12th Ave. Square Park

Updated: April 28, 2016

Thank you Seattle! This project is complete!

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the 12th Avenue Stewards were excited to announce the opening of the park in February 2016. Hewitt Architects and artist Ellen Sollod collaborated with the community on the woonerf designed park which provides pedestrians and cyclists priority on the street. This technique of shared spaces, traffic calming, and low speed limits contribute to improved pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety. See the Park page.


12th Ave and E James Court, 98122


The project was allocated $500,000 from the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy, Opportunity Fund. 
The park project was allocated $490,000 funding from the Pro Parks Levy, Opportunity Fund.
Seattle Parks Foundation awarded the project $70,000.00.


Planning: Spring 2010 - Spring 2011 
Design: Spring 2011 - Summer 2014 
Construction: Spring 2015 - Summer 2015 
Completion: Fall 2015

Situated between the Central Area and Capitol Hill, the 7,332 square-foot park is considered part of both communities. The park space will be used to strengthen community ties through programming local events and offering a great gathering place.

The artistic sculptural canopy structure called "Cloud Veil" that hovers over a rounded "pillow" and the wavy concrete paving design grew out of the Hewitt and Sollod collaboration. Several other smaller pillows for seating are sprinkled through the space. The park's unique design also includes rain gardens to extend the feeling of open space for the entire block on E. James Court, a single east-bound lane.

Construction started in May 2015. Seattle Parks worked with the contractor, TF Sahli Construction, to minimize the impact of construction to the neighborhood. Permitting caused a delay in this project.

The 12th Avenue Square Park is a 7,332 square-foot property at the southeast corner of 12th Ave and E James Court. The new park consists of property transferred to Parks from the Department of Neighborhoods in January 2008 and the woonerf adjacent to the park along East James Court.

The Seattle Parks Foundation awarded this project $70,000 through their newly launched Stim Bullitt Park Excellence Fund. It will be used in the capital construction budget. Supplemental funding provided by Seattle Department of Transportation will allow for improvements to be made in the alley on the south side of the park. Because of these additional improvements, design elements needed to be completed as they were required to be included in permitting process. This project consists of the 12th Ave and E James Court Pro Park development project and a community initiated project that was selected to receive funding through the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund.

The new pedestrian friendly park will be created within the street right of way in conjunction with the park project. A woonerf, a street where pedestrians and cyclists have priority over motorists, will be integrated into the park design. The design techniques will create shared spaces, traffic calming, and low speed limits to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety.

Parks hosted two community meetings for the Opportunity Fund project. To see meeting notes and presentation please see below. At the first meeting over 20 community members and neighbors attended and contributed to ideas and concepts and concerns about the new Woonerf project. At the second meeting Hewitt Architects and Seattle Parks presented the design concept.

Project Description

Park Development Project
Parks has been working with the community to develop a preferred schematic design for the 12th and James site. The park project was put on hold until project recommendations for the Opportunity Fund projects were announced. These two projects will be built together in order to economize on construction costs and to minimize continued disturbance to the surrounding neighborhood.

This project was selected for the first round of Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Funding. The application received in this community-initiated process is a preliminary concept and the final design may be constrained by the project budget. All projects will go through Park's public involvement procedure which includes public meetings and community input. They will also go through an internal Parks process to ensure the most effective implementation.

The 12th Ave Neighborhood Plan calls for developing 12 Ave into the "main street" of the urban village. The James Ct woonerf, abutting 12th Ave, would help provide the kind of environment envisioned in the Neighborhood Plan.

The Opportunity Fund proposal envisioned the development of a woonerf along James Ct spanning between the 12th Ave Park to the south and the new Seattle University and Seneca group development to the north. A woonerf is a street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists. The techniques of shared spaces, traffic calming, and low speed limits are intended to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety.

In 2008, Seattle Parks hired Hewitt Architects to begin initial design development of the park site at 12th and James Ct. Several public meetings were held and a preferred schematic design developed. The design development for the park project was put on hold while awaiting the outcome of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund project selection. Hewitt is also the designer for the Seneca development and will remain on as consultant for the woonerf project. The park project and the woonerf project will go through design development, construction documents and construction simultaneously.