SEATTLE — Mayor Ed Murray announced on April 13 a public engagement plan to visualize how the city can begin to transform the upper floors of King Street Station into a cultural hub in 2017.
Beginning in May, a six-month series of focus groups and public meetings will culminate in a plan that will identify the greatest needs of the Seattle cultural community, using a race and social justice lens.
“King Street Station is an unprecedented opportunity to create a vibrant regional hub for arts and culture,” said Murray. “This project will preserve a landmark building and provide permanent cultural space in our rapidly growing city. By viewing this project through a race and social justice lens, the new space will draw on the richness of the community all around it – from Pioneer Square, the Chinatown-International District, and beyond.”
Following public events to gather community feedback, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) will draft a King Street Station Cultural Plan and present findings and recommendations to the public next year.
“The Chinatown-International District in partnership with Pioneer Square is beginning work on an activation strategy and plan from Little Saigon to the Waterfront. This opportunity will immensely add to the existing programming in benefit of both neighborhoods,” said Cassie Chinn, Deputy Executive Director at the Wing Luke Museum and Seattle Arts Commissioner. “In the life of our city, this is a critical time for community, arts and culture, and businesses to rally together around providing public benefit and access for a broad swath of our residents and visitors.”
Funded through an increased admissions tax allocation supported by both Mayor Murray and the City Council, the new cultural space will open in phases beginning in mid-2017.
King Street Station first opened to the public in May 1906. For over 100 years, it has served as a gateway for millions of travelers coming into Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.