5. Early Routes‎ > ‎

052.105 Lake Washington Boulevard



Lake Washington Boulevard, 1920s
Postcard, Photo by Asahel Curtis
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Lake Washington Boulevard is a Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation property that extends from the Montlake neighborhood to Seward Park, on or near the shore of Lake Washington. John Charles Olmsted (1852-1920) located it in his 1903 plan for Seattle's park and boulevard system to take advantage of Seattle's landscape, including the lake, forested parks, and views across the lake and of distant mountains. The boulevard was constructed in parts, starting with an initial section in Washington Park. More than five miles were completed in time for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition held on the University of Washington campus in 1909, and the final segment was opened in 1917.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Samuel Lancaster & Sam Hill

[Sam Hill] invited Lancaster to bring his family to Seattle and work in that great city for six months -- all at Hill's expense.  [James] Wilson [U.S. Secretary of Agriculture] agreed to give Lancaster a six-month leave [from his job as a consulting engineer with the Bureau of Public Roads].  When the six months were up, Lancaster resigned his national position and began working with Reginald H. Thompson, Seattle Parks Department commissioner, to design a $7 million system of boulevards and parks in Seattle.  The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition was planned for 1909, and Seattle wanted to shine for the event. (Willis 31)

Even though many see Samuel C. Lancaster as the preeminent player in early twentieth-century
road building in the Pacific Northwest because of his work on the CRH, his role in the region
began several years earlier in Washington State. Late in the first decade of the twentieth century,
the Seattle Park Department employed him as a consulting engineer, where he helped design and
oversee construction of a system of parks and boulevards outlined by the well-known landscape
architect, John C. Olmsted. These contributions to Seattle’s coming of age were part of the
city’s preparations for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909, which also included an
extensive regrading of Seattle’s hilly business district. The city’s civic leaders were determined
to beautify Seattle for the event, which was a self-promotion vehicle to celebrate its phenomenal
recent growth and bright future. A look at Lancaster’s role in Pacific Northwest road building
needs to begin, though, with an understanding of his formative years—when illness opened up
opportunities for him to hone his skills as a young and energetic civil engineer.6

6 Ronald J. Fahl, “S. C. Lancaster and the Columbia River Highway: Engineer as Conservationist,” Oregon
Historical Quarterly 74, no. 2 (June 1973): 105. Forward-thinking promoters conceived of the Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition as the heart of a program to help Seattle compete with Portland, its rival port city in the Pacific
Northwest. Portland had, a few years earlier, inaugurated similar “city-beautiful” projects in anticipation of its
highly successful Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1905. See George A. Frykman, “The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific
Exposition, 1909,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 53 (July 1962): 89-99; see also Dorothy O. Johansen, Empire of the
Columbia: A History of the Pacific Northwest, 2d ed. (New York, 1967), 405-21.

Hadlow, Robert W. “Columbia River Highway Historic District, National Historic Landmark Nomination." Portland: Oregon Department of Transportation, 2000. 47.

At the 1906 WSGRA convention in Yakima, Samuel Hill and Lancaster had struck up a close,
lifelong friendship—the key to it was their mutual passion for good roads. Shortly, Hill
convinced Secretary Wilson to loan Lancaster for six months to lobby in Washington for
increased state aid for road construction during the 1907 state legislative session. Six months,
though, was not long enough to convince lawmakers to make a stronger commitment to good
roads.12

Meanwhile, Hill convinced Seattle Park Department commissioner Reginald H. Thomson to hire
Lancaster to oversee the design and construction of a $7 million park and boulevard system
concept outlined by John C. Olmsted in 1903 as part of Seattle’s preparation for the Alaska-
Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909. The plan added fifty-miles of boulevards ringing the city and
2,000 acres to Seattle’s already large park system.13

Lancaster and the board gave priority to Lake Washington’s western shore, immediately east of
Seattle’s downtown business district. There, Lancaster created a thirty-foot macadam roadway
of easy grades and gentle curves, with a concrete sidewalk paralleling it near the water’s edge. A
row of shade trees was planted along a parking strip to tie in the parkway with the naturally
wooded slopes. Where needed, Lancaster designed ornamental concrete bridges and culverts to
span the many creeks that emptied into Lake Washington. In sum, he had taken the practical
experience he had gained just a few years earlier in Tennessee and applied it where it also
required a strong awareness of aesthetic considerations and sensitivity to the natural
surroundings’ creative beauty.14

Hadlow, Robert W. “Columbia River Highway Historic District, National Historic Landmark Nomination." Portland: Oregon Department of Transportation, 2000. 49.

