Student design teams will be producing proposals for a community-based initiative in Seattle’s historic Central District. The Nehemiah Initiative is pursuing multiple strategies to mitigate gentrification and displacement through the development of the real estate assets of historically Black churches. Graduate students in an interdisciplinary Autumn studio have been working on several sites to articulate the social, urban, and economic issues and test feasibility for development scenarios with the goal of providing affordable mixed-use projects according to community needs and desires to retain, bring back, and attract new residents. Our studio will focus on one of the sites.
This project has the capacity to show long-term residents a successful path to maintaining their community in the face of urban transformation. The site, located on the corner of 23rd and Olive, currently supports the Ebenezer AME Zion Church and a YMCA. These institutions are taking a bold step to re-make themselves in order to provide the community with increased amenities and badly needed affordable housing. You will have the benefit of the Autumn studio’s research and analysis. And, you will have the opportunity to work with real-world client to help solve challenges they face today.
Images 1-4, Aubree Nichols
Images 5-7, Camille Fain
Images 10-12, Kendal Schorr