Friday, June 20, 2014

Rainier Beach Playfield

 Dunlap Elementary School

Rainier Beach Playfield in October 2013

Playfields are not very exciting places, unless you are actually playing a rousing game of soccer, football, baseball or softball.  But a large expanse of mowed lawn is restful to the eye & promotes a feeling of tranquility.  The Rainier Beach Playfield is particularly attractive, because it is in the secluded center of a super-block, surrounded by large old trees & the appealing architecture of the handsome brick Dunlap Elementary School, built in 1924 & the sleekly modern Rainier Beach Community Center, built in 2013.  Two other schools of unexceptional architecture are also here, South Lake High School & South Shore K-8 School.  Dunlap Elementary School honors Joseph Dunlap, the first white settler of Rainier Beach who built a home on the site in the 1870s. The Dunlaps donated the school site in 1904 to replace the 1898 log cabin school house.  The Rainier Beach Playfield can be found at 8802 Rainier Avenue S, a short walk from the Rainier Beach Station.  

Rainier Beach is located in the southeast corner of Seattle on the shore of Lake Washington. The Rainier Beach neighborhood includes the Dunlap neighborhood, which lies just west, between Rainier Beach & Beacon Hill. Joseph Dunlap built a cabin at S Henderson Street & 50th Avenue S. He brought his family from Iowa by wagon over the Oregon Trail in September 1869. Between the Dunlap claim and the lake was a low swampy area called Dunlap Slough. Those who settled south of the Dunlaps & close to the lake called their community Rainier Beach.  This information comes from Seattle Neighborhoods: Rainier Beach at

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