Friday, February 29, 2008

Freeway Park "Leaps" the Freeway

Freeway Park & Freeway

Photo & Text Copyright 2008 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

It's Leap Day! In this photo you glimpse part of a park and Convention Center built over a major interstate, effectively leaping a deep gorge and reconnecting neighborhoods that became separated when a swath of freeway cut through. The idea began In 1961 when about 100 concerned residents marched in protest of the proposed freeway gorge that would be created by I-5, separating First Hill from downtown. Among those marching that day was civic leader and art patron Anne Gould Hauberg, daughter of University of Washington school of architecture founder and chair, Carl Gould. She continued to advocate for a "lid over the ditch" solution until it became a reality. The freeway was completed in 1967, and by 1976 the "lid over the ditch" was finally in place in the form of beautiful and serene "Freeway Park," designed by Angela Danadjieva of Lawrence Halprin & Associates. Freeway Park became the first of its kind in landscape architecture. I love the feeling when I'm driving through that section of freeway and see the "brutalist" design above and the hanging plants that dangle down to give the hardscape a garden green feeling. Since Freeway Park's development, the Washington State Convention & Trade Center has also been built over the freeway (that's the green glass you see a snippit of) and is now incorporated into the Freeway Park complex.

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Dusty Lens said...

A great idea to keep the communities together. We have a similar problem that remains unsolved. NorthEast and North Minneapolis remain split/cut-off from eachother via Interstate 94.

Chuck Pefley said...

Kim nice post. History I lived through but wasn't really aware of at the time. Graffiti day tomorrow should be interesting -:)

kunal bhatia said...

lovely intervention, isnt it?
- Mindless Mumbai
i won't be able to visit again till april-end. there's too much college work. keep blogging, all the best. c ya.