Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
  Parks   Centers & Pools Activities Reservations & Permits Projects & Planning A - Z Index
Parks Legacy Plan
Natural Area Greenbelt Use
Seattle Park District
Parks and Green Spaces Levy
Pro Parks Levy
Project List
Project Map
Environmental Stewardship, Maintenance & Programming
Opportunity Fund
Citizen Oversight
Pro Parks Levy History
Community Center Levy
Major Maintenance
Neighborhood Matching Fund
Sustainable Building & Development
City-Wide Planning Documents
Plans for Individual Parks
Parks Standards
Policies and Agreements
Requests for Proposals
Requests for Qualifications
Board of Park Commissioners
Seattle Parks Foundation
Seattle Conservation Corps
Parks Preservation Work Group
Seattle Parks and Recreation

Dakota Place Park Development (formerly California Substation)
Pro Parks Project Information

4304 SW Dakota St

Click to skip down to:



There are no meetings or events planned at this time.


Kelly Goold
800 Maynard Ave S
Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98134-1336

Dakota Place Site Plan
Dakota Place Park Design

California Substation
details from the
schematic design

Click an image for the larger, detailed view.

Thank you Seattle. Phase One is complete!
Though the landscaping and art are in place, there is one more phase for Dakota Place which involves the completion of the city-landmark substation buildings interior renovations, so it can serve as a satellite facility for Hiawatha Community Center.

This community initiated project creates a new neighborhood gathering space. The Friends of Dakota Place Park were instrumental in this development and hosted a fabulous dedication ceremony in October of 2009. The park opened three months prior to the celebration.

• The Friends of Dakota Place Park fundraising, together with a Neighborhood Matching Fund Grant from the Department of Neighborhoods, provided integrated art work, site furnishings, and extensive plantings.

• Project elements include: plaza with integrated artwork, ADA access, site lighting, multiple seating elements, refurbishing existing historic elements, automated irrigation, and partial rehabilitation of the exiting historic City Light Substation Building.

• Building improvements include: hazardous material abatement, historically correct window and door replacement, new roof, brick re-pointing, and seismic upgrades. The building is a now a complete weather tight shell that ensures preservation of this historic asset.

4304 SW Dakota St
$587,670 for planning, development and construction
Planning: Completed
Design: Completed
Construction: Winter 2008
Completion: Summer 2009


After the completion of an environmental cleanup, the former California Substation was transferred from Seattle City Light to Seattle Parks and Recreation on Aug. 31, 2005. The Pro Parks Levy provided funding for the acquisition and development of the substation building and surrounding land.

History and Background

"Edison agents turn on first electric lightbulb in the West in Seattle on March 22, 1886"

On March 22, 1886, representatives of Thomas Edison demonstrate the first electrical generator in Seattle. The Seattle Electric Company's steam-powered dynamo, located in Pioneer Square, powers the first incandescent light bulb to shine west of the Rocky Mountains.

Edison agents Sidney Mitchell and F. H. Sparling arrived in Seattle in 1885. They arranged for generous municipal franchises and solicited investors for a new Seattle Electric Company. George D. Hill and J. M. Frink constructed the city's first central electric power station. They purchased the required generating equipment from the Edison Machine Works.

Puget Sound Power & Light bought property at 4304 SW Dakota and California Avenue SW in October 1925 for a future substation location. This would be one of four substations in the area. In 1930, a brick building known as the California Substation was built. With 2418 sq. feet of space the California substation was much larger than most substation buildings.

Fear of monopoly control spurred development of Seattle City Light, beginning in 1902. In 1950, after decades of political and economic competition, City Light acquired Puget Power's services and assets within the Seattle City limits. (


A number of community members are organizing the Friends of California Substation to generate interest and funding to develop the park land around the Substation.

On April 25, 2006, Parks held a final open house to discuss the project's next steps. To learn more, you can read the meeting notes You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document..


< A-Z Projects List  < Acquisition  < Development  < Project Map
Updated 1/7/2011
 Home | Partnerships | Park Board | Volunteer | FAQ | Parkways Parkways Icon | Facebook Facebook Icon | @SeattleParks Twitter Icon | Flickr Flickr Icon