|LEARNING FROM THE
PAST, INSPIRING THE FUTURE:
Celebrating the Centennial of Seattle's Olmsted Park System
century ago, city officials, community leaders and the citizenry
of Seattle recognized the value of their spectacular natural landscape
and invited the top landscape architectural firm in the country
to design a city-wide park system that would celebrate, showcase
and protect the spectacular Pacific Northwest landscape while providing
access and opportunities for all of Seattle's citizens to experience
and enjoy their extraordinary natural environment. John Charles
Olmsted, of the Olmsted Brothers firm of Brookline, MA. and stepson
of Frederick Law Olmsted, arrived to survey the Seattle area in
the spring of 1903. By October the firm had prepared plans and recommendations
for a comprehensive system of parks and boulevards that has achieved
national recognition as one of the most fully-realized Olmsted park
systems in the country.
Dose Terrace &
Lake Washington Boulevard
SEATTLE'S LEGACY LANDSCAPES:
The Olmsted legacy includes such familiar Seattle treasures
as the Washington Park Arboretum, Lake Washington, Ravenna and
Magnolia Boulevards, and Volunteer, Woodland Green Lake and Seward
Parks, as well as over 30 other Seattle area parks and boulevards.
Even today, we are still acquiring and developing parklands recommended
by the Olmsted plan 100 years ago. For example, the original plan
recommended four parks along Lake Union. Within the last 25 years
the city has acquired Gas Works Park, Fairview Park and most recently,
South Lake Union Park.
For extensive information about Seattle's
historic Olmsted Park and Boulevard system, please visit the Park
History pages on the Seattle Parks and Recreation website.
TO THE FUTURE:
The Olmsted plan looked forward 100 years to provide open space
for a city of 500,000. Seattle has now reached that mark, and
today's challenge is not only to protect and preserve our century-old
legacy but also to carry the Olmsted philosophy into the next
100 years of landscape design and planning in order to ensure
the preservation of open space in the century to come.
THE OLMSTED CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
of Seattle's Olmsted Parks, Seattle Parks and Recreation and over
45 community, city and county organizations are organizing a year-long
series of events and projects that will provide opportunities for
community members and professionals to learn about and celebrate
Seattle's Olmsted legacy and its contribution to the development
of the Seattle urban landscape.
Lake Washington Boulevard
|Some of the
2003 event highlights include specific parks projects such as the
Seattle Park Foundation project to restore the Volunteer Park lily
ponds, the EarthCorps IvyOUT project in Olmsted landscapes, the
Days in the Parks summer neighborhood park event series, and the
National Association for Olmsted Parks annual conference in May.
Throughout 2003 there will be events in Olmsted landscapes including
walks, lectures, bicycle tours, work projects and community celebrations.
In order to make the next year of activities
and projects a huge success we are depending on the help of many dedicated
volunteers and community partners. If you would like to participate in
the Centennial I am sure we can find a way to put you to work!
Please contact us
for information about volunteer opportunities and centennial projects.
For more information about Seattle Parks, please visit the Seattle
Parks and Recreation website.