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.
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