Monday, July 25, 2016

Redmond's "Downtown Cultural Corridor"

"Seagull on a Post"
Leary Way & 159th PL NE
UPDATED, 7/28:  Take a look at our city planners' aspirations for the "Downtown Cultural Corridor" as found in their 39-page Master Plan.  Their number one aspiration is: "Cultural arts around every corner, 18 hours a day."

Every corner?  So far, other than "Seagull on a Post" and the ERRATIC there isn't one art sculpture on a Corridor street corner, cross walk, sidewalk promenade, roundabout or gateway. Can you find any?  If so, please comment below this post.  

Seven years ago, ten community volunteers led by city staffers decided on a general strategy to bring art to Redmond Way and Cleveland Street and the connecting streets that provide north-south connections, aka "Cultural Corridor."  One of their strategies was to work with developers as partners in implementing the plan.  Another was to complete a demonstration art project as part of the Couplet Conversion. 

It is now 2016 and what has been done with the developers to bring art to Cleveland and Redmond Way? Have code issues been addressed (another strategy). Incentives offered? Has anything been accomplished in the last seven years from this Master Plan?

The city ought to hold public workshops and forums to help us participate in major "streetscape" art planning and design for this corridor.  Just maybe, we could bring something to the table. (After all, it's our town.)  Staff is now consumed with traffic updates of the Redmond Way couplet project.  Is there enough time left to implement the Corridor plan and start to engage us in it's design? The downtown has grown so fast since 2009; can the city catch up or is it already too late?  In five years, look around, and we'll know.  
Bob Yoder

A city webpage on the corridor >>

....from a city webpage

Redmond aspires to become an arts destination known for high quality cultural arts centered in the Downtown Cultural Corridor that includes: 

Cultural arts around every corner, 18 hours a day 
• An exceptional built environment 
• An anchor cultural institution 
• A downtown that’s home to artists 
• Destination quality artwork 
• A place where art can flourish

Read the final version of the Master Plan 

Master Plan for the Downtown Cultural Corridor

This plan augments the Cleveland Streetscape and Downtown Couplet Conversion projects by suggesting art experiences as key elements of the great streets strategy. This plan also advances the notion of a “Cultural Corridor” by recommending specific strategies that can be implemented over time to achieve the broader comprehensive plan goals for our urban center. Major strategies include: 

Completing a demonstration art project as part of the Couplet Conversion; 
• Securing a sustainable funding source to implement this plan; 
Working with developers as partners in implementing this plan
Addressing code issues that may help in implementing the recommendations;
• Developing temporary and permanent platforms for art in the urban center. 


Cleveland Street is being designed as the “main street” for Downtown Redmond, and the City has developed a concept of “great streets” as an important strategy to achieve this vision. This strategy reinforces the Couplet Corridor as a destination and the heart of Downtown. 

The Redmond Arts Commission produced a Strategic Plan in 2009 that formulated a vision of Redmond as “A Community Inspired and Connected by Arts and Culture.” These strategies include creating a cultural focal point in Downtown by developing iconic pieces of art as well as supporting the creation of a cultural corridor. 

These concepts were later incorporated into the Urban Centers section of Redmond’s Comprehensive Plan. The vision for Redmond’s urban centers emphasizes the roles for art and culture in creating community and economic activity. 

The Downtown Cultural Corridor Master Plan provides a synergy between these three goals – the great street, cultural corridor and urban center – and suggests how city capital investments and re-development of the Downtown can support both Downtown’s larger vision, and change and growth in the arts. 

The Downtown Cultural Corridor

The focus of the Downtown Cultural Corridor is Redmond Way and Cleveland Street and the connecting streets that provide north-south connections. The Master Plan proposes the area designated in the Downtown East-West Corridor Study as the boundaries for the Downtown Cultural Corridor. From East to West, the area stretches from the intersection of Redmond Way and Avondale Way to where the Trestle Bridge crosses Redmond Way. From North to South, the area begins at NE 80th Street and NE 79th Street south to NE 76th Street and includes the Redmond Central Connector.Cultural Corridor Map


Sue Mitchell said...

There is the children in a circle holding hands on the corner where the YMCA family village is. There is a beaver on the steps to the slough by Hotel Sierra, there is the fireman reaching to a child next to the fire station to name a few. And now I am going to start looking for others.

tester said...

Thanks Bob, a public forum is indeed in order. The Strategic Plan presents a delightful vision, but it's been seven years. Poets in the Park and the Redmond Arts Fair are fascinating and vibrant events. We have a wonderful clay studio at the ORS, we have Second Story Rep at Town Center and various remarkable sculptures around the downtown area. There are art classes at the Senior Center. Yet in my interactions with both artists and community members, people are hungry for more opportunities throughout the year. Galleries and art education in all fields are two areas I hear requests for on a regular basis. While there are plans for an arts center in the future, I'd rather not wait that long.