Friday, February 7, 2014

Jefferson Park

Jefferson Park February 2013. Jefferson Skatepark with Downtown Seattle skyline.

Jefferson Park February 2013. Skatepark, driving range & the Jefferson Park Golf Course.

Jefferson Park February 2013. Solar Picnic Shelter with solar panels rooftops were constructed by Seattle City Light.  
The playing field is used mostly for soccer & kirikiti (Samoan cricket).

Jefferson Park February 2013. View of Beacon Hill, Puget Sound & the Olympic Mountains.

Jefferson Park February 2013. Storm water retention pond.

Jefferson Park is the 6th largest park in the City of Seattle, covering 52 acres, including the golf course. It is located on Beacon Hill, at about 320 feet above sea level.  This is not the highest point in Seattle, but the views of the Olympic Mountains & Puget Sound from here are spectacular.  The park is adjacent to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The City of Seattle purchased this land in 1898 for a reservoir & cemetery that were later sited elsewhere. The City named the park to honor Thomas Jefferson in 1908. The Jefferson Park Golf Course, Seattle’s oldest municipal golf course, opened for play in 1915. The area occupied by the golf course & adjacent park was part of the original Seattle park master plan developed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1903.  The golf course & the park roadway on the west side were built as planned. The northwest portion of the park site was transferred to the Water Department in 1935 for construction of a reservoir. The unused portion of the Water Department site was developed into a playground by permit with Seattle Parks and Recreation. During World War II, Jefferson Park contained anti-aircraft batteries, a military recreation center & tent housing for soldiers. The lawn bowling green was constructed in 1944.  It has been operated by the Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club under an agreement with Seattle Parks since 1945.

In the late 1990s, planning & design for more park improvements began. Seattle Public Utilities decommissioned the north reservoir & reconstructed the south reservoir as a buried reservoir with a hard cover. The 2000 Pro Parks Levy provided funding for improvements to the park. The new play area & tennis courts opened in 2010. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy funded additional improvements, including the Jefferson Park Skatepark, solar picnic shelters & the Jefferson Park Playfield, which opened in 2012.  Beacon Mountain, an ecologically oriented play area, opened in 2013.

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