During the week of March 29, construction on the new Lake Union Park will result in the permanent closure of the parking lot at the Center for Wooden Boats and the temporary closure of the Terry Avenue N entrance to the Lake Union Armory.
CWB parking will be converted into a grove of American Linden/Basswood trees for public use and enjoyment, and will welcome visitors to CWB and Lake Union Park. This new green space replaces a parking lot operated by CWB. This site will be re-graded to be level with the rest of Lake Union Park allowing for improved accessibility to CWB facilities. In keeping with CWB’s commitment to the environment, the wood from 10 existing cypress trees removed from the site will be milled for use at CWB’s facilities in the park, or donated to local woodworking organizations.
“Neighbors and visitors to South Lake Union treasure Lake Union Park, The Historic Ships Wharf and The Center for Wooden Boats,” said Betsy Davis, executive director of CWB. “The new green space will create an informal gateway to CWB through Lake Union Park. It complements current CWB projects to improve the natural habitat around our docks and provide better access to the hands-on boat building, sailing and cultural programs through which we celebrate our maritime heritage” she said.
On Wednesday, March 31, the contractor will shut down the Terry Avenue N entrance to the Lake Union Armory to allow for the installation of utilities. The Terry Avenue entrance will remain closed until late August 2010. All park and building access will be via the service road. To enter the service road, vehicles must be traveling West on Valley Street as vehicles will not be able to make a left turn into the service road when traveling East on Valley. Vehicles exiting the park will turn right or Westbound onto Valley Street as vehicles will not be able to turn left.
Seattle Parks and Recreation is revitalizing Lake Union Park in partnership with the Seattle Parks Foundation. At the grand opening in September 2010, Lake Union Park will feature an interactive water fountain, a model boat pond, a history trail, a beach for hand-launched boats, shoreline stabilization and plantings, new pathways, parking and lighting. It provides an important point of interest along the Cheshiahud Loop, the multi-use trail that connects the communities around Lake Union. For more information on the project: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/proparks/projects/lakeunionpark.htm
The work adjacent to CWB’s entrance is scheduled to be complete in late May. While the parking lot is closing, the CWB pavilion and honor pole (totem) will stay in place and pedestrian access to CWB will remain open. The native dugout canoe, now being carved under the guidance of artist-in-residence Saaduuts, remains accessible at the nearby pavilion to participating school children and visitors.
Alternative parking is available in the lot adjacent to the Lake Union Park streetcar stop, where 15 spaces will be available to CWB visitors. Additional parking is available to the west along Westlake Ave. N, to the south on neighboring streets across Valley, and at nearby commercial parking lots. Seattle Parks and Recreation and The Center for Wooden Boats encourage visitors to carpool, bicycle, take a Metro bus (17, 30, 70, 71, 72, 73 and 83) or ride the Lake Union streetcar to easily reach Lake Union Park and CWB.
The CWB’s 34th annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival, the celebration of ”all things wooden boat,” will take place at CWB and the Historic Ships Wharf on July 3 and 4, 2010.
The Center for Wooden Boats, established 1978, is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Seattle’s maritime heritage for future generations by preserving and sharing artifacts and the skills of sailing, paddling, boatbuilding, and boat maintenance. CWB runs year round adult and youth sailing programs, over 50 hands-on maritime skills workshops, free Sunday public boat rides, sail and rowboat rentals, and other waterfront programs. For more information, please see www.cwb.org/.