Gathering Place Initiative


In 2007, the Columbia City / Hillman City Gateway Project received the Gathering Places Initiative award from Pomegranate Center ( for planning and design services to build a gathering place for the community.

The Steering Committee met 5 times over a period of 5 months to discuss the framework for the project, including guidelines for 3 community meetings, dates, and strategies for outreach. In addition, smaller subcommittees were established to provide support for food daionts, publicity, childcare and translators. Pomegranate Center and volunteers prepared a booklet with the final recommendations for a gathering / art / connection space between Columbia City & Hillman City. To receive a copy of the booklet, please contact Abbey Norris at (206) 760-4289.

Project Timeline

  • 2007 Oct 23 neighborhood meeting
  • 2007 Sep 25 and Sep 30 neighborhood meeting
  • 2007 Sep 12 Project Begins Community Meetings — "This project should at once increase connection between the two neighborhoods, stimulate walkability along Rainier Avenue and integrate art as a strategy for increasing a sense of place. And, they will do all of this through a collaborative community process …"
  • 2007 Jun 28 Project Takes Shape — "Jeremy Valenta, Columbia City resident and community liaison for Pomegranate Center’s 2007 Gathering Places Initiative, has high hopes for his neighborhood …"
  • 2007 May 14 Announcing the 2007 grant recipient — "… to help the communities of Columbia City and Hillman City create a focal point and street improvements between the two neighborhoods to enhance connectivity and pedestrian activity …"

These photos below show the environment between Hillman City and Columbia City in earlier days. Note that the Hogan Feed Building ('Everything for the Hen') is visible in both pictures, and is still there today. — Rainier Valley Historical Society
1915 South to Hillman City:
1908 North to Columbia City:
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