Community by Design: Mainstreets in a Changing America

On view April 28 – June 10
At the Center for Architecture & Design

Innovation, renewal and reinvention are some of our nation’s core values. Nowhere are they more evident than in the storefronts, warehouses and plazas in our cities, towns and neighborhoods. The Main Street America Program empowers community members to be change-makers, and to leverage the power of place to develop desirable cities and towns emblematic of our uniquely American identity. Community by Design: Main Streets in a Changing America presents several unique case studies from across the country that demonstrate how the Main Street America program and similar models can be springboards for community empowerment and help us preserve the places we love.

Thank you to our exhibit sponsor:

GLY Construction

Exhibit Related Programming

Community Revitalization Efforts in Washington, a Panel Discussion
Presented by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
May 11, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Join local leaders in a panel discussion to learn more about the Main Streets of America Program and the local case studies featured in the Community by Design: Main Streets in a Changing America exhibit. Learn how communities with different assets can be successful in their presevation and revitalization efforts through the Main Streets Program and other models.

Developer & Business Owner Tour of International District
Presented by SCIDpda and the CIDBIA
May 18, 4:00-6:00 PM

Main Street America’s program focuses on helping communities engage in preservation based, community driven development. The Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda) has been doing just that since 1975, leveraging relationships with local developers and property owners to help ensure that the Chinatown-International District neighborhood remains the vibrant heart of Seattle’s Asian American community. On this tour, SCIDpda and the CIDBIA will lead participants through the neighborhood to explore community focused developments both old and new, including International Village District Square, Hirabayashi Place, and the upcoming Asian Plaza redevelopment. Local developers, property owners, and small business owners will share their thoughts and experiences with attendees.

Seattle by Design: Observing and Envisioning a Better Seattle
Presented by Chuck Wolfe
June 1, 4:00-6:00 PM

The Main Streets America program helps to empower grassroots efforts to take on major placemaking efforts, building vibrant downtowns that reflect and serve local communities. As our urban spaces change ever more quickly, we find it easy to talk about the changes we do or do not want to see, but the urban landscape is largely experienced visually. Local author, urbanist and land use lawyer Chuck Wolfe believes that this realm of missing visual expression helps citizens, design professionals and elected officials alike get to the heart of what matters to them in changing neighborhoods. In his new book, “Seeing the Better City,” Wolfe details his urban diary technique, using close looking and photography from Seattle and international venues to see and understand their urban environment and how human experience intersects with the built world. Wolfe will present a brief talk, based on his book, followed by a walk through CfAD’s surrounding neighborhood demonstrating his urban diary techniques and inviting participants to begin their process to envisioning a better Seattle.

Attendance to the talk will be limited to 50, but we are limited the attendance to the walk to 25. Participants are encouraged to bring a camera – or phone! – on the walk.



Center for Architecture and Design
1010 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.667.9184


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Seattle Architecture Foundation
Facebook IconMay 19, 2017 at 11:39 am

Will investing in a #KeyArena remodel "turn a potential architectural white elephant into a swan"

Check out this article from Crosscut abut two proposals to preserve the Paul Thiry stadium.

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In a rapidly-changing city, can KeyArena save its charm?


Historic preservation is unpredictable in Seattle, and it’s never been a sure thing with sports facilities. The site of classic Sicks’ Stadium is a Lowe’s Hardware and the Kingdome was blown to smithereens. But in the fevered atmosphere of a … Continue reading →