Marginalized- a DIY skatepark

A community treasure forged from the will of individuals, yet it is hidden from the public eye. Marginal Way Skatepark resides under an overpass in the industrial neighborhood of SODO. Removed from residential neighborhoods, covered by an on-ramp, and flanked by rail tracks and a trucking route, it is an unlikely place for a community asset. Fed up with the city’s unpredictability, the DIY skatepark on Marginal Way was built by volunteer labor and public contributions. In the wake of the demolition of the Seattle Center Skatepark, boarders in Seattle rallied together to appropriate their own park in the margins of Seattle’s urban framework.

This unlikely location though, is what makes Marginal Way a viable space. Free of public scrutiny, the setting provides a loose site to build the park without fear of it being ripped out from under them again. The inconspicuous site had existed as a haphazard site of prostitution, illegal dumping, illicit drug use, and homeless camps. During most of the day it remained vacant and unused. Though the intervention to construct a skatepark would alter its composition, it does not inhibit continued transgressional behavior. It remains loose and unpredictable. The diversity of encounters now range from riders and junkies, to concerts and kids.

Michael Lewis

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