By Bruce Rutledge
The city has plans to transform King Street Station’s third floor into an arts and culture hub. The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) will give visitors a glimpse of what is in store for the space when it unveils the “Belonging and Resistance” exhibition there on August 3.
The anchor of the exhibition will be work by Mexican artist Pedro Lasch on the themes of nationalism and belonging. Lasch, a professor of art, art theory and visual studies at Duke University, is known for his work with immigrant groups and art collectives. Regional artists will display pieces responding to the ideas Lasch raises.
The exhibition will also introduce the range of programming ARTS supports, including lectures and performances.
ARTS is working on the King Street Station culture and arts hub in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation. Once it is open, the third floor of the station will provide public access to presentation and creative spaces. A final opening date has not been set, but ARTS says the August 3 exhibition launch is the beginning of a “phased opening.”
ARTS spearheaded citywide outreach last year to get feedback on the proposed 17,130 sq. foot space on King Street Station’s third floor. More than 300 community stakeholders took part in the discussions. Based on those discussions, the space will be divided into an 8,550 sq. foot community cultural space with movable walls; the Grey Box, a 1,720 sq. foot space for smaller installations and performances; and the Living Room, a 2,450 sq. foot common area, welcome space and information hub where artists and visitors can gather.
The space will be designed by Olson Kundig, a design firm in Pioneer Square with a staff of about 150. Kirsten R. Murray, owner of the firm, is the design principal.
King Street Station opened in 1906. In 2008, the city bought the building from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company for $10 and proceeded to launch a $50 million renovation plan to ensure that the station continues to be a transportation hub for the Seattle area. The station is currently served by Sound Transit’s Central Link light rail, the Sounders train and multiple Metro bus lines. The station will also be served by Sound Transit’s East Link light rail connecting ID to Downtown Bellevue and the Microsoft campus in 2023.