SEATTLE – February 2, 2015 – Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) turned to the community to help name new residential buildings under construction as part of the Yesler Terrace redevelopment. SHA invited all residents to submit suggestions, met with leaders on the Yesler Community Council and Citizen Review Committee and solicited ideas at information tables during community events. SHA staff city-wide were also invited to participate.
Seven building names were chosen, representing aspects of the natural and cultural heritage of the Yesler Terrace neighborhood, including plants, animals and artifacts native to the area or meaningful to current and past residents. The first three buildings, currently under construction or in design, have been named. Four names will be reserved for future buildings.
The name Kebero Court was chosen for the building at 1105 E Fir St, due to open early this year. A kebero is a traditional African hand drum. The building now under construction at 820 Yesler Way will be named Raven Terrace, for a bird symbolic in many cultures and the symbol of “storyteller” in the Duwamish Tribe. The third building located at 221 10th Ave S, which is currently under design, will be called Hoa Mai Gardens, named for a flowering plant representative of Vietnamese Tet New Year’s celebrations.
The remaining four names not yet attached to a specific building are Hinoki House, for a species of cypress tree native to central Japan; Red Cedar Ridge, to honor the Western red cedar tree that has provided bark for clothing, canoes and other important Northwest native uses for centuries; Juniper Place for a significant juniper tree visible from Yesler Terrace, a tree popular throughout the world, especially in Asia for bonsai cultivation; and Sawara View for an ancient city, tree and popular fish in Japan all bearing the name Sawara. As each building opens, celebrations will elaborate further on the meaning of the name and its tie to the site and community.
SHA Development Director Stephanie Van Dyke said, “Based on feedback from residents, we wanted the names to have a common link or connection in some way to the neighborhood but also reflect the individual character of each building in the neighborhood. We appreciate the time and thoughtfulness that community members put into the process of selecting names that honor the heritage of people who will live in these new buildings, and help them feel a strong connection to their new homes.”
About Seattle Housing Authority
The mission of the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is to enhance the Seattle community by creating and sustaining decent, safe and affordable living environments that foster stability and self-sufficiency for people with low incomes. SHA provides long-term, low-income rental housing and rental assistance to more than 29,000 people in the City of Seattle. SHA owns and operates approximately 9,000 units at more than 400 sites throughout the city. SHA also handles more than 10,000 Housing Choice Vouchers (also known as Section 8), enabling low-income residents to receive rental assistance in the private housing market. Approximately 11,000 SHA residents are elderly or disabled and about 9,500 are children. SHA, a public corporation established in 1939, is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, two of whom are SHA residents. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.