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Guide to the Archives of the City of Seattle

Record Group 5800
Department of Parks and Recreation

The Department of Parks and Recreation administers Seattleís parks system and community recreation programs. It maintains over 6000 acres of city parks, 20 miles of shoreline, and 22 miles of boulevards. The department operates the cityís 25 community recreation centers, the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, nine swimming pools, a tennis center, and more than 400 smaller facilities. In addition, it is custodian for four public golf courses, three moorages, and several other athletic and cultural facilities.

In 1884 David Denny donated a five-acre tract that was the site of a cemetery to the City of Seattle, stipulating that it be designated a public park. The site, initially named Seattle Park and later renamed Denny Park, was the first ordinance-designated public park in Seattle. The ordinance that accepted the property (Ordinance 571) also made allowances for its conversion from a cemetery to a park and included a provision that three Park Commissioners be appointed to oversee the conversion. At that time, the City of Seattle was operating under its 1869 charter which provided for a relatively small government of 13 elected officials and three other officers, in whom all municipal authority was vested.

Legislation in 1887 (Ordinance 874) created the Board of Park Commissioners, consisting of three members to be appointed by Council, and who served three-year terms. This unpaid body was charged with all management responsibilities for Seattle's parks and was expected to report to Council as often as each quarter, making recommendations for improvements and for the acquisition of new properties.

In 1890 the City of Seattle adopted its first home-rule charter. The cityís population had expanded from 3533 in 1880 to nearly 43,000. The new charter mandated a dramatically larger city government composed of 34 elected officials, 13 departments, and six regulatory commissions, including a Board of Park Commissioners. A park fund was also established, consisting of: proceeds from the sale of bonds issued for that purpose; gifts; appropriations made by Council; and 10% of the gross receipts from all fines, penalties, and licenses. The new Board of Park Commissioners, appointed by the Mayor, consisted of five paid ($300 per year) members who served five-year terms. Although the Board had all management responsibilities for Seattle's parks, including the authority to appoint a superintendent and to negotiate for property, Council retained the authority to purchase property.

In 1892 the Board appointed E. O. Schwagerl, a noted landscape architect and engineer, to be the second Superintendent of Parks. During the four years that he held the office, Schwagerl developed the first comprehensive plan for Seattle's parks. This plan may have guided Assistant City Engineer George F. Cotterill. Cotterill organized volunteers to construct 25 miles of bicycle paths, the routes of which were utilized by the Olmsted Brothers in their 1903 city-wide plan for a system of parks and boulevards.

In 1896 Seattle adopted a new home-rule charter. This charter redefined the Board of Park Commissioners as the Park Committee: five unpaid appointees who reported annually to Council. In addition, all management responsibilities of the parks, including the authority to obtain new properties, were vested with the City Council. The Superintendent of Parks position was eliminated and its responsibilities were assumed by the new Superintendent of Streets, Sewers, and Parks, one of the three members of the Board of Public Works.

In 1903, City Council adopted the Olmsted Brothers plan to expand and develop a system of parks and boulevards. At the same time, the Charter was amended, re-establishing the Board of Park Commissioners and giving it the kind of independence that park commissions in the metropolitan cities of the East enjoyed. While Council retained the authority to approve the purchase of property, the Board assumed all management responsibilities of the parks, as well as the exclusive authority to spend park fund monies. In addition, all park-related authority was removed from the Board of Public Works, and the Board of Park Commissioners elected to appoint a superintendent. Public support, both for the implementation of the Olmsted plan as well as for the new, empowered Board, was substantial. In 1905 a $500,000 park bond was passed; followed by $1,000,000 in 1908; $2,000,000 in 1910; and $500,000 in 1912.

In 1907 the Superintendent was joined by a new staff position, the Assistant Superintendent, and in the following year the first directorship, Playgrounds Director, was created. In 1912 the first full-time engineer appeared under the title Chief Engineer, later to be changed to Park Engineer. By 1922 a Head Gardener had been appointed, and two more directorships created: the Zoo Director and the Bathing Beaches Director.

In 1925 the charter was amended such that no more money could be spent in the acquisition of park properties than was available through the park fund. In that same year, the Park Engineer was replaced by a new position, the Landscape Architect. In 1926 the Board abolished the position of Superintendent, distributing that position's responsibilities between the Head Gardener and the Landscape Architect. In 1927 the position title of Park Engineer was re-established, but with the duties and responsibilities of the old superintendent, while the new Junior Park Engineer directly managed engineering and construction activity.

In 1926 Mayor Bertha K. Landes appointed a Municipal Recreation Committee, comprised of Park Board members, School Board members, and a representative of the community at large, to analyze ways in which they could cooperatively contribute to the municipal recreation program. The Committee submitted its report to the Mayor in January 1928. The report detailed which facilities were provided by the Park Board and which by the School Board; how the facilities could be more efficiently utilized; and what additional facilities were required.

A ten-year plan for the Department of Parks was announced in 1931. This plan, based upon a projected population for the Seattle metropolitan area in 1940, was a program of development aimed at making better use of existing properties, adding to those properties that needed more space, and acquiring new properties in those parts of town that were experiencing growth. Much of this plan would be realized by the Works Projects Administration later in the decade.

