New Kid on the Block

Garrett Nelli asks if COVID-era innovations can bring lasting benefits to suburban neighborhoods.

Shifting Ground was an open call for visual reports about how the events of 2020 and 2021 reconfigured our relationship with both public and private space. Select entries were posted on the League’s Instagram account.

Garrett Nelli submitted reflections on the evolving public realm of his Seattle neighborhood, speculating on a future forever changed by COVID-19 (sub)urban intervention.

He wrote:

A new cider pop-up—
How charming.
This structure looks strangely familiar?
But this isn’t a typical commercial street.
Rather, this is a suburban street of single-family homes.

Is this just a quirky anomaly, or will it spark contagion?

Twenty-six miles of Seattle streets have temporarily closed due to the Stay Healthy Streets campaign, designed to promote safe community gatherings. Economic ventures like Yonder Cider have capitalized on this radical redistribution of space to secure a business license and operate on a residential-zoned street: a feat impossible a year prior.

The reconfiguration of the detached garage for public use offers a new suburban typology, emphasizing cohesion and resiliency in reaction to the distance endured during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Garrett Nelli

(@gknelli) is an architect living in Seattle.


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