Friday, June 09, 2006

Another Great Public Space (Number 5)

Each Friday, we have been selecting the ten great spaces in downtown Tacoma; our selection criteria are taken from principles that the Project for Public Spaces has found in successful places all over the world:
  1. They are accessible;
  2. People are engaged in activities there;
  3. The space is comfortable and has a good image;
  4. It is a sociable place--one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit.

To date, we have cited four public spaces: Pacific Plaza (the site for our recent placemaking workshop), Theater Square, Fireman's Park, and Wells Fargo Plaza.

Today, we nominate a fifth public space--the relatively new Foss Amphitheater (like last week's nomination, it officially has no name) down on the Thea Foss Waterway near Albers Mill. Looks like a great place to eat and enjoy the sun, hold a concert, etc. It's managed by the Thea Foss Owners Association, which would love to have more folks use it.

Of course, there's lots more to see and do on Tacoma's urban waterfront; Thea's Park and the plaza in front of the Museum of Glass are just two of the other spots open now. And more public space is coming, like the 15th St. Corridor that will be redeveloped in conjunction with the new condo project.


  1. Anonymous10:58 AM

    "And more public space is coming, like the 15th St. Corridor that will be redeveloped in conjunction with the new condo project."

    And directly adjacent to this site will be the new Prium development. If there are enough commercial & business uses in this development it will help feed the plaza during the day. Currently, this space (& most of the Esplanade) only gets heavy use in summer evenings & the weekend. Business workers are necessary to make the commercial along the Esplanade function.

  2. The Amphitheater is nice looking but empty 90 percent of the time as it is on the edge of a developement on the water front.

    The plaza is a great public space on Foss as there are restaurants, the museum, and the marina there.

    Very well used, in a path that people take and many activities adjacent to the space.

    However, the time for the Amphitheater may come with the new developements that are going on on the Foss right by the overpass. If that area is filed up with mixed use as planned, the Amphitheater may hae its day in the future.