In 1939 administration of playground programs and bathing beaches was consolidated under the newly created position. In 1940, with the opening of the West Seattle Golf Course (the cityís third municipal golf course) the position of Golf Director was established. A 1948 Charter amendment required the Board of Park Commissioners to appoint a park superintendent, and the position was to be excluded from the classified civil service.

A Charter amendment in 1967 reconstituted the Board of Park Commissioners as an advisory body to the Mayor, Council, the renamed Department of Parks and Recreation, and other City agencies. The amendment placed the fiscal and operational admistration of the department under the control of the Superintendent of Parks, who was now appointed by the Mayor to serve a four-year term. The specific duties of both the Superintendent and the Board, as well as the number of members and term length for the latter, were to be prescribed by ordinance. Council passed an ordinance in 1968 (Ordinance 96453) which defined the Board as a seven-member body with three-year terms of service.

The $65 million Forward Thrust bond was approved by voters in 1968. By 1974, with matching funds, interest, etc., it had grown to 92 million dollars in working capital; by 1976, over 40 new properties had been obtained by the Department of Parks and Recreation utilizing these funds. Forward Thrust and the Seattle Model City Program together supported the largest expansion of the Park system in Seattle history. These programs funded more than 70 new parks and park facilities.


5800-01
Board of Park Commissioners Minutes

1890-2007
6.8 cubic feet

Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners, 1890-1991, include lists of board members and staff present at each meeting, old and new business, and agendas for future meetings. Minutes report motions and resolutions of board members, as well as actions on citizen requests and petitions, which might be granted, denied, or referred to another authority. Protests, remonstrances, and memorials are also included. Issues covered include land acquisitions, condemnation and improvement projects of Parks lands, and restrictions on citizen use of Parks land. Plans, inspections, funding, concessions, equipment, and estimates of work costs are discussed for a wide variety of Seattle parks, playgrounds, playfields, and golf courses, such as Volunteer Park and the Woodland Park Zoo. Special events, including Seafair and the Potlatch, are also discussed, as are activities including swimming, tennis, music, and theater. Information regarding events and programs for youth organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts are also found in the minutes. Reports from park police and various committees are included; also present are apportionments of bond money and budgets adopted.

SMA
Finding Aid


5800-02
Board of Park Commissioners Resolutions

1922-1963
1.2 cubic feet

Resolutions passed by the Commissioners authorizing the expenditure of funds, accepting donations of funds and gifts, expressing the Board's intent to undertake park improvements, granting permission for use of facilities, and conveying Board policy. Prior to 1922, the test of resolutions was included in the Board minutes.

SMA


5800-03
Index to the Board of Park Commissioners Minutes

1921-1963
1.2 cubic feet

Manual card file index to the proceedings of the Board of Park Commissioners. The cards are arranged alphabetically by topic. Broad categories such as Boulevards, Parks, and Playfields are arranged within the categories alphabetically by facility or site. Two systems of indexing were used in creating the index cards. The systems overlap chronologically and the cards are interspersed. The first format includes a brief entry of index data, a Minute volume page number, and the volume number listed in Roman numerals. The second format includes date, page number, and a brief entry of index data. Each card contains multiple entries.

SMA


5800-04
Board of Park Commissioners Solicited Legal Opinions

1905-1933
0.2 cubic foot

Correspondence between the Board of Park Commissioners and the City of Seattle Law Department regarding requests for legal opinions and clarifications of laws pertinent to matters before the Board. Issues broached include zoning, tax laws, departmental boundaries with municipal, state, and federal entities, and jurisdictional authority, among others. Records are arranged chronologically.

SMA
Finding Aid


5800-06
Board of Park Commissioners Agendas and Meeting Materials

1930-2002
4.0 cubic feet

Agendas, correspondence, news releases, reports, petitions, clippings, and photographs regarding topics discussed at Board meetings.

Agendas begin in 1975 and are complete through 1989. They resume sporadically in 2000.

SMA
Finding Aid


5800-07
Board of Park Commissioners Subject Files

1967-2005
11 cubic feet

Correspondence, agendas, minutes, reports, briefing materials, clippings, plans, flyers and photographs related to Board meetings and hearings. Major subjects include development plans for Magnuson Park, dog off-leash areas, Discovery Park, Washington Park Arboretum, the Joint Athletic Field Development Plan, park use permits, park levies, and golf facilities.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


5801-01
Don Sherwood Parks History Collection

1884-1979
31.8 cubic feet

Long-time Parks employee Don Sherwood compiled this file containing historical materials relating to the Department and its facilities. Included are annual reports; Forward Thrust and Capital Improvement Program records; history files on parks, playgrounds, public beaches, community centers, and public golf courses; and correspondence from the Olmsted Brothers relating to their plans for Seattle parks. Also includes a photographs file.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


5801-02
Ben Evans Recreation Program Collection

1903-1995
21.2 cubic feet

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports, brochures, recreation program schedules, and photographs related to the recreation and sports programs at Parks facilities. Includes materials covering Ben Evans' professional activities in regional and national recreation associations. Evans was the department's director of recreation for 43 years.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


5801-03
Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks Collection

1902-1942
45 drawings
3 reels of microfilm

Through a grant from the King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission, Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks (FSOP) gathered information on and copies of Olmsted documents related to Seattle public projects, in an effort to make the collection more accessible to researchers. The Seattle Municipal Archives was one of the repositories chosen for deposit of the materials.

