Amenities

Art in the Park Restrooms Drinking fountains Gardens Play Area Wading Pools Tennis Courts Trails

About

Located in the heart of Seattle, Volunteer Park is home to the Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.  The Landmarks Preservation Board designated Volunteer Park as a Seattle Landmark on November 2, 2011. This historic Olmsted Park is beloved by residents and visitors alike.

History

In 1876 the City purchased 40 acres for $2,000 from a sawmill engineer, J. M. Colman (Colman Park) without specifying purpose other than "municipal."

Ordinance 642 in 1885 defined the purpose as "Washelli Cemetery" but two years later it was changed to "Lake View Park" and gravesites were ordered removed. By 1893, the Department had cleared about six acres of timber and planted a nursery supplemented with a greenhouse and hotbed.

Between 1887 and 1904 the park was improved with paths, lawns, beds of flowers, settees and tables for picnickers, and children's swings, together with native growth, the only greenhouse in the system, and the high pressure reservoir. 1904-1909 the Olmsted Brothers prepared formal plans - gardens system of macadam drives, lily ponds, children's wading pool and shelter, combination pergola, music pavilion and comfort station, and conservatory building - all completed by 1912.