Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
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Cowen Park Improvements
Pro Parks Project Information

5849 15 AVE NE

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Project dedication ceremony: Saturday, October 16, 2004, 1:30 pm, at the Shelterhouse, 5849 15th Ave NE.


Don Bullard
Seattle Parks and Recreation
Planning and Development Division
800 Maynard Ave S. 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98134-1336
Thank you, Seattle. The Cowen Park Shelterhouse Project is now complete!

This project renovated the Cowen Park shelter house. The general contractor was Harmatta Construction. Several subcontractors also worked on this project. Construction began in early February 2004 and reached completion in June 2004. You can click on the links below and compare the new design to the existing structure.
- existing building design
- Plans for the new building

5849 15 AVE NE
Total Budget: $618,000
Allocation by Year:
2001-2002 :
$ 618,000

Planning: Done
Design: Done
Construction: Done
Completion: Completed in 2004


Cowen Park Ribbon Cutting
Ribbon cutting at the shelterhouse renovation dedication
Cowen Park Playground
Cowen Park Trees

Cowen Park Shelterhouse
Archive Photo of Cowen Shelterhouse - 1909
Cowen Park Shelterhouse
Shelterhouse 2002
Click an image for the larger, detailed view.
Project History/Background:
Cowen Shelter House was originally constructed in 1909 as a shelter for trolley riders and park visitiors. At that time it consisted of a terrace/bandstand above a semi-enclosed picnic shelter. The toilets on the upper level were constructed in about 1929.

In recent years the shelter house deteriorated and was the focus of safety concerns related to inappropriate activities in the park.

In the late 1990s neighbors developed plans calling for improvement of the shelter house. With passage of the ProParks Levy in 2000 funding for improvements was secured.

Due to the age of the shelter house and its location in an Olmsted-design park, a landmark survey and nomination was prepared in 2002. After review and discussion the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board decided the shelter house did not meet criteria and they did not designate it a landmark.

Design work was done in 2002-03 and construction was done in the first half of 2004. The renovated structure includes an activity room of approx. 500 square feet, office space, storage, and public toilets - all on the lower level. On the upper level the existing toilets were demolished and a viewing terrace constructed.


Many neighbors and community groups have been involved with this project. The 1999 Roosevelt Neighborhood Plan, which called for renovation of the shelter house, is available at

Neighborhood groups with an interest in Cowen Park include the Friends of Cowen Park, an adjunct group of the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association and the Roosevelt Neighbor's Alliance.

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Updated  10/15/2004 13:52 
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