Included in the collection are copies of some of the Olmsted plans for selected parks, including: Lincoln (on Capitol Hill), Washington, Cowen, and Schmitz parks. A guide in the repository contains a plan inventory index, showing locations of drawings at the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, the Seattle Municipal Archives, and the University of Washington. The drawings were copied from the originals at the Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts, also known as Fairsted. Color slides were also taken of additional plans; these have not yet been deposited at the Seattle Municipal Archives; researchers should contact FSOP directly at seattleolm@aol.com.

Three reels of microfilm from the Records of the Olmsted Associates (mss.20.112.2) from the Library of Congress from part of the collection as well. Reels 95,96 and 97 contain job files for work in Seattle including correspondence, memoranda, trip reports, and other material. The guide indexes the reels to specific parks and job numbers. For a complete listing and index of all the microfilm reels, go to the Library of Congress online catalog at http://catalog.loc.gov/ and search for "Olmsted Associates."

The guide to the FSOP collection also contains photocopies of the Olmsted Plan Index Cards created for each plan or drawing and lists date, draftsman, plan number, and other information. Photocopies of the Fairsted Plan Inventory, listing plans related to each job number, for a portion of the collection at Fairsted are also included in the Guide.

SMA
Finding Aid


5801-04
Fort Lawton History Collection

1862-1995
1.25 cubic feet

Copies of historical documents from the National Archives and other sources concerning the establishment and history of Fort Lawton. Also included is a written reminiscence by a former German POW who was incarcerated at Fort Lawton during World War II, together with copies of photographs taken during his incarceration. Also includes two binders of aerial photographs taken by the Engineering Department of the Fort Lawton area within the context of working being done for the Magnolia Sanitary Sewer Interceptor project.

SMA
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5801-05
Schooner Wawona Records

2008-2009
0.2 cubic foot

Documentation collected by the Parks Department about the historic ship Wawona in preparation for a Preservation Memorandum of Agreement to be signed by the City, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwest Seaport, and the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Records include photographs, drawings, video, and background information about the vessel.

SMA
Folder List


5802-01
Superintendent's Subject Files

1936-1993
55.8 cubic feet

Correspondence, memoranda, reports, and other materials related to the administration of the parks system and recreation programs. Records deal with acquisition, improvement, and management of park property and facilities; department policies and procedures; development of special projects and programs, and community activities in the parks.

SMA
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5802-05
Weekly Reports

1976-1988
7.2 cubic feet

Weekly activity reports by department program and division directors. Includes both narrative and statistical recapitulations of activities. The reports were distributed to the Mayor, City Council, and all units within the Parks Department.

SMA
Box List


5802-06
Community Relations Coordinator's Records

1973-1987
4.8 cubic feet

Correspondence, memoranda, press releases, flyers, news clippings, and other materials of the Community Relations Office. Records relate to special events and programs at parks, recreation centers, and other department sites. Arranged alphabetically by park facility and subject.

SMA
Folder List


5802-08
Moving Images

1931-2005
4.8 cubic feet

Film and video tape of activities in Seattle Parks and at Seattle Center. Folklife, Bumbershoot, and Woodland Park Zoo are subjects. Items are cataloged individually in Moving Pictures Database. http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~public/mpic1.htm

SMA
Folder List


5802-09
Slides

1958-1990
2.0 cubic feet (3500 images)

Color slides depicting Parks Department facilities, projects, recreation programs, activities, and other related topics. Arranged alphabetically by facility, activity, and/or topic in 13 binders. Three binders contain slides that illustrate more generic scenes such as beaches, crowds, and bridges. These were used by department staff in making general presentations. Bulk dates for the slides are 1975-1986; many slides are undated.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


5802-10
Photographs

1948-1992
1.4 cubic feet

Photographic prints, negatives, and slides related to parks, activities in parks, and Parks Department personnel. Images are arranged alphabetically by subject. Content also includes digital photographs of the following parks: Belltown Cottage Park and P-Patch, Bergen Place, A.B. Ernst Park, Kobe Terrace and Danny Woo International District Community Gardens, Myrtle Edwards Park, Victor Steinbrueck Park, Westlake Park, and Waterfront Park.

SMA
Folder List

5802-10 in Photograph Index


5802-11
Newsletters

1945-2009
0.4 cubic foot

Includes incomplete 1955-2003 run of monthly employee newsletter containing internal departmental news; notices of employee activities, promotions, and retirements; and announcements of Park Department-sponsored events. Also includes other newsletters published by the department for the general public. Most newsletters from the zoo and aquarium are filed separately.

SMA
Folder List


5802-12
Monthly Reports

1891-1894
0.2 cubic foot

Monthly reports from the first two superintendents of Seattle Parks, James Taylor and E.O. Schwagerl, detail progress on Seattle parks. Parks included in the reports are: Kinnear Park, Denny Park, City Park, and Pioneer Place. The August 1893 report also covers the Pacific Coast Park Preserve around Mt. Rainier. Work on the boulevards is included in some reports. Reports include lists of trees, shrubs and bulbs planted, as well as lists of cuttings and seeds in the park nursery. The records also contain information on office activities such as mapping.

