Station Space is a tenant improvement “constellation” of five interconnected youth arts and culture organizations located on the second floor of the historic King Street Station in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle.
After 100 years of use, King Street Station fell into deep disrepair and remained largely underutilized until the City of Seattle purchased and restored it back to its original “Railroad Italianate” splendor in 2009. Structurally fortified for another century of use, the building now contains a rich strata of civic activity that’s open to the public. Amtrak operates on its lower floor, connecting locals and visitors to two historic neighborhoods and transit hubs in the downtown core. The City’s Office of Arts and Culture occupies the top floor with galleries, meeting spaces, offices, an art studio for rotating residents, and a living room.
Station Space required the patient but unrelenting vision of a newly chartered public development authority, multiple arts organizations, artists and musicians, local government, private funders and fierce supporters who deeply understood the need for affordable arts spaces in a rapidly gentrifying and increasingly exclusive region. After witnessing Seattle’s pattern of displacement, a passionate group of community members advocated for the formation of the Cultural Space Agency, a mission-driven real estate development company designed to provide affordable arts spaces for especially historically underrepresented communities.
Station Space at King Street Station is one of the Agency’s first new project partnerships, negotiating a 60-year lease that guarantees the longevity and stability of five anchor youth-centered arts organizations Totem Star, Rhapsody Project, Red Eagle Soaring, Whipsmart, and the Jackson Street Music Program who combined possess fifty years of youth-arts experience. Together they form a series of classrooms, recording studios, a black box theater, and workshop space along a public-facing hallway which accessibly connects Jackson Street Plaza to both the train station below and galleries above.