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Warren G. Magnuson

Warren G. Magnuson Park
Historic Preservation

Warren G. Magnuson Park Information: (206)684-4946
Park Address: 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115 > directions
Administrative office visiting address: 6310 NE 74th St, bldg 30 southeast offices
Administrative office mail: 6310 NE 74th St., Suite 109E, Seattle, WA 98115

 Of the City's 15 regional/major parks, both Discovery and Magnuson were originally purchased in the late 1800's and early 1900's and given to the federal government to develop military bases. Only in the last 30 years were these bases decommissioned and returned to the City for recreation purposes.

When the U.S. Navy transferred the properties to the City and UW they were required under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to consider the effects of property transfer on historic resources, and identify means to avoid, reduce or mitigate them. This review established a Programmatic Agreement between the U.S. Navy, the Washington State Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. It was also determined that the assembly of buildings merited preservation and were eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A historic preservation covenant exists in the deed granting property to both the City of Seattle and the University of Washington. The covenant mandates that the Sand Point Historic Preservation Coordinator, on behalf of the State Historic Preservation Officer, will review proposals prior to any construction, alteration, remodeling, or demolition that would affect the integrity or appearance of historic resources within the District. The Sand Point Historic Properties Reuse and Protection Plan was developed in 1998 and is the main document guiding historic preservation within the District.

The Sand Point Historic District comprises approximately 73 acres and includes properties owned by Seattle Parks and Recreation, the University of Washington, and the Sand Point Community Housing Association. Twenty buildings and 23 landscape features are identified as contributing to the character of the district. Eleven buildings are identified as not contributing.

When military use officially began on the peninsula, Naval Air Reserve Station - Seattle comprised 207 acres. At the height of military use during the Second World War the base covered 537 acres. This included barracks and parking areas along the west side of Sand Point Way NE, a radio transmitter station located more than a mile to the southwest, and a water reservoir at the top of View Ridge. By 1960, the station had demolished most buildings located to the west of Sand Point Way, yet still included 193 structures on the main base. For a short time in the 1960's the Shearwater housing complex was located north of NE 75th Street between 40th and 43rd Avenues. More than 50 structures have been demolished since this time. In the 1970s and 80s after the first part of the station was transferred to the City, almost 120 acres of existing runways, tarmac and taxiways was demolished. Recent demolitions have included Building 222, a former barracks, and Building 15, a former greenhouse and hobby shop.

Recent demolitions have included Building 222, a former barracks, and Building 15, a former greenhouse and hobby shop. In November 2005, a portion of Building 31 was demolished to provide near-shore fishery habitat. In consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer, Seattle Parks documented the history of this building.
 » Historic American Building Survey - Summary (PDF)

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Updated October 18, 2006
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