SMA
Folder List
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5802-13
Burke-Gilman Trail Photographs

1981-1989
0.2 cubic foot

This set of slides and negatives primarily documents work on the Burke-Gilman Trail in the late 1980s, although it also includes images of other park properties. Many of the Burke-Gilman slides are individually labeled. Other parks documented in the collection, mainly in the negatives, include Interlaken Park, Ravenna Park, Duwamish Waterway Park, and Volunteer Park. Two Super-8 films were removed and added to the Seattle Municipal Archivesí Parks film collection.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


5802-14
Brochures and Ephemera

1941-2005
0.4 cubic foot

Brochures, guides, and flyers about the park system, programs, policies and specific parks and facilities. Also includes ephemera related to the Parks Department and its programs.

SMA
Folder List


5802-15
Digital Photographs

2004-2005
161 digital image files

Collection contains digital photographs of Seattle parks including Belltown Cottage Park and P-Patch; Bergen Place; A.B. Ernst Park (including the Fremont Public Library); Kobe Terrace and Danny Woo International District Community Gardens; Myrtle Edwards Park; Victor Steinbrueck Park; Westlake Park; and Waterfront Park (including the Seattle Aquarium). Image subject matter features park visitors as well as public art installations, gardens and vegetation, and leashed dogs.

SMA

5802-15 in Photograph Index
Finding Aid


5802-16
Park Employee Association Records

1977-1983
0.4 cubic foot

Minutes, correspondence, event files, membership information, photographs and slides documenting an organization of Parks Department employees and its activities.

SMA
Folder List
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5802-17
Audits

1921-1952
0.2 cubic foot

Reports of financial audits on the Parks Department conducted by the State Auditor. The audits detail the Parks Departmentís assets and liabilities, general ledger accounts, cash operations, revenues and receipts from concessions, expenditures, accounts receivable, bonds and budget. The reports also comment on the Departmentís business practices.

SMA
Folder List
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5803-01
Annual Expenditures Ledger

1909-1951
1 volume

Annual recapitulation of expenditures for acquisition, maintenance and operation, and improvements for parks, boulevards, playfields, bathing beaches, and recreation centers. Also includes notes on how property was acquired, type of funds used for expenditures, size of property, and total expenditures prior to 1909.

SMA


5803-02
Personnel Cards

1953-1983
2.0 cubic feet

Personnel Cards present a summary of personnel information and actions for Parks Department employees from approximately 1953 to 1983. The cards include employee name, address, birth date, payroll job title, classification job title, date of appointment, salary information, separation date, and a list of personnel actions. The personnel actions include, but are not limited to, promotions, salary increases, disciplinary actions, and leave of absence information.

The cards include regular full and part-time employees and provisional or temporary employees. There is a high incidence of the latter, as the Parks Department uses a large number of seasonal workers. Parks employees are included in the older series, Personnel Department Personnel Cards (6010-05).

SMA


5804-01
Field Survey Books

n.d.
18 reels

Survey books provide the calculations used to update parks maps and plans. They contain detailed elevations, distances, and bearings from specific survey points. Includes Field Survey Books 62-384.

SMA
Microfilm Log


5804-02
Open Space Grant Applications

1969-1976
4.4 cubic feet

Grant application files related to the acquisition of land to be dedicated as open space. The open space program goal was to increase the useable unbuilt environment in the city. Includes the grant applications to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, correspondence, legislation, and financial records related to acquisition and relocation of displaced residents and businesses. Also includes plat maps and aerial photographs of proposed open space for most projects. Records are arranged alphabetically by project.

SMA
Folder List


5804-03
Urban Beautification Program Grant Applications

1966-1972
0.8 cubic foot

Correspondence, grant applications, project descriptions, and audit information related to the city-wide beautification program. The program goal was to carefully design and construct public facilities and structures--from freeways to lamp posts--with an eye toward creating an aesthetically pleasing environment. Funds supplemented several programs such as Model City, Street Tree Planting, Green Triangle Development, and Forward Thrust, among others.

SMA


5804-04
Forward Thrust Photographs

1963-1977
2.6 cubic feet

Photographic prints, negatives, and slides related to Forward Thrust planning and projects. Includes aerial photographs of project areas and photographs of completed projects.