The Olmsted Plan & Construction

Person_fredericklawolmsted
John Charles Olmsted
Seattle Municipal Archives
http://seattleolmsted.org/history


...the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners decided in 1902 that it wanted a more elaborate park system. To reach this goal, the Board planned on hiring the best landscape architect in the country, Frederick Law Olmsted. In addition, the Park Commissioners believed that the Olmsted name would add an air of distinction to the growing city.

When the Board contacted the landscape architecture firm in Brookline, Massachusetts, however, they discovered that Frederick Law Olmsted was in poor health. He would die the following year. His son, Frederick Jr., had joined the firm, now known as the Olmsted Brothers, but he was teaching and could not make it to Seattle. The firm wrote that their senior partner, John Charles Olmsted, was available. The dubious Board wanted to know more about this 'other' Olmsted. After the firm sent a letter listing his extensive park planning work, which they normally felt was rather unnecessary, the Board finally hired John Charles Olmsted. Rarely did the Board of Park Commissioners ever make such a wise decision in choosing the 'wrong' man.

Although the Park Commissioners did not know it, John Charles Olmsted was the most experienced landscape architect in the country in 1903.

History: FRIENDS OF SEATTLE’S OLMSTED PARKS
Almost 100 years later, parks have become even more central to the city's existence. Surveys by the Park Department over the last 30 years show that parks act upon us at a level we don't always understand. When asked if they used parks, many of those surveyed initially said "No," but when probed further, the respondents realized that they walked, biked or drove through or by a park, noticed the trees and water in the parks on almost a daily basis, and most often one designed by the Olmsted Brothers. Part of the park system's appeal is that these greenspaces do not feel like designed landscapes, but blend into their residential surroundings. 

History: FRIENDS OF SEATTLE’S OLMSTED PARKS

The central feature of the Olmsted plan was a twenty mile-long parkway that ran from Bailey Peninsula (Seward Park) to Fort Lawton (Discovery Park). From Bailey the pleasure drive would snake along the lake shore, climb up and wrap along the bluff that now encompasses Colman and Frink Parks, dive back down to the water at Madrona Park, and eventually turn inland to Washington Park. From here the roadway would cut to the UW campus, pass through it to Ravenna Park and the adjacent ravine (Cowen Park), and eventually parallel the brook that flowed from Green Lake. The parkway would continue through Woodland Park, descend to the northwest corner of Queen Anne, wrap around the hill's north end and through Interbay to Smith's Cove with a final extension along the Magnolia bluffs to Fort Lawton.

In addition, spur roads would connect Lake Washington Boulevard at Mt. Baker Park to Beacon Hill Park (Jefferson). A second link went from Washington Park along Interlaken Boulevard with forks to Volunteer Park and Roanoke Park. Another boulevard would connect Kinnear Park on Queen Anne with Magnolia.

History: FRIENDS OF SEATTLE’S OLMSTED PARKS

The plan also included five sections of boulevards that would ring the city. Land prices in the central business district had already risen enough that it was too expensive to buy enough land for a boulevard through the downtown.

The boulevards ran between large city parks, such as Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill, Washington Park in the valley east of Capitol Hill, and Green Lake Park in the city's north end. In 1907, the park commissioners hired Olmsted to expand the system plan to include newly annexed lands to the north and south. Olmsted added additional boulevards in West Seattle, South Seattle, and Ballard. The siting of boulevards took advantage of ridges and shorelines, to incorporate views of water and mountains, and of the many ravines along the sides of the hills, to be immersed in the native woods. This use of what landscape architects call "borrowed landscapes" can be found in a number of Olmsted-designed features in Seattle.

A key element of the boulevard system Olmsted designed is Lake Washington Boulevard, which was originally made up of individually named boulevard segments until they were renamed as one in the early 1920s.  It connected a number of parks, including Washington, Frink, and Colman, and showcased the region's beauty with views across the water and out to the distant mountains.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

In his 1903 report, Olmsted gave the city guidance as to what property should be acquired for Lake Washington Boulevard. Looking beyond the actual roadway, he included recommendations for which parts of the landscape should be preserved. For the section running north from Seward Park to Holgate Street (then the southern city limit, before annexations extended Seattle southward), he recommended for purchase, "[a] comparatively narrow fringe of land sufficient for the needed drives and walks and for the preservation of the foreground of woods" ("Report of the Olmsted Brothers," 74). From there to Madrona Park, he recommended acquisition of the entire hillside and the lake shore, with room for the parkway at the top of the hill. Between Madrona Park and the Denny Blaine neighborhood, the road would drop back down to the lakeshore using a strip of land 150 to 200 feet wide. Over the hill to Washington Park, Olmsted envisioned a wide parkway area that would include the forested land along the roadside.

