Design Ideas for Downtown Gig Harbor

Waterfront Sudio Logo
This past summer, students from the University of Washington Architecture School descended on downtown Gig Harbor for a Storefront Studio Project. The result of their several week project is a collection of design ideas for storefronts, parks, shopping districts, a year-round farmers’ market and the ever necessary parking. The sky was the limit, and the ideas range from simple exterior makeovers to re-purposing of current buildings and sites for new uses.

The Storefront Studio Project was sponsored by the Gig Harbor Downtown Alliance. They are hosting a public viewing of the plans on Tuesday, November 5th, from 5-6:30pm at the Harbor History Museum. Displays include aerial map views, individual renderings of suggested makeovers, as well as conceptual drawings of “what if’s”. On hand will be the students’ professor, Jim Nicholls, to answer any questions on the process or designs themselves. Copy of the program summary book will also be for sale ($20 donation).

This was a fun project both for the students who gained real life experience working with vested members of town, as well as the residents. Having a fresh set of eyes looking at our town resulted in some fabulous ideas. We know we have a great little place to call home, but a little imagination can make it even more special and vibrant. Stop by for a look.

Okay….that was fun.

Over the weekend I attended the Gig Harbor Film Festival.  As a film fan (see former blog post) you would think this would be a no-brainer, but I don’t really look forward to film festivals.  Scanning the program isn’t the same as seeing enticing trailers in the theater, so deciding on which films to see can be a bit of a crapshoot….and a little stressful.  But I took the gamble and was really delighted with the films I saw this year.

I applaud the films featuring local regions and people.  Cement Suitcase was poignant and funny, as it described the somewhat dismal life of a young man living in the Yakima Valley.  My friend and I got a kick out of seeing the Airfield Winery and many local Yakima Valley sites.  Writer/Director Rick Castaneda shared that he appreciated the tremendous local support which is why he centered the film near his hometown of Granger, WA.

Everything Went Down starred Noah Drew, Indie-rocker Kate Tucker,….and Bellingham.  Wow, B-ham looked awesome on film!  Kudos to Director Dustin Morrow for this modern styled musical.

Finally, what a thrill it was to see the documentary of local rock photographer, Jini Dellaccio, in Her Aim is True.  Karen Whitehead directed a first class film blending old and new, color and black/white, spoken word and music.  Having Jini (96-years-old!) and singer Merilee Rush at the showing made it even more special.

Thank you to all who planned and executed this fun festival.  I know there is a year’s worth of work to get to the actual festival, and it seemed to go flawlessly.   My only request is that next year order a little rain so I feel less guilty about sitting in a movie theater all weekend.  :)

Attention Dirty Cars in Gig Harbor!

Bring your filthy cars to the Gig Harbor High School Interact Club car wash this Saturday, May 18th at the Shell Station on Wollochet near Highway 16. All proceeds go to the Denny Wilford Foundation treating and preventing polio in Ethiopia and Uganda. Meet some amazing kids, while cleaning up your ride!