SMA


5804-05
Planning, Construction and Maintenance Records

1928-1994
67.62 cubic feet

This series documents changes and improvements in Seattle parks, as well as the construction of new parks, through the records of the Facilities Maintenance Division. These activities were funded through Forward Thrust, Model City Program, and other agencies, as well as with Parks Department monies. The planning, design, and construction phases of projects are documented. Records are primarily those of project coordinators, as well as engineers, the city architect, and the Parks Superintendent. The record series contains correspondence, contracts and agreements, reports, maps, drawings, newspaper clippings, and photographs. The series offers good snapshots of neighborhood character because community input was often an important part of the process of improving or developing new parks. The relationship between the Parks Department and contractors is also very well documented, especially through correspondence and meeting minutes which document projects through various stages. When more than one department or entity outside of the City are involved, as in the construction of the Aquarium or Freeway Park, for example, interdepartmental relationships are well documented through memoranda, reports and contracts. Many projects in the collection are of note. One is the documentation of the Burke-Gilman Trail, which covers the years 1973 to 1980 and includes material on the land transfer between the railroad and the City, as well as correspondence between City departments and with community groups. The Capitol Hill Viewpoint or Louis Boren Lookout was designed by Victor Steinbrueck and his correspondence with the City is included in the project files. The Discovery Park project is especially well documented. Land transfer, community input, construction, and the relationship between the City and the United Indians of All Tribes, as well as other issues relating to the development of the park, are documented in the records. The records include correspondence with Bernie Whitebear and documentation of various court proceedings with Margaret Coughlin. Also well represented is the Thornton Creek area, especially the environmental studies done surrounding the idea of an urban park and trail. Additionally, the planning efforts and studies relating to the central waterfront area, as well, including explorations of a marina and convention center are detailed in the records. The large volume of records related to Magnuson Park reflect the complex decision-making process regarding its use. In some cases, information can be found in more than one place in the series. Mini-parks are listed under the name of the specific park, but there are also folders under "small parks and recreation areas" which have information on mini-parks. Some park plans, such as South Lake Union Park, were explored, but not executed.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


5804-06
Property Appraisals

1962-1977
7.4 cubic feet

Contains property appraisal reports generated by real estate appraisers for the Parks Department. The sites were acquired by the department for usage as park facilities. Included are comparable sale appraisals for other properties near the subject property. Also included are some acquisition documents for Harrison Ridge Greenbelt and the Queen Anne Pool. These records include deed transfers and insurance records. Two oversized folders contain maps which accompanied the property appraisals.

SMA
Folder List


5804-07
Property Acquisition Records

1908-1977
1966-1975 (bulk)
14.0 cubic feet

Records include correspondence, memoranda, reports, deeds, property appraisals, architectural plans and other documents relating to the creation and development of recreational sites within Seattle's system of parks. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the park network began a phase of significant expansion of facilities on a level unseen since the 1920s. This growth was due in large part to an influx of funding from the federal Model Cities Program for urban development, as well as a $118 million Forward Thrust bond initiative that passed in 1968. The documents in this collection detail the planning, appraisal, acquisition, and maintenance of targeted properties prior to their development and public use as parkland. A majority of the records concern the negotiation with property owners for purchase of land, though smaller sections on structure demolition, relocation of businesses and inhabitants, and management of park-owned properties that are still occupied are also present. Notable subject sites include Carkeek Park, Occidental Square, Montlake Playfield, and Genesee Park. The records derive primarily from the period 1966 to 1975. Files are organized according to the activity documented (acquisition, demolition, relocation, property management), and then alphabetically according to park name.

SMA
Folder List
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5804-10
Open Space Acquisition Records

1957-1998
57.8 cubic feet

Property appraisals, correspondence, maps, photographs, inspection reports, purchase agreements, closing and title documents, negotiations and checklists concerning the acquisition of greenbelt property throughout Seattle. Also included are files regarding the transfer of jurisdiction for property from other agencies. Funds for the Open Space Program derived from a 1989 King County voter-approved bond issue. Greenbelts acquired included slopes near Queen Anne, Magnolia and Capitol Hills and land near the Duwamish River. Most of the aquisitions date from 1990 to 1998.

Files are arranged by Open Space Program Parcel number. Transfer of juridiction files are at the end of the series.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


5804-13
Millenium Woods Legacy Project Records

1998-2000
.4 cubic foot

Records of a Seattle Millennium project to plant 20,000 trees in Seattle by Earth Day 2000. Trees were subsidized with project funds and planted by homeowners, groups or volunteers on private property, parks, street rights of way, schools and open spaces.

SMA
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5804-14
Model City Project Records

1968-1974
1.4 cubic feet

Records concerning the Parks Departmentís Model City-funded projects and programs, including park improvements and youth recreation programs. Records include agreements, memoranda, reports, budget information and subject files.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


5805-01
Seattle Aquarium Journal (Newsletter)

1977-1985
0.4 cubic foot

Newsletter written by Aquarium staff to educate and inform the public about Aquarium exhibits, sea life and animals, and the Aquarium. Includes calendar of events, photographs, bibliographies, and staff lists. Published bimonthly 1977 to 1979 and quarterly from 1980 to 1985.

SMA


5805-02
Aquarium Public Information Officer Records

1987-1996
4 cubic foot

Marketing plans, news releases, event planning files and photographs concerning public events at the Aquarium, including salmon homecoming celebrations, endangered species month and ďTrick or Treat on the Waterfront.Ē

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


5807-01
Works Projects Administration Recreation Project Reports

1936-1940
0.8 cubic foot

Statistical and narrative weekly reports of recreation programs led by staff employed through the WPA's Division of Recreation and Education. Reports include names of leaders, numbers participating in programs, and observations of regional supervisors. The city was divided into the Northern, Southern, and Central Divisions; and city-wide recreation and music and drama.

