The Seattle Parks Department held a meeting last week to discuss plans for the James Court Park on 12th Avenue. Landscape design work will be done by Hewitt and Ellen Sollod, local artist and resident of the 12th Avenue neighborhood.
The 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee sent a letter to the Parks Department last year with a set of recommendations for the park design and these ideas were the basis for discussions at the meeting.
Neighbors at the meeting continued the discussion with these major themes emerging:
- Need to activate the park to keep it lively
- The park should celebrate and be a product of the community
- Despite its small size, the park needs to create a presence on 12th Avenue
- Possible use of play surfacing (the spongy stuff found in playgrounds) in molded sculptural shapes that could provide seating as well as a neat place to play on for kids
- There should be an interactive element at the park — something to get the community engaged with one another (tables for games, stage for performances, regular events, etc.)
- No room for a traditional swingset or other kid-only function
- This is also a chance to create a gathering space for the community and Seattle University students to come together
- The park should be bold and claim the neighborhood
- There should be some landscaping in the park but we are limited in the size so these elements need to be mixed with hard surfaces
- There should be some art element at the park (something interactive, a rotating exhibit, etc.)
- Some sort of artistic lighting feature at night to activate the park (although safety was not a huge concern from the neighborhood)
- The park will be directly across James Court from the new Seattle University student housing project with first floor retail uses. On the other side is WaterTown so there will be lots of people in the area and lots of "eyes on the park".
We are still seeking input and ideas for the park. The next meeting will be Tuesday, July 13th at 5:30pm at the Seattle University Alumni and Admissions building.
If you have comments or ideas in the meantime, please contact Susanne Friedman at the Parks Department at 206-684-0902.