Snapshots of a Growing Cultural Infrastructure

Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park raised funds to complete and install a shelter structure in the public park adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum. The initial year of events and activities in the space is now in full swing, produced in collaboration with many partner community groups.

In 2015, we partnered with King County Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council to make a historic $28 million investment in our region’s cultural infrastructure. The endeavor was called Building for Culture, and it paved the way—literally, in some cases—for new and improved cultural facilities of all kinds, in all corners of King County.

Building for Culture funded things like plasterwork, HVAC repairs, sound systems, lighting, brick laying, commercial kitchen equipment, and so much more, and now we are beginning to truly see what these all add up to. The organizations who put these dollars to work have been able to grow and expand, serving more King County residents than ever.

As these projects come to fruition, we asked photographer Eduardo Calderon to document them using his exceptional perspective. He created an incredible body of work—it captures the myriad spaces that house some of our most vibrant experiences as King County residents. Here are just a few highlights from the more than 47 projects that are either complete or well underway:

The Admiral Theater was restored and modernized to remain competitive with other Seattle movie theater venues. The Admiral Theater serves the Duwamish peninsula, an increasingly diverse area of Seattle.


The Plaza Roberto Maestas Multi-Cultural Community Center, managed by El Centro de la Raza, is 6,000 square feet, with a kitchen, lighting, and a stage. It provides a much-needed gathering spot and venue for the arts on Beacon Hill.


The Northwest Railway Museum’s Railway Education Center is the third phase of the Railway History Center campus development. It incorporates a library/archives vault, classroom, vital visitor services including restrooms and admissions, and space for program staff offices.


The Renton Historical Society is renovating the 30-year old Renton History Museum lobby, mitigating hazardous materials, improving disabled accessibility, and bringing lobby up to code. The project will ultimately create a safer, more accessible, and more educational entrance to museum programs and exhibits.


The Tollgate Farmhouse exterior restoration was done with bond funding. This is the first of multiple phases, and future phases will make the historic farmhouse available for community use.


All photos by Eduardo Calderon, 2016.