Arts District: Making Places for People Project

The Arts District & Flora Street – Making Places for People project created improvements to the publicly owned property (sidewalks, streets, and related areas) within the Arts District (234K PDF) of downtown Bellingham. The improvements focused on providing amenities and encouraging activities that enliven and optimize use of these public spaces. This project involved substantial public involvement and comment from a wide range of stakeholders to craft a vision and design that provides the maximum benefit and encouraged partnerships to extend improvements to the private sector. 

Working together, City staff, stakeholders and Nakano & Associates created a Conceptual Plan for the Arts District (3,315K PDF) aimed at creating great public spaces.

Arts District Gateway at Bay and Holly  

The streetscape improvements at Bay and Holly were designed to serve as the gateway to the Arts District, accommodate businesses to spill out into the sidewalks and plaza area, and facilitate outdoor community events on Bay Street. $170,000 in private donations contributed to the project’s completion.

Champion Street Improvements Completed

The street improvements along Champion have created a place for people to gather and enjoy the goods of adjacent businesses as well as provide a wider space for pedestrians.

Art and Children’s Museum

The improvements outside the new Lightcatcher Museum at Flora and Grand will accommodate school and tour buses, treat stormwater through rain gardens, and provide space for outdoor dining and public art installations.

The City is incorporating place making principles, into the design of this project, that were developed by Project for Public Spaces, Inc. (PPS)

PPS Placemaking Diagram (PDF)


Planning & Community Development

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