eginning as a graduate design studio, operating out of a vacant storefront on a beleaguered shopping street near campus, the studio has gone on to do work on the ‘forgotten’ American Main Streets of small communities throughout King County including; White Center, Auburn, Renton, and Skyway. Kent and Des Moines are scheduled for the following year. Before the first Storefront closed, the second community was offering funding. There is now a waiting list. An examination of the success of this architecture studio focuses on the confluence of three related innovations; digital tools, studio location, and sustained duration.

The Storefront Studio is dedicated to investing the academic capital of the UW Department of Architecture in close partnership with the social capital of local communities. Our goal is to strengthen the connections between the members of a community and their physical setting, providing anchors for emergent identities, economic growth, and social interaction.

Learn more about the Storefront Studio on its UW website. read more…

Did you miss the final presentation by the University of Washington this summer?  The Waterfront Alliance is pleased to announce another UW Storefront Studio public open house and book sale at the Harbor History Museum on Tuesday November 5th from 5 to 6:30pm.

This popular downtown review was sponsored by the Downtown Waterfront Alliance.  Ten Architecture and Planning students met with citizens and reviewed harbor properties and buildings for two months to enable the completion of the study.

Although 100 people attended a presentation in late August, many have requested another opportunity to review recommendations. Professor Jim Nicholls will return to Gig Harbor to review projects, make comments and to answer questions.  Copies of the 132 page book summarizing the results will be available for a $20 donation to the Alliance.

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the Harbor History Museum, see the new Donkey Creek improvements, and review the student’s recommendations all in one visit.

Over the past eleven years, the UW Storefront Studio has worked with sixteen communities to identify existing assets and enact positive change. This summer, the Storefront Studio came to Gig Harbor. With the support of the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance and the Washington State Main Street Program, the studio identified nine areas in which the town’s existing assets could be enhanced to stimulate conversation, encourage economic viability and revitalize the imageability of downtown Gig Harbor.

Find the Storefront Studio’s Gig Harbor book for purchase or free download at

Recent articles about the UW Summer Storefront Studio Project can be found at the following links:

July 2 (Gateway): UW students to study development in downtown Gig Harbor

July 3 (Gateway): UW students to study downtown Gig Harbor

July 5 (Gig Harbor Life): Architect students to review downtown Gig Harbor

July 18 (Gateway): Storefront Studio project holds first open house Wednesday

July 23 (Gig Harbor Life): University students review Gig Harbor downtown parks, buildings

July 24 (Gateway): Storefront Studio project holds first open house

August 6 (Gig Harbor Life): Report on Gig Harbor waterfront’s future being developed

August 21 (Gateway): College students to show ideas for downtown GH

August 27 (Gig Harbor Life): Storefront  Studio Project wraps up with student recommendations for improving  downtown

August 28 (Gateway): UW Storefront Studio presents final proposals to community

September 3 (Gig Harbor Life): Storefront  Studio Project envisions water taxi and more retail space for Finholm  District

September 12 (Gateway): Storefront Studio Project envisions a waterfront Cultural District

September 19 (Gig Harbor Life): Storefront Studio Project envisions nature trails and outdoor boatbuilding  classes at Eddon Boat

September 25 (Gig Harbor Life): Storefront Studio envisions new multi-family housing; year round farmers market at south end of town