SMA
Finding Aid


5807-02
Municipal Golf Course Statistics

1968-1977
0.4 cubic foot

Correspondence, memoranda, and reports relating to activities of the City's publicly owned golf courses. Includes statistics on rounds of golf played, receipts, rates and fees, and concessions. Also included are photographs, diagrams of courses, material on cooperative arrangements with public school golf teams, course regulations, and policies of the City's recreational golf program.

SMA


5807-03
Dance Program Records

1967-1985
1.2 cubic feet

Correspondence, press releases, promotional materials, contracts, programs, brochures, and photographs related to the Discover Dance series. The series, which was co-sponsored by the Dance Advisory Council, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the University of Washington Lectures & Concerts, brought to Seattle world-renowned dance companies, including the Joffrey Ballet and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Also included are articles of incorporation, minutes, correspondence and financial records of the Dance Advisory Council and files concerning dance classes and operations of the Madrona Dance Center.

For related records regarding the administration of the Performing and Visual Arts Program, see record series 5807-14.

SMA
Folder List
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5807-04
Recreation Program Schedules and Brochures

1925-2009
3.0 cubic feet

Brochures, recreation program schedules, and flyers for the department's swimming pools, sailing and water craft centers, theaters, cultural arts programs, tennis centers, adult and youth programs, nature programs, and special populations activities. Arranged by community center or recreation facility.

SMA
Folder List


5807-05
Bumbershoot Festival Records

1973-1976
0.8 cubic foot

Bumbershoot, also known as the Seattle Festival for the Arts, was first organized in 1971. Originally free to the public, Bumbershoot now charges admission. By 1973, it was a ten-day event with attendance at over 200,000. Today it is a three-day festival held at the Seattle Center on Labor Day weekend. Between 1971-1976, the festival was sponsored by Seattle Center, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Seattle Arts Commission. These records include minutes of the Executive Committee, a committee that coordinated the three sponsoring agencies; and minutes of the Advisory Committee, a citizens group providing input to the Festival. Also included are budget information, press releases, evaluation, and other records reflecting the involvement of Theresa Dinwiddie, Cultural Arts Coordinator for the Parks Department. The collection also includes photographs and slides.

SMA
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5807-06
Advisory Council for Specialized Programs Minutes and Reports

1969-1989
1.2 cubic feet

The Recreation Advisory Council for the Handicapped was established in 1963 to provide input from citizens to Parks Department staff regarding recreation programs for children and adults with disabilities. The name was changed to the Advisory Council for Specialized Programs in 1967. In 1976, the Council became part of the Programs for Special Populations within the Department and joined the Associated Recreation Council. Records include minutes and agendas for meetings from 1963 to 1989. Also included are annual reports for some programs, including the Specialized Day Camp for the years 1964-1989. The minutes and reports provide an overview of the type of recreational services provided to the disabled and how the programs and resources changed over the years.

SMA
Folder List


5807-07
Music Program Records

1975-1990
1.6 cubic feet

Records of the Departmentís Performing and Visual Arts staff relating to music programming. Also contains records of the Music Advisory Council, which acted in a consultative and resource capacity to the Department. Records include memoranda, minutes, correspondence, photographs, financial records, clippings and promotional materials concerning a range of concert series as well as program operations. Other topics include budgets and park music policy.

For related records documenting the administration of the Performing and Visual Arts Program, see record series 5807-14.

SMA
Folder List
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5807-08
Playground News Clippings and Reports

1925-1965
4 volumes

Newspaper clippings and typed reports of sports and recreational activities sponsored by the Department at its playgrounds, playfields, and fieldhouses.

SMA


5807-09
Senior Adult Advisory Council Minutes

1975-1989
0.4 cubic foot

Established in 1975, the Senior Adult Advisory Council acted in an advisory capacity to the Parks Department regarding recreational services to seniors. Records consist of minutes and agendas from the Council's first meeting in 1975 to 1989.

SMA
Folder List


5807-10
Final Season Reports for Playgrounds and Fieldhouses

1925-1932
1 volume

Attendance reports for athletic and recreational activities at Department facilities. Organized by facility and activity, and includes records of attendance by boys and girls. Also includes lists of events arranged chronologically.

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5807-11
Use Management Records

1979-1983
0.4 cubic foot

Primarily the files of Collette Carter, Associate Park Planner for the Department of Parks and Recreation, the records contain discussions and guidelines for use management policies for Brander Playground, Alki Beach Park, and Occidental Park. The records also document long-range planning issues regarding fireworks, the Museum of History and Industry Heritage Garden, and the volunteer Park Conservatory. Background papers of interest include topics such as Forward Thrust and park development, and the history of parks and of recreation in Seattle. Also included are records on the siting of a totem pole donated to the City in 1981 and a tennis center survey.

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5807-12
Golf Advisory Council Records

1973-1995
1.0 cubic foot

Minutes, agendas, constitutions, correspondence and related records of the organizations which advised the Department of Parks and Recreation on issues related to the operation, management and development of municipal golf facilities and programs. These organizations included advisory councils for Jackson Park Golf Course, Jefferson Park Golf Course, and West Seattle Golf Course, as well as the Municipal Golf Advisory Committee.

