This project represents an opportunity to explore design applications to place-making of a hub for innovation in Seattle’s Central District. Urban design and architecture solutions will be applied for the creation of space for human service offices, a technology jobs development center, entrepreneurial startup space, makers space fabrication lab (fab-lab) and an affordable housing complex. The intended result will be the co-creation of a vision of a mixed-use place for comprehensive economic empowerment across a wide spectrum of job preparedness training, professional development, business ownership assistance and proximity dwelling models. The project will enhance a community-based mission of self-determination of for us, by us. It will leverage the synergy of existing adjacent properties, current programs and proposed aspirational plans and initiatives.
The intersection of 23rd Avenue and East Yesler Way is a significant crossroads in Seattle’s Central District. The convergence of the two thoroughfares has dynamic destinations points both north and south from the University of Washington Montlake Campus to Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley. The east/west axis provides a link from Lake Washington to Downtown. It is anchored by the corners of four blocks within the 23rd Avenue & Union-Cherry-Jackson Residential Urban Village.
This resource-rich commercial/residential node presently encompasses the Douglass-Truth Library, the Randolph-Carter Center (Catholic Community Services) and the future William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation. In proximity, is Seattle Vocational Institute and the Wood Technology Center; both are post-secondary educational extensions of Seattle Central College. The 23rd Avenue corridor includes the Garfield Community Center, Garfield High School and the Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center three blocks to the north and the Northwest African American Museum six blocks to the south. The East Yesler Way corridor is inclusive of the Central Area Health Center and the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. Many historically African American churches are also within a few blocks.