Olmsted prepared designs for some of the parks and boulevards in the plan, whenever budgets allowed. He laid out the route of much of what became Lake Washington Boulevard in the 1903 report, but he did not design its actual alignment or make specific planting plans for its borders in the lakeshore sections. In Washington Park, however, he prepared detailed plans for the parkway. In Frink and Colman Parks he provided suggestions for improving the parkway alignment to make it curve more gracefully or to provide enough room for walks alongside the roadway.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

In 1906 voters approved a $500,000 bond issue for parks and Olmsted wrote to Commissioner J. Edward Shrewsbury (d. 1931), "In short, I distinctly advocate the expenditure of practically all of the half million dollar loan in parks having landscape advantages, mainly upon areas along the shore of Lake Washington, including also an area on Magnolia Bluffs overlooking the Sound" (Olmsted to Shrewsbury).

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

In 1908, city leaders working on preparations for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at the University of Washington campus began a push to construct streetcar lines and roads to carry fairgoers from downtown, where most of them would arrive via trains and ships, to the fairgrounds north of Lake Union. A key component of this effort was Lake Washington Boulevard, which would showcase the region's beauty to impress visitors with one of Seattle's greatest aesthetic assets.

The city's crews could not complete the entire boulevard from Bailey Peninsula to the university, but they were able to piece together a route from where Stan S. Sayres Memorial Park is today, near 43rd Avenue S, by the summer of 1909.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

The Board of Park Commissioners managed to complete a good portion of the boulevard prior to the opening of the fair. In their annual report for 1909 the commissioners reported:

"Special efforts were made and heavy expenditures were required in carrying out our plan to have our north and south chain of boulevards along or overlooking Lake Washington from the Mount Baker district, north to the Exposition grounds, open for traffic, so that our Eastern visitors might enjoy the beauties of our lake and mountain scenery" ("Sixth Annual Report," 67).

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

In 1917, the last section of the boulevard, extending it final two miles to Seward Park, opened. Efforts to extend the boulevard a mile and a half beyond Seward Park had met with resistance in 1909, but Olmsted urged the park commissioners to pursue the project:


"The scenic advantages of having a pleasure drive on the shore are probably greater at this portion of the parkway than at any other, because owing to the general trend of the shore being somewhat to the west of south, Mt. Rainier will be more continuously in view than will be the case from most of the Lake Washington Parkway north of Bailey Peninsula. Another great advantage of keeping the parkway on the shore is that it will afford continuous frontage upon the lake where residents of the city, especially those within convenient walking distance, may promenade or rest, or picnic, or take boats with the fullest enjoyment of the lake and mountain scenery" (Olmsted to Frink).

It appears the park commissioners did not pursue the project. The lakeside boulevard ends today at Seward Park.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Seattle's population continued to grow at prodigious rates as the boulevard was constructed. In the first decade of the twentieth century, Seattle grew from 80,671 to 237,194 people. What had been forested or recently logged land surrounding much of the boulevard route in 1903 began to fill with residential development. A number of trolley lines connected the lakeside neighborhoods with downtown Seattle and promoted development. The 1916 opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal lowered Lake Washington by about 9 feet as it dropped to the same level as Lake Union. This exposed new shoreline alongside the boulevard, which was developed into park land.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Route

Lake Washington Boulevard is a scenic, approximately 8-mile (13 km), route through Seattle, Washington, that hugs Lake Washington for much of the drive. There are views of the lake, small sections of rainforest, meadows, and views of the Cascade mountains.