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5807-13
Golf Records

1966-2008
8.4 cubic feet

Records of the Departmentís Superintendent, Director of Citywide Services, Golf Manager and other staff concerning management and operations of the Cityís golf programs and courses at Jackson Park, Jefferson Park and West Seattle, as well as the development and operation of the Interbay Golf Center. Topics include management structure, oversight of contractors and concessionaires, and environmental issues concerning course maintenance.

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5807-14
Performing and Visual Arts Program Records

1976-1990
1.8 cubic feet

Records of the Performing and Visual Arts section (until 1979 known as the Cultural Arts Section), including correspondence, memos, program histories, reports, budgets, concession agreements, photographs and subject files concerning music, dance and theater performances, and arts instruction programs. Also documented is the unitís management of the Bathhouse Theatre, Madrona Dance Studio, Poncho Theatre, Pratt Fine Arts Studio and Seward Park Art Studios following their renovation or construction using Forward Thrust funds. Documented also is the 1982 transition to operation of the Parksí cultural facilities by the programís advisory councils.

Related records of the Performing and Visual Arts staff are also in records series nos. 5810-01, 5807-15, 5807-03, 5807-16, 5808-01 and 5807-07

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5807-15
Theatre Program Records

1969-1999
0.8 cubic foot

Records of the Departmentís Performing and Visual Arts section, including correspondence, memos, grant files, schedules, flyers, press releases, reports and fact sheets, concerning operations of two theatre programs sponsored and supported by the City of Seattle. Beginning in 1969, the Bathhouse Theatre operated in a converted bathhouse at Green Lake Park, hosted several companies, presented professional and amateur productions, and provided training for younger actors. Poncho Theatre, located near the entrance of Woodland Park Zoo, opened in 1971 under zoo management and in 1975 became a professional theatre for the theatre arts education of children, young adults and their families. Also included are records of the Drama Board of the Bathhouse Theatre and Poncho Theatre Advisory Council, including minutes, correspondence, budgets and organizational documents.

For related records documenting the administration of the Performing and Visual Arts Program, see record series 5807-14

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5807-16
City Art Works Records

1980-1985
0.2 cubic foot

Correspondence, class schedules, articles of incorporation and clippings regarding a program of the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation which offered visual arts instruction at Seward Park Art Studio and Pratt Fine Arts Center. Also included are correspondence and other records of the City Art Works Advisory Council, the programís first governing body.

Records of the Pratt Fine Art Center, (record series 5810-01), and Seward Park Art Studio, (record series 5808-01), document operations of the two facilities before their merger. For related records regarding the administration of the Performing and Visual Arts Program, see record series 5807-14.

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5807-17
Municipal Golf of Seattle Records

1994-2003
1.0 cubic foot

Agendas, minutes, financial records, and briefing materials of the board of a non-profit corporation which contracted with the City of Seattle to operate its municipal golf courses from 1995 to 2002.

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5807-18
Municipal Golf Course Plans and Drawings

1940-2009
Over 59 drawings

Over 59 architectural plans and drawings for municipal golf courses including: Jackson Park, Jefferson Park, West Seattle Park, and Interbay Park. Golden Bear Golf Center and The Links at Interbay are included with Interbay Park. Plans include: general plans, irrigation plans, cart path plans, cart building plans, clubhouse plans, maintenance facility plans, and remodeling plans. Most drawings are black and white, but a few are in color. The primary architect was John Steidel, based in Kennewick, Washington, but additional architects include Thiel, Khun Associates, Hogan, Ivary and Associates, and Jones & Jones.

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5807-19
Civic Christmas Ship Records

1950-1979
0.6 cubic foot

Records of coordinating staff and Seattle Civic Christmas Ship Committees documenting planning for the annual musical cruises of a Christmas-decorated yacht along Seattle waterfronts during a week before Christmas. Records include correspondence, schedules, minutes and agenda, photographs, clippings, budgets and ephemera. The Christmas Ship cruises began in 1949.

For documentation on later Christmas Ships, see Performing and Visual Arts Section records in series 5807-14 and Music Program records in series 5807-07.

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5807-20
Environmental Stewardship Unit Records

1991-2008
2.0 cubic feet

As the Environmental Stewardship Coordinator (ESC), Belinda Chin worked for the Parks and Recreation Department's Environmental Stewardship Unit. The ESC coordinated with Department Staff, schools, community groups, consultants and interest groups to help enhance community environmental education throughout Seattle parks and the Aquarium. As the ESC, Chin helped develop creative programs in community centers, schools, and parks; provided training opportunities; sought and applied for grants; and coordinated volunteers to implement the programs.

The ESC files consists of correspondence, program training and development files, program progress reports and feedback, budget and grant information, ESU meeting agendas and notes, as well as videos and photographs.

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5808-01
Seward Park Art Studio Records

1972-1984
1.8 cubic feet

Correspondence, reports, schedules, promotional materials, and attendance records for arts education and recreation program based at Seward Park in south Seattle. Also included are correspondence, minutes, membership lists, and organizational documents of the Seward Park Art Studio Advisory Council, which acted in an advisory and resource capacity to the staff of the Studio. The Seward Park Art Studio opened in 1970 as a center for visual arts in a bathhouse at Seward Park that had been renovated with Forward Thrust funds. It offered courses in clay, photography, jewelry-making, weaving and printmaking. The Studio, along with other art programs, was cut from the city budget in 1980 and a private non-profit group, City Art Works, was formed to continue the operation of its programs.

