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Bhy Kracke Park

 
Address: 1215 5th Ave N, 98109 (Map It)
Seattle Parks and Recreation Information:
(206) 684-4075 | Contact Us TTY Phone: (206) 233-1509

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PARK FEATURES

HOURS

4 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.

ABOUT THE PARK

This unusual park, neatly sandwiched into a steep residential area, makes ingenious use of "difficult" space. From the sloping hillside you have a great view of the central city, Lake Union, the freeway, and Capitol Hill, with benches, bike rack, and drinking fountain provided if you want to stay and gaze a while. Then you can walk down the steep, ivied hill - passing azaleas, rhododendrons, and more surprise views - to a patch of grass with a play area for kids and a pergola for parents. (Excerpted from Brandt Morgan's Enjoying Seattle's Parks)

Acreage: 1.5

HISTORY

“By-cracky, Huck! We done named a park in Seattle!” So Tom Sawyer might have exclaimed to his friend, Huckleberry Finn. Dictionaries of Vernacular and Slang indicate that this expression was widely popular by 1888. One such fan was Werner H. Kracke; it became his favorite expression of surprise or delight. “He was a ‘by-cracky’ person” said J. A. Mitchener (WAC) and it became his nickname, although he spelled it “Bhy” or “Bye”.

Bhy Kracke lived for many years on the upper level of this park and said that he watched the Denny Regrade from here. He decided to dispose of this site – either for a park or for an apartment. He wanted certain features included in the park (and he made a “zillion” sketches) so that he would “be interested” in contributing toward the development.

Compromises were made and Mr. Kracke agreed to give $20,000 toward development and was en route from Hawaii to do that in 1971 when he died aboard ship. But the Estate Administrator had not been so authorized, so the property was bought and developed as a Forward Thrust project.

Mr. Kracke was a golf addict and an avid gardener – he wanted the park to be a miniature Butchard Gardens. He built one of the retaining walls with large jardinières. The final design of the viewpoint park by Roy Lehner, Landscape Architect, included many features desired by Mr. Kracke: the path system with the many “surprise” views and the location of the viewpoint, as well as utilizing many of the small training walls and plantings by Mr. Kracke.
(Edited from the files of Don Sherwood, 1916-1981, Park Historian.)

To learn more about Seattle Parks and Recreation, including historic landmarks, military base reuse, and the Sherwood History Files, view our Park History.

VOLUNTEER

In our large parks and recreation system, we could not do what we do without you.
» volunteer in a park!

PROJECTS & PLANNING

Parks & Green Spaces Levy
- Play Area Renovation

Vegetation Management Plan
- Viewpoints Vegetation Management Plan









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