University Heights Center for Community

Josho Somine
Winter 2009
Final Site Assessment

Site Summary
The University Heights Center for Community (UHCC) occupies a full city block north and west of NE 50th St. and University Way NE in Seattle. A large old building, formerly an elementary school, occupies the center of the block, and is surrounded by parking lots and a variety of small open spaces. The building facilities are managed by a nonprofit organization, and several other organizations rent spaces inside. Some additional rooms are available for classes and events.
The spatial and temporal uses outside the building are similarly diverse. Paved parking makes up about 2/3 of all the open space, and has multiple tenants with jurisdiction over certain sections of the lots. One large lot is turned over to the district Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings, which is heavily attended year-round. The site also contains 2 playgrounds, one private and one public, a community garden, a small enclosed lawn, and a public entrance plaza. (See site diagram and context diagram for details of the layout.)
The Center’s stated focus is “our local community, children, arts and education, and continuing education” , and they encourage a changeable variety of tenant organizations and activities. (See current list in Appendix A) Although there is an effort to be welcoming, there is also some conflict implicit with the “seedier” aspects of the adjoining neighborhood, which is reflected in an abundance of fencing and regulatory signage all around the site.


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