For 66 years, Seattle’s downtown was separated from its waterfront by a hulking, double-decker viaduct. When it was blown up in 2019 over earthquake-safety concerns, the possibilities seemed endless. Now, construction is well underway on a 26-block, $700 million waterfront park. It promises to be an open space with stunning views of the Puget Sound and an agenda aimed at dismantling racism.
Friends of Waterfront Park is a nonprofit tasked with raising $100 million for construction and then managing the park’s entertainment and security.
On its website it touts “Friends of Waterfront Seattle acknowledges that historic and existing systemic racism is embedded in our city.” It also states “the goal is to create inclusive spaces for community driven cultural events … where all people … specifically Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as well as underserved communities feel welcome and safe.”