Records of City Art Works, series 5807-16, document operations of Seward Park Art Studio after it was merged with Pratt Fine Arts Center in 1980. For related records documenting the administration of the Performing and Visual Arts Program, see record series 5807-14.

Records of City Art Works, series 5807-16, document operations of Seward Park Art Studio after it was merged with Pratt Fine Arts Center in 1980. For related records documenting the administration of the Performing and Visual Arts Program, see record series 5807-14.

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5808-02
South Division Director's Records

1984-2002
1.8 cubic feet

Correspondence of the Division Director with citizens and community groups regarding park facilities and programs in south Seattle neighborhoods. Also included are copies of letters of the Mayor and Parks Superintendent responding to citizen correspondence about south district parks issues and complaints.

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5809-02
Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center Records

1984-2010
5.2 cubic feet

Files documenting the activities and programs established and developed by park staff, including those of the Watershed Interpretive Specialist, Park Naturalists, the Carkeek Park Advisory Council, and Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project. Records document capital improvement projects; environmental education programs; grant funding; park celebrations and events. The majority of the files were kept by the Watershed Interpretive Specialist and Park Naturalist. Records consist of correspondence; training materials; program development materials; meeting minutes and agendas; drawings; maps; brochures; newsletters; program and project reports; as well as photographs and negatives.

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5809-03
Carkeek Park Advisory Council Records

1984-2009
2.0 cubic feet

CPAC was established in 1990 within the Natural Resources Unit of the Parks Department. Files primarily document the activities of CPAC, and CPAC sub-committees. Members oversaw much of the projects and programs initiated by the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project and implemented Parks and SPU department policies. Programs and projects included environmental education programs, park and watershed maintenance, and habitat restoration. Major issues documented include the Broadview Sewer Repair Project, property negotiations with Burlington Northern Railroad, renovating the park Annex building, grants and funding. Records consist of correspondence; training materials; meeting minutes and agendas; program and project plans and reports; as well as photographs.

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5810-01
Pratt Fine Arts Center Records

1976-1982
1.4 cubic feet

Correspondence, service contracts, block grant materials, recreation services survey, and attendance reports for a fine arts program established in 1978 to serve the City's central area. It was created as part of a cultural arts center based in the Yesler-Atlantic neighborhood and operated out of the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. Conceived as a "fire arts" studio, Pratt offered classes in glass, pottery, jewelry and metalsmithing, metal fabrication and sculpture.

Records of City Art Works, series 5807-16, document operations of Pratt Fine Arts Center after it was merged with Seward Park Art Studio in 1980. For related records documenting the administration of the Performing and Visual Arts Program, see record series 5807-14.

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5810-02
Madrona Dance Studio Photographs

1972-1977
0.6 cubic foot

Photographic prints and slides related to the Madrona Dance Studio, classroom activities, theatre productions, concerts, and craft classes. Also included are Dance Studio schedules, newsletters, correspondence, and draft brochures.

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5811-01
Pro Parks Development Digital Photos

2007
512 digital image files

Digital images documenting community center and park openings. Community celebrations and opening day events include elected officials and musical performaers as well as entertainment for children. Parks and community centers represented are John C. Little Park opening in South Beacon Hill, Ella Bailey Park opening in Magnolia, Laurelhurst Community Center ribbon cutting, and Maple Leaf Garden opening attended by Councilmember Richard Conlin and Department of Neighborhoods Director Stella Chao. Also documented is the Delridge Parks Project Celebration which includes Cottage Grove Park, Greg Davis Park, and Pacific Boulevard Park, all located in West Seattle.

5811-01 in Photograph Index
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5811-02
Pro Parks Acquisition Photographs

1966-2006
15 cubic feet

This collection dates from the late 1960's through 2006. Photographs in this collection represent nearly 100 of Seattle's city parks, community centers, sports fields and natural areas from pre-construction and development through construction and dedication. Documented are the activities and projects of several city and publicly-funded programs: the 1968 Forward Thrust program, the 1990 Open Space program, the 1991 (renewed in 1999) Community Center Levy program, and the 2000 Pro Parks Levy program. Subjects include: undeveloped sites, construction, including volunteer work parties, finished parks, groundbreakings and events with groups of people, sometimes including government officials such as Councilmembers, Governor Gary Locke, and Mayor Norm Rice. Included as well are photographs documenting Open Space Fund Tours, Opportunity Fund Tours and Neighborhood Matching Fund awards events.

The format of this collection consists of small and large prints, slides, various size negatives, photograph CDs and two video tapes. There is also one box of textual materials, consisting mostly of drawings and plans. There is some overlap among the media. Many of the prints, negatives and slides are undated. The collection is organized by name of park or natural area, sometimes by street address or general location. See below for the folder list. Boxes 1-27 consist of mostly pre-1990 prints. Boxes 28-35 consist of mostly post-1990 prints. Boxes 36-49 consist of slides, negatives and multi-media dated from the 1960s to 2006.

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