Address: 1247 15th Ave E
Volunteer Park Information: (206)684-4555
Volunteer Park Conservatory: (206)684-4743
Asian Art Museum:
In 1876 the City purchased 40 acres for $2,000 from a sawmill engineer,
J. M. Colman (Colman Park) without specifying purpose other than
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
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
Outstanding display of flowering plants from all areas of the world,
notable orchid collection began as gift from Anna H. Clise in 1919;
600 varieties. conservatory built in 1912.
> View the Conservatory
Built by Water Department 1906, reservoir in 1901. 106 steps to observation
deck. 75 1/2’ above road pavement at base (top elevation 520;) (Space
Needle top elevation 725’); pavement at elevation 444.5’ is high point
of Capitol Hill. Medallion on north side honors L.B. Youngs, first
Superintendent of Water Department (1895-1923) and Superintendent
of Light Department (1094-1010); bronze by VT Goumas.
ordinance in 1901 changed the name from "City Park" to Volunteer
Park to honor the volunteers of the Spanish-American War (1898-1902).
The granite boulder was erected in 1952, promoted by J. Willis Sayre,
editor, concert and theatre manager, historian and veteran, through
the United Spanish War Veterans (designed by Cassius Beardsley).
Seward Sculpture and pedestal by Richard Brooks of New York
honors William Seward who was instrumental in purchase of Alaska
in 1867. Statue was a feature of the 1909 AYP Exposition held on
the US grounds; moved to this location in 1910 (Bailey Peninsula
was purchased in 1911 - later named Seward Park). Sculpture financed
by public subscription, sponsored by GG Beninghauser (jeweler),
Meany, McGraw, etal.
bas relief by Herman McNeil, pedestal-bench-plaza by CF Gould, architect.
Dedicated in 1930 to honor pioneer Judge Thomas Burke (1849-1925)
- "patriot, jurist, orator, friend, patron of education", promoter
of Pacific Rim harmony and trade; instrumental in bringing transcontinental
railroad to Seattle. $50,000; memorial contributed by admirers of
"Block" Playsculpture by Chas, Smith, UW sculptor, 1962.
Honors Dorothy W. Block (1926-1961) for her interest in and activities
with children; Park Commissioner 1959-1961. Sculpture sponsored
by Block foundation.
Music in Parks began in pioneer days in Pioneer Square, became a
feature of the 1909 AYP Exposition; the Olmsteds included a bandstand
in their design of this park and concerts have been a feature here
More Park history is now available from the files of Don Sherwood,
1916-1981, Park Historian > View
the Don Sherwood History Files
July 28, 2004