things are moving forward slowly in the meantime. “The new sidewalk is part of the park construction,” a Friends of Cayton Corner representative tells CHS: Continue reading

CHS Pics | ‘Vine-cutting’ at the grand opening of the Arboretum Loop Trail

The Washington Park Arboretum is said to be home to the largest botanical collection west of the Mississippi, with some 20,000 trees and plants across its 230 acres, and countless birds and rocks and things. Sunday, officials and neighbors gathered along the new Arboretum Loop Trail to celebrate the route’s grand opening with a “vine-cutting,” speeches, and lots of good dogs.

“That is the cutest dog I have seen yet today,” Sally Clark, former Seattle City Council member and the University of Washington’s director of regional and community relations, quipped as a canine in attendance for the grand opening event barked during her address. “And I have seen a lot of dogs this morning.”

The 1.2-mile trail has created a new 12-foot-wide paved path through the leafy area along Lake Washington for walkers, wheelchairs, slow bikes, and strollers and to connect to the park’s meandering trails.  $7.8 million in 520 construction mitigation funds from WSDOT powered the project. Continue reading

Rethinking the Capitol Hill Pac-Man pavement park

Kim’s picture of the Pac-man pocket park from the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook Group

The latest discussion in the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook Group brings together many themes familiar to readers of CHS — public space, parks and p-patches, homelessness… and dogs.

Kim posted this image of the E Olive Way at Summit at Denny Pac-Man pocket park and raises a valid issue — what use is a pocket park if nobody uses it? “I pass this sad scene every day and have never seen anything suggestive of added value going on there,” she writes. “Would make a great pea patch or dog park with a little investment.” Continue reading

In 2018, Seattle Parks again not using Cal Anderson for an egg hunt — which means you can, bunny

After a few years of larger scale events in the city’s parks, Seattle is downsizing its Easter egg hunt efforts once again in 2018. Again there won’t be an egg hunt in Cal Anderson — and the Central District’s parks and community centers also won’t see the free egg hunts again this year.

Family with young egg hunters will have to plan a visit to nearby community centers or organize hunts of their own with family, friends, and neighbors. Here are two community center hunts to add to the list: Continue reading

Citizen-budgeters ponder Capitol Hill improvements at ‘Your Voice, Your Choice’ project meeting


On Thursday night, a small group of Capitol Hill denizens gathered in a fourth floor classroom at Seattle Central College to mull over project ideas submitted to the city’s Your Voice, Your Choice neighborhood grant process. The 20 or so participants split up into two groups, representing north and south, to rate the 42 publicly solicited proposals for District 3, narrowed down from 134-plus.

The projects were assessed by two criteria: need and community benefit.

It was an informal exercise in face-to-face, block-to-block, small-bore civic engagement. The groups briskly discussed each proposal, jotting down their scores. In attendance were Seattle Central professors and students, local apartment dwellers, and planning-savvy wonks like Ryan Packer, senior editor of The Urbanist, whose name tag sticker read, appropriately, “Ryan The Urbanist.” Continue reading

Here’s what will happen during ’14 to 15 months’ of Seattle Asian Art Museum construction

On March 13th, a ceremony will mark the start of more than a year of construction to overhaul and expand the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. The construction fences are already up. Neighbors and park lovers with questions about how the construction will impact the public space and surrounding neighborhood met with officials Thursday night.

Ahead of the official groundbreaking ceremony, representatives for the SAAM renovation project invited the community to Miller Community Center Thursday night for a construction presentation. Superintendents from the construction company BN Builders presented their build-out plan alongside the museum’s chief operating officer and a Volunteer Park projects manager.

The Seattle-based company BN Builders’s winning construction bid of $31.9 million includes conservation of park trees, subterranean wiring and new walking paths. Lingering questions about the project took the meeting over schedule by almost an hour. Continue reading

Time to start narrowing down these 134+ ideas for improving District 3 streets and parks

134 new ideas were submitted in District 3. You can view details of each submission on the Your Voice, Your Choice project map

Citizens across Seattle submitted more than 1,000 pretty good ideas — and probably three or four dumbs ones — in this year’s first phase of the Your Voice, Your Choice neighborhood grant process to divvy up around $3 million for street and parks improvement projects.

134 of those brilliant ideas came from Seattle’s District 3 stretching across Capitol Hill, the Central District, Montlake, and Madison Park. The effort to winnow those ideas down to manageable few begins Tuesday night with a project development meeting for ideas submitted in D3’s northern region from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Montlake library: Continue reading

Work wraps up on Capitol Hill’s Summit Slope Park enhancements and ‘pedestrianized’ street

Summit Slope Park — and its P-Patch — will get a little larger next month but some of the biggest changes from its most recent round of construction are already in place and in use.

The $260,000 project renovated the park at Summit and E John which first opened in 2011. Construction wrapping up to begin 2018 including preparing space for trees and turf patches to be installed along an extended sidewalk cut into half of the block. Vehicle traffic on E John will remain open, but parking in front of the park has been removed. Continue reading

CHS Pics | A ‘community lunch’ in Freeway Park

No matter how you count them, there are more and more people living unsheltered in Seattle’s core. Friday, one of the group’s trying to help expanded its work to a new location.

Operation Sack Lunch partnered with the Freeway Park Association and Compass Housing Alliance to offer free hot meals in the greenspace between downtown, First Hill, and Capitol Hill Friday afternoon.

The nonprofit OSL has been providing nutritional meals since 1989 and is an advocate for “an equitable food system.”

In addition to the food, Capitol Hill regular Pasquale provided some music on the chilly January day. OSL was also accepting donations for donations to help it acquire a new Mobile Meal Kitchen vehicle.