Olmsted encouraged the city to extend Lake Washington Boulevard south to the Bailey Peninsula even before that land (now Seward Park) was purchased for park purposes in 1911. The peninsula jutted into Lake Washington and, unlike most land near the city, retained its old-growth forest. Olmsted saw potential for a large park with native plants and undisturbed forest land. Olmsted's plan included a boulevard starting at the peninsula and following the lake shore to Colman Park (north of the Mount Baker neighborhood), where he proposed the road would climb inland to run along the ridge northward before dropping down again to the shore north of Leschi Park. Farther north, much of the land on the point at Madison Park had already been subdivided and so from the Denny Blaine neighborhood south of Madison Park the route turned inland and angled northwest over the hill to Washington Park.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

It is an on-going challenge to maintain the integrity of the boulevard in the face of increased traffic and development, but its importance in showcasing the beauty of Seattle's natural setting is unparalleled.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Seward Park to Colman Park

The road begins at S. Juneau Street in Seward Park, running thence along the lake to Colman Park, just south of Interstate 90.


...when the Olmsted Brothers were hired to develop plans for the Uplands subdivision adjacent to Seward Park in the 1920s, the terminus of the boulevard was reconfigured to provide a formal entry to the park at South Juneau Street, which connected uphill to Seward Park Avenue South.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013



Seward Park

The park occupies all of Bailey Peninsula, a forested peninsula and former island that juts into Lake Washington. It contains one of the last surviving tracts of old-growth forest within the city of Seattle. The park is named for former U.S. Secretary of State William Seward.
...
The 300 acres (121 ha) of Seward Park have about a 120 acre (48.6 ha) surviving remnant of old growth forest, providing a glimpse of what some of the lake shore looked like before the city of Seattle. With trees older than 250 years and many less than 200, the Seward Park forest is relatively young (the forests of Seattle before the city was fully mature, were up through 1,000–2,000 years old).
...
The area has been inhabited since the end of the last glacial period (c. 8000 BCE—10,000 years ago). The People of the Large Lake (Xacuabš or hah-chu-AHBSH, today the Duwamish tribe) had resource sites; villages were nearby. The Duwamish called Bailey Peninsula "Noses" (Lushootseed: squbáqst). Before the completion of the Lake Washington Ship Canal in 1916 lowered the level of Lake Washington, the peninsula was an island with points, or "noses", at the north and south ends.[2]

The purchase of the park was suggested as early as 1892, but was sidelined due to its distance from what was then the city. However, the Olmsted Brothers assimilated it into its plan for Seattle parks, and the city of Seattle bought Bailey Peninsula in 1911 for $322,000, and named the park after William H. Seward, former United States Secretary of State, of Alaska Purchase fame.

At the entrance to the park, in a wooded island filled with flowers between the circular entrance and exit road, there is a little-known monument: a taiko-gata stone lantern, a gift of friendship from the City of Yokohama, Japan, to the City of Seattle, given in 1930 in gratitude to Seattle's assistance to Yokohama after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.

Since at least early July, 2004, the park has become a home to wild rabbits and a growing colony of feral Peruvian conures (parrots, either the Chapman's mitred or the scarlet-fronted), who were released into the wild by their owners (or some escaped). They fly between Seward Park and Maple Leaf in northeast Seattle.[3] The park is also home to two nesting pairs of bald eagles, who can frequently be seen flying over Lake Washington and diving to the water's surface to catch fish and ducks.

Renovation on the Tudor-style house at the entrance to Seward Park—originally the Seward Park Inn, a Seattle city landmark—was completed early in 2008 and is now the Seward Park Environmental & Audubon Center. Programming at the Center and in the park includes school, youth, community, arts in the environment, and special events. The Center also includes exhibits, an extensive library, a laboratory, and a small gift shop.


Wikipedia: Seward Park (Seattle)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seward_Park_(Seattle)


Lake Washington Boulevard over Wetmore Slough, Seattle, 1913
Photo by Frank H. Nowell, 
Seattle Municipal Archives (No. 29548)
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Wetmore Slough / Genessee Park

Genessee Park is a 57.7-acre (234,000 m2) park in the Rainier Valley neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. A waterway, Wetmore Slough, before the lowering of Lake Washington by nine feet in 1917 as part of the construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, it was purchased by the city in 1947 and used as a dump until 1963. Development of the park began in 1968. It also hosts Seafair hydroplane races and air shows every year.

Wikipedia: Genesee_Park_(Seattle)

The 1910 
trestle that crossed the slough and turned southward along the shoreline (Lake Washington
Boulevard) left high and dry was replaced with a fill by WPA (1937).

