Friends, there are so many reasons to get excited about Waterfront Seattle and we look forward to highlighting our grounds for joy with a series of different perspectives and insights from Friends of Waterfront Seattle.
Sitting, thinking about the city’s central waterfront, it’s hard not to appreciate the gribble creatures who have eaten away at our existing Elliott Bay Seawall, forcing us to confront its replacement, and also the once-in-a-generation opportunity this affords us. The impending repairs paved the way to the reimagining of the shoreline’s potential and subsequently how to secure its identity in Seattle’s future. It was crucial for the waterfront to mature and to propel it into a place of pride, a place that citizens and visitors alike could enjoy; a courageous design that could expose the beauty and context of the city.
The Olmsted brothers, who worked in the early 1900s, believed in creating a chain of parks for Seattle and wrote that the “primary aim should be to secure and preserve for the use of the people as much as possible of these advantages of water and mountain views and of woodlands, well distributed and conveniently located.”
Waterfront Seattle complements and enhances the broader network of historic parks envisioned by the Olmsted Brothers, representing a new chapter of honoring the natural beauty that surrounds our City. It opens the Waterfront in new ways, asserting its accessibility, stimulating opportunities for nature to return to the city, forging a clearer connection between downtown and its water’s edge and a more inviting setting for civic happenings. It will allow the Waterfront to have a sense of place and soften the edges of the city so to speak. As a result of the increased open space, the Elliott Bay shoreline will nurture a pedestrianized density and become a place of leisure, recreation, culture, education, but most importantly, a place of community.
Seattle, we have a bright trajectory and yes in the words of The Pointer Sisters, “lets get excited”!
More information on the history of the Olmsted’s vision for Seattle public parks can be found here.
Liat Uziyel-Bollag moved to Seattle in 2008 from Zurich where she was working in academia teaching architecture and urban design at the university ETHZ. She has worked in architectural firms and freelance both in Switzerland and in the U.K. Brought up and educated in London but with roots spreading over several countries, Liat has lived in and visited a vast range of places. She has a passion for art and design, for urban culture and cities, cooking, and of course spending time outdoors with her family.
Image taken by Maggie Smith