Downtown Bellingham events encourage locals to shape district's future

Bellingham city officials host a series of events between August and October giving residents opportunities to help shape the future of downtown Bellingham.

The events are part of the city’s continuing myDowntown planning process, which by 2013 will develop a new downtown plan and action proposal to be presented to the Bellingham Planning Commission and the City Council for review and adoption.

For more information, visit

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) Kickoff Reception and Presentation—Tuesday, Aug. 14, 5-7 p.m.
Mount Baker’s Walton Theater, 104 N. Commercial St.

Fred Kent and Kathy Madden of Project for Public Spaces discuss the “place-making” process, and how it has been used to make successful improvements in downtown Bellingham. The session as a kickoff to future public workshops.

Imagining Bellingham’s Town Square—Thursday, Aug. 16, 5-7 p.m.
Meet at Depot Market Square, Railroad Avenue and Maple Street

This hands-on workshop will look at applying the place-making approach to several downtown public plaza locations.

Exploring Bellingham’s Historic Downtown —Saturday, Aug. 18, 1-3 p.m.
Meet at Depot Market Square, Railroad and Maple Street

Learn about the history of Bellingham’s downtown on a walking tour with historic preservation consultant Michael Sullivan.

Hidden GEMS Tour (G= Galleries, E= Electricity, M= Museums, S = Sweets)—Wednesday, Aug.  22, 4-5 p.m.
Meet outside Spark Museum, 1312 Bay St.

This tour includes the newly branded Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, Mindport Exhibits, Cedarworks Gallery and the Bellingham Railway Museum. It ends with stops at Chocolate Necessities and Bliss Desserts on Cornwall Avenue.

20-Minute Living Tour—Thursday, Sept. 6, 4-6 p.m.
Meet at Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St.

This two-hour afternoon walking tour gives an inside look at urban residential living in Bellingham’s Central Business District, and examines the “20-minute living” lifestyle.

Downtown Retail Anchor – Bringing a Grocery or Department Store Downtown—Thursday, Sept. 13. 5:15-6:30 p.m.
1320 Cornwall Ave. (Former J.C. Penney’s building)

A panel of experts discuss what it would take to open a grocery or department store downtown. Panelists include Jim Ashby, Community Food Co-op general manager; Kevin Weatherill, The Markets CEO; Stephen Trinkhaus, Public Market & Terra Organica owner; and Midge McCauley and Kelly Kost, Downtown Works Retail Recruitment consultants.

Streets as Public Places—Thursday, Sept. 20, 5-7 p.m.
Meet at Depot Market Square

This hands-on workshop looks at opportunities for the State Street corridor, and how the public street space can best be used to serve the people of the downtown district.

Crime Prevention Through Placemaking and Environmental Design—Thursday, Oct. 4, 5-7 p.m.
Meet at WTA Downtown Station, 205 E. Magnolia St.

Hear success stories from businesses that have employed the principles of crime prevention through environmental design (also known as “CPTED”) and learn about applying place-making principles to envision a new future for the Magnolia and Railroad corridor.

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