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
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Photo of Wetmore Slough from Seattle Municipal Archives

The southern section known as Lake Washington Boulevard extended from 43rd Avenue S to Colman Park.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

The section in the Mount Baker neighborhood south of Colman Park might have been blocked from the lake shore by a planned subdivision as it had been between Colman and Frink parks except for a law passed by the state legislature in 1907 to finance the state's participation in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. The law stipulated that the shore lands between the line of ordinary high water and the line of navigability belonged to the state, not the adjacent landowners. Anticipating the opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which would lower the lake by about 9 feet and expose the shore lands, the state planned to sell the lands.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
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In Colman Park there are three bridges crossed by the boulevard as it descends through the ravine to the lake. The upper one was designed specifically to accommodate pedestrians crossing under the roadway.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
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Colman Park to Leschi Park

From here north to E. Alder Street in Leschi, the lakeside road is named Lakeside Avenue, and Lake Washington Boulevard diverts to a winding route through Colman, Frink, and Leschi Parks.

Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Washington_Boulevard 

At Colman Park, a few blocks south of where the I-90 freeway now reaches shore and tunnels through the ridge, Frink Boulevard, which was graded but not ready to be macadamized (paved) until 1910, left the shoreline and zigzagged up the hill through the park and then traveled north along the ridge to Frink Park, some eight blocks north of today's I-90.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Many current users of the boulevard use Lakeside Avenue S, which travels along the shore below the ridge between Leschi and Colman parks, rather than following the official boulevard up to and back down from the ridge.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

David Streatfield points out at Colman and Frink Parks: "It is clear that Olmsted recognized the fragility of the environment in these ravines." He did not alter the rough terrain, wild growth, and tall trees, except next to the roads. The winding roads follow the land's contours, while the overpasses allow people to easily move through the park. Many consider these parks to be the best examples of Olmsted park design in Seattle.


History: FRIENDS OF SEATTLE’S OLMSTED PARKS
http://seattleolmsted.org/history

Frink Park, Seattle, 1911
Photo by Webster & Stevens
Seattle Municipal Archives (No. 29054)
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244


In 1912 Olmsted recommended removing the wooden foot trestle in Frink Park, which had been in an earlier plan, once a concrete boulevard bridge was built.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
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Historic bridge of Lake Washington Boulevard in Frink Park
Seattle Municipal Archives, 29052.


The Frink Park Waterfall

At the north end of Frink Park, near Yesler Way, the boulevard angled down the hill to the lake again just north of Leschi Park.


Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Leschi Park

Leschi_Park_trolley_bridge_01
Former cable car bridge (from the old Yesler Way trolley) crossing Lake Washington Boulevard in Leschi Park, Seattle, Washington. Seen here from the north.
30 April 2007, Photo by Joe Mabel
GFDL, CC-BY 2.5 granted by photographer
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leschi_Park_trolley_bridge_01.jpg


Yesler Avenue Viaduct over Lake Washington Boulevard, Seattle, 1912
Seattle Municipal Archives (No. 29536)
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Construction of a street car bridge in Leschi Park was authorized in early 1909.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
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The cable car run from Pioneer Square that operated from September 27, 1888, to August 10, 1940, terminated here. As with Madison Park to the north, there was a cross-lake ferry run from Leschi Park to the Eastside before the construction of the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge. Seattle's first zoo was located here, but moved to Woodland Park in 1903. Leschi Park borders Frink Park in its southwest corner.

The Duwamish called the area "Changes-Its-Face" (Lushootseed: s7ayá7oos), referring to an enormous and powerful supernatural horned snake that was said to live there.[1]

Wikipedia. Leschi Park (Seattle)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leschi_Park_(Seattle)

Leschi Park (Seattle), 1908.
Seattle Municipal Archives, item #29627
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leschi_Park_(Seattle)#/media/File:Leschi-park-1908.gif

Leschi Park Pavilion, Seattle, Washington, 1905. Demolished 1930.
Edward H. Mitchell, Publisher, San Francisco.
Public Domain
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leschi_Park_(Seattle)#/media/File:Leschi_park_seattle_1905.jpg

From about 1890 to about 1910, Leschi Park was an important stop for steamboats which ran on Lake Washington.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
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Leschi Park ca. 1911, showing steamboat at dock and relationship between the steamboat dock and other marine structures at the park.
Portland Post Card Co.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leschi_Park_(Seattle)#/media/File:Leschi_park_01_front.jpg


Leschi Park to Viretta Park

At E. Alder, the boulevard once again runs along the lake through Madrona Park to just north of Madrona Drive, where private residences occupy the shore.


