Auburn’s new arts and culture center opens in Sept.

City officials say the new Postmark Center for the Arts will drive economic activities in Auburn’s downtown core.

The transformation of the old Auburn Post Office and Seattle King County Public Health building at 20 Auburn Avenue into Auburn’s arts and culture hub has been long in the making.

But today, the Postmark Center for the Arts has a bonafide opening date and an opening time when restive Auburnites and artists alike can kick up their heels and celebrate the creative types and their productions — from 11 a.m. 3 p.m. Sept. 16 at the center.

The city is transforming the building into a space to empower diverse communities by providing the opportunity to unite within the shared language of the arts. When it opens, the facility will serve as a center for cultural arts, art and culture related events with building rental options

“The reopening of the 85-year-old historic Auburn Post Office building as the new Postmark Center for the Arts is a huge win for the Auburn community and the region,” said Daryl Faber, director of Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation, which has overseen construction. “This space will give talented artists a place to display their works as well as aspiring artist a place to hone their crafts.

The old post office opened in 1937 as a WPA project, which it remained until 1964, when the government opened the present post office on 3rd Street. The King County health department leased the building that year and ran a clinic there for many years. When King County leased space for a new clinic on Auburn Way North, it left the old post office vacant for many years. The city of Auburn bought the building in 2016.

In recent years, the building earned historical landmark status.

Earlier this year, the city asked residents to submit formal names that took the building’s history, its location and its future function into consideration, and Postmark won out.

“A nod,” city officials say, “to both the history and function of the building.”

City officials say the new Postmark Center for the Arts will drive economic activities in Auburn’s downtown core. The renovated lobby space and multipurpose rooms will offer new public programs like music and dance performances, visual arts exhibitions, literary arts events, and other cultural gatherings. Programming will also include arts education for all ages.

Spaces will be also be available to rent for special events, parties and small performances. The goal is to make the economic, educational, cultural, and civic benefits of the arts available to all communities by broadening public access to the arts.

“The Postmark Center for the Arts will provide both a venue to celebrate the diverse cultures of the Auburn Community and add a great downtown venue for both public and private events,” Faber said.

Here’s the schedule of events:

11 a.m. Sept. 16: Grand opening and ribbon cutting, recognition of funders and project partners, Muckleshoot Welcome Figure Dedication, blessing and song, Auburn’s poet laureate.

11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Art Festival featuring steamroller printmaking, live entertainment in the Arts Alleyway, Artrageous Art Zones offering hands-on, art-making activities, Wishing Tree Community art activity and display, Vault Gallery offering an historic overview of the building and Postmark Art Gallery “RENEWAL: Historic Roots and Artistic Growth” featuring artworks by 25 incredibly talented Washington State artists, food trucks and a Downtown Public Art Scavenger Hunt.