The City of Edmonds has received a $34,000 Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) grant to assist in development of the 4th Avenue Cultural Corridor.
The matching grant was one of 11 awarded to Creative Districts throughout the state. Edmonds was the state’s first Creative District, a designation it received in 2018. The Edmonds City Council during its 2022 budget amendment process in February had approved allocating $34,000 for grant matching funds to complete the conceptual design for corridor.
The idea behind the corridor — which covers the section of 4th Avenue stretching from Main Street to the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) on Daley Street — is to provide a space for cultural events and street artists that also feature art elements and a pocket park.
Conceptual design completed for most of the corridor in 2021 did not include the northern section, where the interface of the west edge of the ECA property and the city right of way is integral to creation of a dynamic public space, the city noted in a Monday press release announcing the grant. This final phase of conceptual design brings the ECA to the table as an engaged partner in development of the design and as an additional funder to complete the conceptual plan, the city said.
The ArtsWA capital grant enables the city to complete work by the consultant on the last section of the corridor conceptual plan and in doing so to reengage community involvement, which has been a key part of the planning process, the announcement said.
Also from the city press release:
The vision for a substantially more inclusive, inviting, and aesthetically pleasing corridor will maximize both connectivity and economic vitality, as the improvements highlight the historic nature of the street and incorporate a focus on arts and culture for a popular Creative District walking route.
The current conditions of the aging road and damaged narrow sidewalks with no amenities or adequate lighting except for a temporary roadway light art installation, do little to encourage pedestrian connectivity between the Edmonds Center for the Arts activity center and Main Street businesses.
The intention, first voiced in 2006 and further developed in 2009, is for 4th Avenue to become a signature, destination street, encouraging pedestrian activity far beyond current levels, which will provide exposure and foot traffic to adjacent properties. The special mixed-use zoning designation along the corridor encourages reuse and redevelopment. The redeveloped street is envisioned as a place allowing for special events, temporary exhibits, small festivals, and other community activities.
At Edmonds Street, the creation of an art pocket park on the northeast side of the intersection will provide a resting spot for pedestrians and a contemplative seating area with a view toward Puget Sound. This small park provides a direct connection point to the new Civic Park, a community park currently under construction two blocks to the east and visually connected to the ECA.
The completion of the concept design will foster opportunities for collaboration with Edmonds Center for the Arts to develop placemaking amenities while providing opportunities within the Creative District and the entire city. The project supports Creative District goals to bring focus to the arts and cultural elements throughout Edmonds’ creative sector.