First Hill is a growing urban neighborhood woefully short of adequate open space. High property values have made acquisition of traditional park property difficult. To address these challenges, the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan was created. One element of the PRAP included adaptive reuse of right-of-way into public open space in the form of Seattle’s first two pavement parks. The Pavement Parks are located at the intersections of University St., Union St. and Boylston Ave. (UUB) and 9th Ave. and University St. (9U)
The First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA) has taken a role in activating these places over the last two summers. Public events in these spaces have included a Street Reading Party, Trivia Night, Bingo Night, Street Games Festival, a guided Tree Walk, and a Pop-Up Petting Zoo which delighted hundreds of neighbors.
In addition, FHIA is leading a community visioning process for First Hill Park, a quarter-acre park along the University Street Greenway. Hundreds of neighbors participated through guiding what the future of the park will look like, and a preferred concept design has been approved. We are now in the construction document development phase, and anticipate opening a newly designed Park in Spring of 2018.
Private development adjacent to the UUB Pavement Park is proposing to fully realize and build out the vision for the UUB pavement park as part of their public benefits package for 1320 University St. The vision includes a permanent public open space with lighting, landscaping, seating and awnings. The DRB meeting for this project is November 16th at 8pm.
The next phase of the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan, after the completion of the UUB pocket park, is the potential for a two-block woonerf along Terry Ave. from Cherry St. to Marion St. Along this stretch of Terry Ave. FHIA is actively seeking funding from private developers to realize this vision.