From where the road rejoined the shore, Blaine Boulevard followed the lakeshore to just north of Madrona Park, where it turned slightly inland toward Lakeview Park.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
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Madrona Park

The park is named for the madrona trees at the lakeside. The Seattle Electric Company once operated a private trolley to the beach. The city acquired the property in 1908, and converted the bathhouse to a dance studio in 1971.

Seattle Parks and Recreation: Madrona Park
http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=370

Viretta Park / Kurt Cobain Memorial Bench 

It was named by Charles L. Denny after his wife, Viretta Jackson Denny. It is located to the south of the former home of Kurt Cobain, where he died. Nirvana fans gather at the park on the anniversary of Cobain's death (April 5), and to a lesser extent on his birthday (Feb 20), to pay tribute to the musician.

The park's wooden benches, serving as the de facto memorial to Kurt Cobain, are covered with graffiti messages to the rock icon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viretta_Park

The E. F. Blaines built a home on the north side of Viretta Park and in 1914 Mr. Blaine found himself forced to admit "that Mr. Denny and myself were not wise enough (in 1901) to foresee the automobile age, which is now upon us" by requesting a permit to build a driveway to their home which would partly occupy park property. Of course, it was granted - but "no alterations to existing paths other than is necessary."

http://www.seattle.gov/parks/history/VirettaPk.pdf

Viretta Park to Arboretum

At E. Denny-Blaine Place, the road heads northwest, through Lakeview Park and the grounds of The Bush School, to the south entrance of the Arboretum at E. Madison Street.


 It then crossed over a low point in the ridge and continued on to Washington Park at Madison Street and 31st Street.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
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Lakeview Cemetery / Bruce Lee Grave

The graves of some of Seattle's pioneers occupy scenic Lake View Cemetery on Capitol Hill, just a few minutes east of downtown. Pioneers interred here include Princess Angeline, daughter of the city's namesake, Chief Sealth, and family names attached to now-familiar Seattle streets, such as Denny, Mercer, Yesler, Horton and Maynard. Martial-arts film star Bruce Lee is buried here as well as his son, Brandon Lee. The cemetery, at 1554 15th Ave. E., is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Famous Graves In Seattle: City of Seattle
http://www.seattle.gov/visiting-seattle/points-of-interest/famous-graves

Lakeview Park



Arboretum to SR- 520

From there it became Washington Park Boulevard, which followed the valley between the park's two ridges to Union Bay.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
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Intersection, Washington Park Boulevard and Interlaken Boulevard, Seattle, 1911
Photo by Webster and Stevens
Seattle Municipal Archives (Image No. 29378)
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Just north of E. Roanoke Street, the boulevard turns due west and changes from Lake Washington Boulevard E. to E. Lake Washington Boulevard, following the city's street name designation system.


When State Route 520 was built in 1962, the segment of Lake Washington Boulevard along the highway's route across the Montlake peninsula and the north end of Washington Park was closed for a time during construction. The Seattle Times reported that, "When the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge is opened to traffic, the portion of Lake Washington Boulevard East through the Arboretum will be used as a temporary access route. It will serve primarily as a route for traffic destined south of the downtown area or to the downtown area by way of East Madison Street" ("Lake Washington Boulevard Will Be Reopened"). 

Plans were then underway to build an expressway, to be known as the R. H. Thomson Expressway, along the east side of Capitol Hill to the Rainier Valley that would carry traffic from the new highway to South Seattle. The expressway was not built as a result of great community opposition, but the "temporary" use of Lake Washington Boulevard through Washington Park continues today. 

The SR 520 ramps, which have fed traffic directly into the park for the past 40 years, will be removed when the planned new SR 520 bridge is built, but traffic coming off the highway in Montlake will, according to proposed plans as of 2013, still have access to Lake Washington Boulevard for traveling both south and west.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Lake Washington Blvd and the R. H. Thomson Expressway Ramps
Google Earth Imagery: 4.19.15
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE


 SR- 520 to Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (University of Washington)

At the northwest corner of the park, the University Extension began, traveling along the south end of the isthmus separating Lake Washington and Lake Union.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

...owners of the land at the Montlake Portage, as the isthmus between lakes Union and Washington was known, likewise incorporated a 150-foot-wide boulevard into their Montlake Park subdivision in preparation for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Olmsted had originally recommended the boulevard extension be carried along the eastern shore of the isthmus, but as plans for the fair developed, a more formal entrance, which incorporated a streetcar line from Capitol Hill, was built to access the south gate of the fair and link to the pleasure drive of Lake Washington Boulevard and its extensions south.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

At the north end, Montlake Boulevard, which was known variously as the University Extension or University Boulevard, was officially designated separately from Lake Washington Boulevard in the early 1920s. The section of the University Extension east of Montlake Boulevard became part of Lake Washington Boulevard at that point. At about the same time, the entire length of the boulevard was united under one name, Lake Washington Boulevard, extending from Seward Park to Montlake Boulevard.


Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Friends of Seattle's Olmstead Parks: Montlake Blvd
http://seattleolmsted.org/parks/79

For the Montlake Boulevard connection to the University, [Olmstead] called for two feet of turf closest to the private property lines, 8 feet of cement sidewalks, and 14 feet of turf and trees between the sidewalk and street. Between the two 24-foot roadways, he laid out a 54-foot center strip with four rows of tulip trees and small shrubs, with vines running up the trolley and utility poles. The tracks for the trolley line that would run down the center strip were laid flush with the ground level so they would not intrude upon the visual effect of the design.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

At the middle of the isthmus, which was not yet bisected by the Lake Washington Ship Canal, the road turned north and continued to the south entrance of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, a plaza where Pacific Street meets Montlake Boulevard today.

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Sanborn map of the A-Y-P grounds. This extremely detailed map was created for insurance purposes.
Pacific Dept Sanborn Map Company (San Francisco) - Digital Sanborn Maps 1867-1970
Public Domain
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska%E2%80%93Yukon%E2%80%93Pacific_Exposition#/media/File:Sanborn_A-Y-P_map.jpg
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Lake Washington Blvd Route Into the Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition 
Google Earth Imagery: 4.19.15
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Bicycle Sunday

The road is popular among cyclists—indeed, it was originally conceived as a bicycle path before automobiles had become widespread[1]—and is closed to auto-traffic ten days out of the year for recreation.[2]

Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Washington_Boulevard 

Lake Washington Boulevard closes to motorized traffic from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. during Sundays in the summer months.

Bicycle or walk along Lake Washington Boulevard south of Mount Baker Beach to Seward Parks entrance. For more information download the poster or download our Bicycle Sunday brochure for route maps.

Bicycle Sunday: Seattle Parks and Recreation Department
http://www.seattle.gov/parks/bicyclesunday/

CLICK HERE to continue exploring the highway

Links

Ott, Jennifer. "Lake Washington Boulevard (Seattle)" HistoryLink.org February 08, 2013
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=10244

Williams, David B. "Olmsted Parks in Seattle, HistoryLink.org Essay 1124." HistoryLink.org May 10, 1999
http://historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=1124


Sherwood Park History Files

Seattle Parks and Recreation's Sherwood History Files are the incredible legacy of Donald N. Sherwood (1916-1981), who worked as an engineer for Parks for 22 years from 1955 to 1977.

In the course of his work, which included designing buildings and producing brochures, Sherwood began compiling sketch maps of the parks, annotating them with historical information. He started writing individual histories for each facility when the information didn't fit on the maps.

In the early 1970s, Sherwood discovered that older department files were being destroyed as employees retired. Sherwood urged that valuable Parks records be sorted and preserved. In 1972 he was assigned the responsibility. Although given little time to perform this duty, Sherwood threw himself into the activity with vigor, and continued this work until his position was eliminated, due to a budget reduction, in 1977.

Some additional material was added to the collection after this date by various Park Department employees. Sherwood continued his research and writing on the history of Seattle parks until his death in November 1981. The original histories and drawings of the parks he generated after leaving City employment were donated to the Museum of History and Industry following his death.

For more detailed information about the Sherwood History Files, please visit the GUIDE TO THE DON SHERWOOD PARKS HISTORY COLLECTION in the Seattle Municipal Archives.
 (Seattle Parks and Recreation: Sherwood Park History Files)














http://www.seattle.gov/parks/history/WashingtonPk.pdf


FRIENDS OF SEATTLE’S OLMSTED PARKS

Montlake Blvd

Wikipedia: Genesee_Park_(Seattle)

Genesee Park: Seattle Parks and Recreation Department
http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?id=409

Bicycle Sunday: Seattle Parks and Recreation Department
http://www.seattle.gov/parks/bicyclesunday/

L
ake Washington Blvd.: Seattle Parks and Recreation Department
http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=412

CLICK HERE to continue exploring the highway
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