In the early 1990s, the City of Renton was beginning their long range plans for the revitalization of downtown Renton. A group of local citizens came together to discuss how they could be a part of that re-development.
In 1995, Citizens for Piazza Renton (CPR) was formed with a goal “to create a vibrant, healthy community in the downtown and greater Renton area”. Their idea was to promote a “heart” in the city – a place where people would come together – to experience and celebrate. All ages would be drawn to this clean and well-maintained downtown place that demonstrated the livability and vitality of the downtown area. So the Piazza was created – in the heart of the city at S. 3rd and Burnett.
In June 1997, CPR and Allied Arts of Renton held a “Piazza Party” – the first celebration at the current Piazza park site which was then occupied by a Mazda car dealership that was in the process of vacating the site.
The Piazza Park was officially dedicated in 2000, and continues to be a magnet, drawing people downtown for many events.
The group of volunteers continued to meet, adding a few people along the way. The City made a verbal agreement with Piazza Renton volunteers that they would support four events each year – a spring “clean-up”, a Renton River Days event, a fall event primarily for children (pumpkin “painting”) and the Holiday Tree lighting. These events have grown each year and now encompass many more activities than originally staged, including a Spring Festival and the Renton Farmers Market.
Piazza Renton is a 501-a non-profit organization. We continue the goals of the original CPR group and have added one of “welcoming diversity”. We have a yearly membership drive and have many “paid” members who support us in spirit.