Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bay Area Inspiration and Back to Seattle

As you probably know, the name of this website comes from Berkeley's own People's Park. Today's typical barrage of emails regarding this lot and other empty space projects around Capitol Hill has again turned my attention to the San Francisco Bay area.

First, a story about several projects taking place on empty lots in San Francisco. One, which is facilitated by Rebar, the creators of Park(ing) Day, even shares two-thirds of its name with our humble little project here in Seattle.

Secondly, another story that addresses empty lots in SF and other cities around the country, Seattle included. Evidently Urban Visions allowed vendors to set up a BBQ in a lot "one block from...Pike Place Market" back in May. I'll be getting in touch with them shortly.

Here in Seattle, we're still keeping busy with:

1) Park(ing) Day: I sent the proposal to Murray Franklyn yesterday. We have requests out for help with cheap insurance and grants to pay for it.

2) Madison and Terry: We're hoping to transform the grassy swath along Madison into something, and utilize the Virginia Mason wall mockup for that something. Maybe it's a garden and a shed or maybe it's a bike sharing node? The owner is in NYC and I have yet to receive a response.

3) Empty Retail for Artists: I'm working on a google map that shows spaces for lease, while also speaking with agents at CBRE and Catalyst (hopefully soon; this week?) about getting some activity in their empty spaces. Check out the Google Map (work in progress) in the sidebar.

4) 11th and Pine: Everyone seems to have a soft spot for this poor vacant building. The owners, at least as far as I can tell from public records, are Pryde + Johnson. They develop "green" buildings but don't seem to be having much luck lately: Hjarta Condos are now apartments and Ashworth Cottages are largely empty. Not that this means they will or should allow us to use their space -- I was thinking some temporary gardens on the roof? -- but I figure that a progressive sort of developer might be open to the possibility. We'll see.

View Larger Map

That's it for now, I think. As always, email, facebook, twitter with ideas or concerns.

1 comment:

  1. Your idea #3 is really cool and something my wife worked on back in San Francisco... the group was called Red Ink Studio's and they would use empty retail/industrial space for art galleries. Neat stuff... She might be able to give you some help on that one.