Waterfront For All

From 7-10pm last night, over 1,200 people gathered at Benaroya Hall and listened to the four finalist teams present their thoughts on the Central Waterfront. Incredibly exciting to see the waterfront effort come to this point.  So many people in the room contributed to get us here.

Action:Better City did a 1968 video on taking the Viaduct down, I worked with A:BC on another in 2003.  Both Lee Copeland (now with Mithun) and Lesley Bain (Weinstein) have been staunch advocates for taking it down, and specifically for the opportunity for connecting the city back to the waterfront.

Cary Moon of the People's Waterfront Coalition was sitting behind me, and we simply congratulated each other.  When I was on the Allied Arts Board lead by Executive Director David Yeaworth, we called our campaign "Waterfront For All".  We acknowledged the need to incorporate traffic capacity and ended up being an advocate for a tunnel replacement, out of what we saw as a political necessity.  We had to get people to acknowledge that the waterfront could be so much more than just a transportation corridor, but were finding deaf ears unless capacity was replaced.  Everything above-grade for Allied Arts and the People's Waterfront Coalition was essentially the same: a pedestrian-focussed, vibrant and authentic waterfront that nurtured the ecology of Puget Sound.

I'm currently looking through my Allied Arts email folder from 7+ years ago...and there was an incredibly concerted effort by so many people...and am also reminded of the stress to organize that first charrette (the team that John & I organized while we were at Miller/Hull included both Shannon & Kathryn from GGN).

The program distributed by the City last night included many of the principles that we developed for the earlier campaign, and the design teams responded to them well. These are four solid and very talented teams: we're in good hands with whoever is selected (though I do have my favorite).