Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
  Parks   Centers & Pools Activities Reservations & Permits Projects & Planning A - Z Index
A-Z Park List
Search Parks by Feature
Fields & Athletic Facilities
Children's Play Areas
Off-Leash Areas
Park History
Park Rangers
Smoking Ban
Seattle Parks and Recreation

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

Click to skip down to:



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


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


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 jardinires. 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.


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


Parks & Green Spaces Levy
- Play Area Renovation

Vegetation Management Plan
- Viewpoints Vegetation Management Plan

 Home | Partnerships | Park Board | Volunteer | FAQ | Parkways Parkways Icon | Facebook Facebook Icon | @SeattleParks Twitter Icon | Flickr Flickr Icon