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Garfield Super Block
The Garfield Super Block project is an opportunity to redevelop a beloved community hub into a new park that reflects the legacy cultures that call the area home. The project will honor the Central District's rich history through the incorporation of art and creating new spaces for community activities.

The Central District and the Garfield Super Block

Located at the heart of the Central Area, the Garfield Super Block is the community’s central gathering place as well as a historical City-wide destination. Known to some as “Little City Hall”, the space pulsates with a rich history of events, people, and moments, which continues today.    

The block is comprised of around eight city blocks of community space including the Garfield Community Center, Medger Evars Pool, the Tennis Courts and adjoining Garfield Park, including the historic Garfield Ball Fields; the Teen-Life Center, the Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center; and Garfield High School and Track and Field. The community is known for its ethnic and racial diversity, being a historic platform of important civic events and cultural arts, and warm, welcoming hospitality during celebrations and in times of need.   

The 2020 - 2021 goal of the Garfield Superblock - Park and Promenade Renovation Project is to confirm and implement the unfinished renovation work of the 2005 Garfield Superblock Master Plan. This was a planning effort funded by the adjacent Garfield School renovation (completed in 2008).  The Project design addresses the two following recommendations from the Master plan that were never implemented:

  • Grounds Improvements: Site improvements throughout the park to help support the overall park and amenities use and activities.

  • A “Legacy and Promise Promenade”: Creation of a pathway that integrates art and amenities that reflect the immense cultural diversity and rich history of the Central Area.

LOCATION

Seattle, WA

SIZE

8 blocks

CLIENT

Garfield Super Block Coalition

STATUS

In Design

PARTNERS

Seattle Office of Economic Development, OPCD Equitable Development Initiative, King County, Seattle Parks Foundation, ARC, Seattle Parks & Recreation, Seattle Public Schools

A “Legacy and Promise Promenade” pathway integrates art and narratives reflecting the immense cultural diversity and rich history of the Central Area’s seven ethnic groups of founding people.

Community Centered Design

The Garfield Super Block Coalition is a group of community volunteers that represents various
stakeholders in the Central Area. They formed in order to advocate for improvements to
this site. In addition to being an active gathering space in our community, the Garfield Campus
is an important historical site for the seven distinct cultures that have deep roots in the
neighborhood. As the surrounding neighborhood changes rapidly, this project aims to share and memorialize the stories of these communities. Through art and community engagement, this park will be both an anchor for the past and commitment to a diverse future. We strive to create a place that will celebrate the past, present and future and 
make this site a nucleus for this thriving community. 

Guiding Principles:

  • Celebrate the diverse and rich history of the Central Area through artwork and integrated storytelling.

  • Welcome the neighborhood’s diverse community and all people who are connected to the Central Area.

  • Be built with high-quality and beautiful materials that reflect the value of this park as the town center of the Central Area.
     

 

  • Have garden-like and nature-based experiences with NW native and garden plantings.

  • Include a continuous, generous and accessible walking loop around the park.

  • Provide play and recreation experiences for all ages and abilities.

  • Have ample amenities to support family gatherings, game-time viewing, community events and celebrations.

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Art Integration

Art will play a major role in connecting to the seven
cultures that make up the history of the Central Area. The artwork will depict the stories of those cultures and other significant events that happened in the CA.

 

The GSB coalition intends to collaborate with community groups early on so that the art is a unique and integral part of the overall design. Seen as an extension to the murals in Garfield High School, art along the Promenade will tell the history of the Central Area in a chronological way as you move through the site. All the artwork will have site constraints as this project is entirely outdoors. There will be individual and collaborative art pieces.

 

The Coalition is in the process of creating guidelines for how the art will be integrated and how artists will be selected. The Coalition does not intend to initiate a public call for artists, but instead, to work closely with community groups and stakeholders from the seven cultures listed to identify artists. We will also be calling upon the young people of the Central Area to help depict their hopes and dreams for the future.

Learn more about the Garfield Super Block and the GSB Coalition at www.garfieldsuperblock.org.

Art Vision
To engage with the seven different cultural groups that are historically represented in the area, including the (1) Duwamish (2) Jewish (3) Black/African American (4) Japanese (5) Chinese (6) Filipino (7) Italian to create a series of artworks that tell the history of the area and reflect the pride in its cultural background.
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