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A Memorable Enterprise: The AYPE and the City of Seattle

Parks: A Banner Year

Benches at AYPE

The Parks Department noted in its annual report that "1909 was the banner year of the department as regards extension and development" and that costs for 1909 almost exceeded 1907 and 1908 combined. The goal of completing the boulevard system "so that our Eastern visitors might enjoy the beauties of our lake and mountain scenery" was "crowned with considerable success."

The Park Board was asked about the disposition of many items after the Exposition. The City was asked if it wanted to retain the United States Government Buildings.

A discussion was ongoing for several months regarding the purchase of a government aquarium at the Exposition. In October, Superintendent J.W. Thompson recommended purchase of the aquarium and of the building housing it as well; the proposal included tanks, fish and pumps. He wrote, "I would like very much to have the Park Commissioners go out and look over this matter for themselves, as it is a very interesting exhibit and would be a great benefit from an educational point." The Commissioners placed the report on file, an action that ensured the proposed purchase was not made. City Engineer Samuel C. Lancaster explored the possibility of a joint arrangement with the University of Washington. J.E. Standley offered the loan of his exhibit of 1,000 specimens of corals and shells if the Board took the AYPE aquarium. The Board wrote back that the project was abandoned because of the University Board of Regents' "lack of cooperation."

The Park Board was also offered a herd of six camels "from the streets of Cairo" in October for $1,000 but turned them down. However, the Board did purchase the remaining 2400 benches from the exposition for $1,000 in January 1910.

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