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January 4, 2019

Proposals due for designing $10M repairs, upgrades at Freeway Park

Photo from city of Seattle [enlarge]
The 5-acre Freeway Park opened in 1976 and was a big hit in the early days, but the city says now it needs repairs, improvements and more activities.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is seeking a design team for a $10 million project to repair and improve downtown's Freeway Park.

Qualifications are due by Jan. 31, according to a notice in the Jan. 2 DJC.

The design phase is expected to be complete by June 2020, and will involve broad public and stakeholder outreach.

The 5.2-acre city park was designed by Lawrence Halprin and Angela Danadjieva, with assistance from Peterson Landscape Architects. It sits above Interstate 5, between Sixth and Ninth avenues. The park is bounded on the north by Union and on the south by Spring Street. First Hill is east of the park.

Freeway Park was a big hit when it opened in 1976. But Freeway Park Association says most visitors now come for special events or during conventions at the adjacent Washington State Convention Center. The park is used as a thoroughfare between First Hill and downtown, but it can be difficult to find entrances and navigate inside.

The $10 million funding is part of a public benefits package associated with the convention center expansion. About $750,000 will be used for activating the park and $9.25 million will fund capital improvements, according to the DJC notice.

Improvements listed in the association's “Finding Freeway Park” concept plan will provide guidelines for the design. Site Workshop was the consultant for the plan, which is at https://tinyurl.com/y753sh4y/.

The list includes:

• Repair the fountains and try to have them run year-round

• Refresh plantings, with some thinning

• Repair and replace original benches, and paving as needed

• Reopen and upgrade the restroom, with gender-neutral units

• Add pedestrian-scale lighting

• Restore functional wayfinding

• Define the 12 entrances

• Offer frequent programming — music, events and food trucks

• Enhance privately owned public spaces to create the feel of a continuous park

• Add rotating, seasonal art installations

• Create iconic gateways

• Consider a temporary play area

• Consider a cafe/information booth

• Make right-of-way improvements, including new curb ramps, crosswalks and pavement inlays

The RFQ is at https://tinyurl.com/ycbtdnx9/.

For more information, contact David Graves at (206) 684-7048 or David.Graves@seattle.gov or go to https://tinyurl.com/y7l4xu9q/.

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