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Summary for 2820 E Ward ST E / Parcel ID 2125049044 / Inv # DPR099

Historic Name: Washington Park Maintenance Shops Common Name:
Style: Other, Vernacular Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1950
The Parks Department constructed this modest wood frame shop building in 1950 to serve the Washington Park Arboretum. In 1900, the Puget Mill Company donated the 62-acre ravine to the City of Seattle in exchange for $35,000 worth of water main work in their adjacent subdivision. Since the original 62 acres only extended from the shore of Union Bay south to East Prospect Street, the City immediately purchased the remaining ravine property south to East Madison Street. Over the years, the city eventually acquired a total of 230 acres. By 1902, the park was identified as Washington Park after the nearby Lake Washington. In 1903, the city hired the Olmsted Brothers landscape firm to prepare plans for a comprehensive park and boulevard system, including suggestions for improvements to existing parks. This move was largely brought on by the public interest generated for the planned Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and through the purchase of Woodland Park and the acquisition of Washington Park, two large tracts of mostly undeveloped land. In anticipation of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the plan placed emphasis on the development of Washington Park as a boulevard entry to the Exposition to be held on the grounds of the University of Washington. However, there were no plans for the general improvement of the park at that time. Beginning in the mid-1930s, most of the land was developed into the Washington Park Arboretum in association with the University of Washington and the Arboretum Foundation. Improvements for the boulevard began in 1904, and were largely completed that year as the first phase of Lake Washington Boulevard. In 1908, a portion of the park property was privately developed as a public course for harness races along what is now known as Azalea Way. By 1909, the city’s garbage department had created most of the athletic field area at the southern end of the ravine through a sanitary fill. The same year, the Parks Department constructed a maintenance facility at Washington Park, which featured a stable for eight horses, and storage space for tools, steamrollers and other equipment. Originally located in the meadow below East Helen Street, the service yard was relocated in 1950 upon the request of the Arboretum Board, who planned to build an exhibition hall there. The 1934 agreement between the City of Seattle and the University of Washington, which established the Washington Park Arboretum, included the entire Washington Park acreage, including the athletic field and the service yard. After plans to replace the athletic field with a rose garden engendered a storm of opposition, the agreement was modified in 1948 in order to exclude the playfield as well as the proposed site of the new service yard. The new site fronted along East Ward Street up the hill from its previous location. Before the new shop building could be constructed, it was necessary to grade and fill the site, which had been used as a dumping ground for over 300,000 cobblestones removed from Madison Street. In 1950, the Parks Department built this wood frame service building, which is similar in design to other park maintenance buildings constructed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including facilities located at Atlantic Nursery, Carkeek Park, Colman Park, and Ravenna Park. The site now serves as the headquarters for the Central East Park District. This utilitarian service building is significant for its association with the development of Washington Park.
Completed in 1950, this one-story wood frame building occupies the eastern end of a large service area along East Ward Street and the southern margin of Washington Park between 28th Avenue East and East Aloha Street. The long, low-slung structure faces west towards an open paved yard, which contains a larger concrete block building constructed at a later date. The original side gable building has a mostly rectangular plan and a low-pitch roof, which overhangs the east and west elevations. The board and batten siding covering the exterior walls on all elevations contrasts with the wide cedar siding covering the gable ends on the north and south elevations. The principal west elevation has a recessed area across the center flanked by a garage at the northern end and an office at the southern end. The garage has an overhead metal door within a recessed opening on the south elevation and an entrance door on the north wall of the recessed area. The recessed area has a single entrance door at the center flanked by two window openings. The office at the southern end projects slightly beyond the rest of the façade and has an entrance on the south wall of the recessed area and a single window on the south elevation. The original doors have been replaced by modern equivalents. The north elevation has three multi-paned windows set in a band at the center below the slightly overhanging gable end, while the south elevation has a single window at the center below the overhanging gable end. The rear east elevation has three pairs of window openings, two at the center and one at the northern end. A lack of maintenance and some wood deterioration has reduced the physical integrity of this mostly intact building.

Detail for 2820 E Ward ST E / Parcel ID 2125049044 / Inv # DPR099

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Vertical - Board and Batten Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Metal - Standing Seam
Building Type: Other Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Agriculture, Community Planning/Development, Conservation
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
Seattle Department of Parks. Annual report/Department of Parks. Seattle, WA: 1909-1955.

Photo collection for 2820 E Ward ST E / Parcel ID 2125049044 / Inv # DPR099

Photo taken Nov 06, 2000
App v2.0.1.0