February 19, 2020
Have you recently driven past Gossage Garden at F St. and Cornwall Ave, and noticed that our beloved gazebo is missing?
It was removed by the City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department on January 22nd, 2020 due to a significant concern for public safety. Due to much wear and tear to the gazebo and its exposed site in the right of way, many were left wondering how many more windstorms it could weather without collapsing.
The LSNA worked with the department staff and concerned residents for over a year, determining that the current structure could not be repaired while also meeting City standards for commercial structures. We have been seeking options for replacing the gazebo, but this will be an extensive process involving community design input, permitting, and several thousand dollars of material and labor (much of which has already been offered as donations).
So, where are we now, and what can you do to help? We are currently seeking a champion for the design and permitting process, who can draft neighborhood input into a design and guide it through the permitting process with the Parks and Recreation Department. Until we have a knowledgeable and willing person to champion this process, we do not have a way to move forward with a replacement.
When we are set up to move forward, the LSNA will seek out further neighborhood input to determine what kind of structure we would like to see in our pocket park. We have already received requests for benches, shelter from both the rain and the sun, a protected bulletin board for community involvement, bright colors, and more opportunity for public art. We are hoping these elements can be designed into a steel-framed structure to ensure it will stand proudly for decades to come. There are several steel-beam gazebo kits available online, but they would likely require the additional task of tearing up and re-pouring the concrete base pad to accommodate different shapes (which will need to be included in the permitting process).
We are very grateful for the time and effort that the Parks and Recreation Department staff has put into engaging us in this process, and delighted that we share a vision for re-activating Gossage Garden with a sustainable solution that can be cherished and used by our neighborhood for many years in the future.
To get involved in the gazebo replacement campaign or garden maintenance/work parties, please contact Gossage Garden park steward Katie Rismondo (also current chair of the LSNA) through email@example.com.
Additional information about Gossage Garden and the gazebo: