12th Avenue Square Park Opens

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the 12th Avenue Stewards are excited to announce the opening of 12th Avenue Square Park located at E. James Court and 12th Avenue between Ba Bar and Cherry Street Coffee House in the Squire Park neighborhood.  Hewitt Architects and artist Ellen Sollod collaborated with the community on the woonerf designed park which provides pedestrians and cyclists priority on the street. This technique of shared spaces, traffic calming, and low speed limits contribute to improved pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety.

Situated between the Central Area and Capitol Hill, the 7,332 square-foot park is considered part of both communities. The park space will be used to strengthen community ties through programming local events and offering a great gathering place.

The artistic sculptural canopy structure called “Cloud Veil” that hovers over a rounded “pillow” and the wavy concrete paving design grew out of the Hewitt and Sollod collaboration. Several other smaller pillows for seating are sprinkled through the space. The park’s unique design also includes rain gardens to extend the feeling of open space for the entire block on E. James Court, a single east-bound lane.

This project is community-initiated with both the purchase of the parcel and the development of the park receiving different park levy Opportunity Fund awards. The 12th Avenue Stewards saw an opportunity, in this quickly developing area, to create a park for the community. “The park is the result of a decade of advocacy by 12th Avenue Stewards a neighborhood group, including residents, business owners and institutions, formed in the 1990s to champion the redevelopment of 12th Avenue.  Twenty years later, 12th Avenue Stewards continues to be an active neighborhood partner working with the City, local businesses and nonprofits, to advance the 12th Avenue Urban Village as a neighborhood corridor of vibrant businesses, restaurants, arts organizations, and institutions,” said long time neighborhood advocate Bill Zosel.

The creation of this new public space was made possible with funding from the Seattle Parks and Green Space Levy Opportunity Fund, the Pro Parks Levy Opportunity Fund, Seattle Parks Foundation Stim Bullitt Parks Excellence Fund, and Seattle Department of Transportation.

A grand opening celebration will be held on Thursday, April 14, 2016, from 5-7:30 p.m. in conjunction with the monthly Capitol Hill Art Walk. Headlining the event is Naomi Wachira, Winner of Seattle Weekly’s 2013 “Best Folk Singer” award. The ribbon-cutting event will kick-off with a trio from the Garfield High Jazz Band.  The opening event is sponsored in part by Swedish Medical Center Foundation and will include refreshments provided by local businesses.

For more information about the park or to get updates on the upcoming event please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/ProParks/projects/12thAve.htm or contact Karen O’Connor, Seattle Parks and Recreation at karen.o’connor@seattle.gov or 206-233-7929.