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  • Montlake Lid Urban Design

    The Montlake Lid is a landscape and urban design project that aims to literally bridge between Seattle’s Montlake and Shelby-Hamlin neighborhoods, across State Route 520. The design features a central plaza, a unique canopy structure linking two transit stops, and a large neighborhood green space. The site has been a location for transportation and portage for centuries, as indigenous peoples used the low-lying area between Lake Washington and Portage bay as a crossing point between the waterways. Later, early caucasian settlers constructed a log flume and, later, planned a massive channel. The canal, now known as the Montlake Cut was eventually constructed further north, leaving the site unoccupied and under government jurisdiction. When the State Route 520 was constructed in the 1960s, its alignment was directed through this area, clipping the north end of the Washington Park Arboretum, and severing the Montlake and Shelby-Hamlin neighborhoods. The current project aims to connect these two neighborhoods, re-establish ecological corridors that previously existed on site, and provide a public gathering space for the neighborhood. ©LMN Images by Evan Chakroff, Adam Amrhein, Brianna Holan, Michael Day, & Jennifer Marckx.