University of Washington students hold an open house at Bothell City Hall as part of their storefront studio class. CATHERINE KRUMMEY, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter

UW architecture students create vision for downtown Bothell’s future

The rebuilding of Main Street could be just one of the changes to come to the historic area in downtown Bothell.

As part of a spring quarter class, University of Washington (UW) architecture students have been working with city staff and local business owners to develop a vision for the future.

As part of the vision, they also looked to the past, wanting to restore some of the Main Street storefronts to their historical look, based on pictures they found.

“We heard a desire to bring back the historical character,” UW senior Nieka Moss said of her group’s work with the historical facades.

One group of students came up with the idea to create a parking structure just north of the Main Street businesses, turning one of the alleys off of Main Street into an arcade with more businesses leading to the structure.

“(The students) really let the history guide them…(but) they’ve incorporated a modern twist to things, too,” said Nancy Pipinich, who owns the State Farm on Main Street. “I think they did a great job.”

In addition to Main Street, students expanded their vision to other parts of downtown, including the possibility of creating a land bridge over State Route 522.

“It’s a very cool solution,” City of Bothell senior planner Dave Boyd said, adding that parks director John Keates also seemed to like the idea.

The city and business owners don’t have to do anything with the students’ work, but their ideas will be made available to anyone who is interested in executing them in the future.

“We package (the students’ work) into a book,” said Jim Nicholls, who teaches the class.

He added that they publish the book online and distribute physical copies to the city.

“The big thing is they’re generating ideas that will hopefully spark more ideas,” Boyd said.

The storefront studio class has been around for about 15 years, and they work with a different community each year. Nicholls said past cities include Snoqualmie, Gig Harbor and Snohomish.

To reach out to city staff, business owners and citizens, a series of open houses have been held at Bothell City Hall.

“Getting input from shop owners and residents has been very helpful,” Moss said.

“I feel like part of the team,” said Pipinich, who has attended all of the open houses.

The final open house starts at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

For more information, visit storefrontstudio.org.

University of Washington students hold an open house at Bothell City Hall as part of their storefront studio class. CATHERINE KRUMMEY, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter

University of Washington students hold an open house at Bothell City Hall as part of their storefront studio class. CATHERINE KRUMMEY, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter

The University of Washington architecture students worked in three teams to create ideas for enhancements. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

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