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Yesler Terrace, the site of a 76-year-old subsidized housing project has been reborn as Yesler, a 30-acre, diverse, modern, urban community with residents across the income spectrum. The $1.7 billion project includes parks, housing, and mixed-use facilities.
We were invited to participate in the project by the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), developer of the project. Our assignment: develop placemaking, wayfinding, and interpretive elements for the site and signage/graphic standards for the public residences.
Our goal from the start: design authentic-to-place elements and identify Yesler for residents and visitors. We developed icons and representing the neighborhood: school, community, and sports activities, health care facilities, and history of the site.
The client team wrote stories about the rich history of the site: the first people, the early settlers, waves of immigration, and the families from the 1940s to today. We turned the images and copy into nine porcelain enamel interpretive panels mounted on the segmented pole.
With the skyrocketing cost of housing in Seattle, SHA anticipates the market-rate housing portion and the connections to the regional public transportation network will be attractive to the thousands of people who work in nearby hospitals, universities, office buildings, and in downtown Seattle.