News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


What would you like to see in place of vacant neighborhood lots?

May 5th, 2010 · No Comments

Very early on Thanksgiving morning in 2001 this block of Roosevelt Way Northeast went up in flames.

The three-alarm fire destroyed the old homes of the Maple Leaf Grill and Reckless Video, together with a hair salon and a coffee shop, Cafe News. Firefighters worked for hours to save the Snappy Dragon, literally just a few inches north of the blaze. Dozens of Maple Leaf residents watched from the street in the early morning hours, in a drenching rain.

Since then the video store moved across the street, the grill is up the street and Cloud City Coffee has replaced Cafe News. But the lot, at Roosevelt and Northeast 89th Street, still sits vacant.

There are any number of such empty lots around town. Now the city is asking residents what to do with some of  them. The Seattle Design Commission is looking for ideas for “Holding Patterns” to temporarily take the place of construction projects that have been stalled by the economy.

Whether a concert space or a bumper car track, basketball hoops or a fleeting performance stage, from temporary to semi-permanent, wacky, practical or both, the Design Commission is welcoming any and all ideas. Artists, designers, non-profits, businesses, developers, students, astronauts, everyone is invited to contribute ideas.

What would you like to see temporarily on vacant lots? Tell us, or tell Valerie Kinast, Seattle Design Commission coordinator, at 206-233-7911 or