Thought I would pass along some views provided by the state on the new heritage building at the Capitol Campus. This new building will dramatically change the view of the hillside from Heritage Park, and will remove most of the tree-scape along the east hillside according to the pictures.
As we talk about the vision of this area by the original architects, I wonder where this building fits?
I've heard that it is to be designed LEED, but I don't think they've made any definite promises.
Total cost is about $141 million for the new 'Heritage Center' which will be a very big improvement from the existing building-- in aesthetics and design.
Well... I got back from two weeks in Montana, mostly off the grid, to find another new group in town about to start running an actual initiative campaign about exploring putting a park on the isthmus (apparently the first ever in the city??) I'd like it better if the content were more like a levy, so people were actually signing or voting about paying for it, but apparently there are a lot of legal limits on what you can actually do by initiative in Oly. (In particular, you can't levy any taxes, and you can't amend the comprehensive plan, etc.)
The petition and instructions are at:
There's also a press release with a little more information.
Walk the Isthmus
Saturday, August 23rd
11am to 1 pm
Meet at The Heritage Park Fountain to Walk & Talk.
Bring your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers. Stay for a few minutes or the entire time.
We will have pictures, signs, petitions, and information
(that you will never see in The Olympian ).
Olympia, July 21, 2008
In response to widespread public interest in finding an alternative to the proposed increase in height limits on Olympia’s downtown isthmus between Capital Lake and Budd Inlet, a new group has formed to investigate the feasibility of acquiring the area of the proposed re-zone AND the Capital Tower Building for eventual incorporation into Heritage Park.
The new group called the “Steering Committee for Public Acquisition” is comprised, in part, of former Olympia Planning Commissioners who believe that the current height limit on the isthmus of 35 feet should not be increased to 90 feet as recently proposed.
The group also believes that as part of the current discussion of the future of the isthmus that the City Council and the State needs also to carefully consider the option of public ownership, with just compensation to present owners, for the area from the twin bridges to Water Street, between 4th and 5th Avenues. This option would not change the status of Bay View Market, the Olympia Yacht Club or the Oyster House.
If sufficient community interest exists, the Steering Committee plans to create a non-profit association for the purpose of thoroughly investigating the ways and means to bring about the de-development and preservation of the isthmus as a great public space for the benefit of all. Their goal is to develop a public-private partnership to bring this about.
The Steering Committee will host a public meeting on August 4 from 7 to 9 pm in Room 2004 at the Olympia Community Center (222 Columbia St. NW) to link up with others who are supportive of this concept.
Friends of the Waterfront - Summer Gathering and Fundraiser
Thursday, July 31st
1616 Water Street SW
Olympia, WA 98501
Parking available on the street, the Capitol diagonals,
and the lot on Columbia Street behind the Capitol Visitors' Center
The Capital City with the Most Stunning Setting
In the Nation
Could we lose it? You bet!!
Help Save the Soul of your City
Bring your Vision - Get a Yard Sign
Read the Past Governors' Proclamation about Heritage Park
Stroll to see the Isthmus View from the Law Enforcement Memorial
Meet others working to Preserve the current height restrictions
(on the Narrow Strip of Land between Capitol Lake and Puget Sound)
At Event or to Address above
Anne Holm, treasurer
A really clever animation that John Leisenring (JCL Animations in Olympia), did for Friends of the Waterfront. Click picture to start animation:
I've been working away on the Friends of the Waterfront website, adding stuff about how the owners of the million dollar condos Triway wants to build would be excused from paying property taxes for ten years, etc. But personally, I'm most interested in thinking about exactly what images politicians, and people on the Planning Commission and the rest of us use in deciding what the city will look like for years and years.
I'm pretty much done with commenting on Triway's images for the website. Now I'm starting to make my own versions, roughing out what the city might look like instead of having high rises down there. It's interesting — maybe we should have a virtual redevelopment contest... above-ground Moxlie Creek in Photoshop, etc.
Here's a start
For Immediate Release: June 3, 2008
Contact: Janine Gates, President, SPEECH, 360-791-7736
Community Forum, "Envision Downtown Olympia"
A public forum on Downtown Olympia's future will be held on Thursday, June 19, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1224 Legion Way SE.
The forum, "Envision Downtown Olympia," is sponsored by the non-profit organization South Puget Environmental Education Clearinghouse (SPEECH) with support from the Community Sustaining Fund. The public is invited to envision different perspectives on what we, as a community, want for downtown Olympia. The forum will also address the Urban Waterfront Rezone proposal submitted to the city by Triway Enterprises.
Forum speakers include Rich Hoey, Water Resources Director at City of Olympia Public Works, who will give a presentation on predicted sea-level rise in downtown Olympia; Barbara Gooding, former director of the Washington State Department of Community Development and former City of Olympia planning commissioner, who will offer a brief history of Olympia's current downtown zoning issues; Steve Cooper, downtown property owner; and Bob Jacobs, former mayor of Olympia and member of Friends of the Waterfront. Eve Johnson, former president of the League of Women Voters, will be the moderator.
Audience members will actively participate in the visioning and discussion.
One of the interesting things about working with Friends of the Waterfront against the request to rezone the space between the lake and the sound has been looking at what the planning commission and the City Council actually *see* when they're deciding what Olympia will look like in the future. I'm just starting to do some pages for the FOTW website with comparisons, like this...:
Views from the 4th Avenue bridge
The City's visualization from the public workshop March 22nd — which includes the rezone on the other side of the street, not just TriWay's imagined buildings.
TriWay's visualization — notice that the street lights on the left look about five stories high, making the buildings feel appealingly small...
If you'd rather not have a bunch of new 90 and 65 foot high-rises built on the isthmus between Capitol Lake and the Sound, where the ugly high rise is now, you might look at the new website for Friends of the Waterfront. We're opposing the rezone. (We opposed the last request, in 2002, too; it was turned down by the City Council then.)
For more information:
There are lots of suggestions about things to do on the website, but the next really important thing you might do is attend the City Planning Commission meeting at the Olympia Center, 6:30 PM, June 24th, and sign in as opposed to the rezone, or testify against it. (If you want to testify, you'd better come early; Tri Vo has sent out a postcard to his potential supporters asking them to get there and sign in at 5:30.)