Above the Station Scheme
This concept would place a public square directly above the new light rail station with a single story entry/exit at either end of the public open space to access the light rail station below. Brooklyn Avenue, between 45th Street to the north and 43rd Street to the south would have limited vehicular access, mostly relating to public transportation, and could also be designed to coordinate with the current open space at the south side of the UW Tower building.
For special events this section of Brooklyn Avenue could be closed down temporarily and become an integral part of the public square. Configuring the new square would not require any other building demolition other than that which will be razed anyway for the new station. One potential variation to this scheme would be to purchase property at mid-block on University Way to connect pedestrians from “The Ave” to the public square.
The public square could be complemented by amenities for pedestrian use with features such as planters/benches, kiosks, outdoor sculpture and/or a fountain/pool, an electronic graphics display board (as shown), and possibly even a large glass canopy (not shown) to provide flexible inclement weather use.
- Provides significant relief space for large crowds of light rail users
- Provides new public-use space for markets and fairs in the U District area
- Provides additional open space for the UW Tower office building
- Creates a new focus to the U District
- Would allow natural light directly into light rail mezzanine below grade
- Requires no further private property acquisition
- Could accommodate a sculpture/fountain feature near U District’s center
- Provides no visual connection to University Way, The “heart” of the ‘Ave’
- Leaves the UW Tower only indirectly connected to the campus
- Provides no new transit-oriented development building
- Limited pedestrian-related retail use at plaza perimeter