A 30,000-Square-Foot Community Garden, on a Seattle Parking Garage
The first community-managed food production garden on a rooftop in the country
By Sarah Deweerdt
The Atlantic Cities
May 29, 2012
When the organizers of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair imagined the future, they probably didn’t envision, among the jet packs and routine space travel, tomatoes growing on the roof of a parking garage.
But 50 years later, that’s exactly what’s about to happen a few blocks from the Space Needle, where residents are building a 30,000-square-foot community garden atop a two-story structure once intended for fair visitors’ cars.
“As far as we can tell it’s the first community-managed food production garden on a rooftop” in the country, says Eric Higbee, a landscape architect working on the project. This project, dubbed the UpGarden, will have space for about 120 gardeners. There are a few rooftop farms, such as Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Brooklyn. But a commercial operation like that runs around $10 per square foot to construct, while the UpGarden has shoestring budget of $4 per square foot—and it’s designed to be built and maintained almost entirely by volunteers.