Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 201 Lakeside AVE / Parcel ID 9829201150 / Inv # DPR047

Historic Name: Leschi Park Comfort Station Common Name:
Style: Tudor Neighborhood: Leschi
Built By: Year Built: 1929
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This architecturally distinctive comfort station was constructed in 1929 to replace a large wood frame Dance Pavilion built in the 1890s. The earlier building had been constructed on a pier along the lakeshore at Leschi Park while it was still a private amusement park. The Lake Washington Cable Railway had developed the park at the Lake Washington end of its line from Pioneer Square. At that time, streetcar lines often terminated at a popular attraction so as to encourage real estate development along the length of the line and to increase ridership outside of regular commuting hours, especially on weekends. On September 28, 1887, L.H. Thompson and Fred Sander inaugurated cable car service on the Lake Washington Cable Railway between Pioneer Square and Leschi Park via Yesler Way and Jackson Street. The amusement park opened the following year and eventually featured formal gardens, a small animal menagerie, a casino, a bandstand, and a boathouse, which rented launches, canoes, and rowboats. There was also a ferry landing with service to Medina and Mercer Island. The Dance Pavilion was constructed in the later 1890s after a fire destroyed the six-story "Lake Washington Casino." Just a fifteen-minute cable car ride from Pioneer Square, Leschi Park quickly became a popular destination for Sunday outings as well as cross-lake travel. In 1903, the Seattle Electric Company, owners of the cable car line and the amusement park, donated the animals from the menagerie to the city, which relocated the animals to Woodland Park. Six years later, the company sold the entire site to the city, which made few changes to the long-established park. The Parks Department added a tennis court and play equipment and assumed the existing leases for the ferry landing, the boat rentals, and the Dance Pavilion. Lake Washington Boulevard was eventually extended through the park. Initially, the Parks Department planned to convert the Dance Pavilion into a combination gymnasium, recreation pier, and bathing pavilion. However, the public demand for dancing prevented this conversion despite the high expenses required to maintain it. The Dance Pavilion remained a popular attraction until the later 1920s when it became too difficult and expensive to maintain due to its deteriorated condition. In 1929, the Parks Department constructed a new brick comfort station located on the park’s western hillside in keeping with public demands at the time. The following year, the old Dance Pavilion on the water was demolished and the pilings removed. Designed in the Tudor Revival style, this comfort station was one of a series of new comfort stations constructed in Seattle parks in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Located in prominent parks in fashionable residential neighborhoods, these comfort stations were notable for their attractive designs in various period revival as well as modern styles. Construction of these comfort stations at Leschi, Kinnear, Mount Baker, Magnolia, Woodland and Ravenna Parks followed a policy to build only structures that would be pleasing in design and permanent in nature. This building is particularly distinctive for the craftsmanship of its work and for the attention to detail in the design. With its distinctive Tudor Revival stylistic features, this unique building is significant for its design and for its association with the development of Leschi Park.
Set at the base of a steep slope on the western half of the park, this 1929 one-story brick building faces east and features a stuccoed concrete foundation and a T-plan with the bathroom entrances set in the recessed corners. The distinctive Tudor Revival design exhibits a cross gable roof with half timbering in the gable end of each elevation. Wide bargeboards cover the slightly overhanging rakes of the standing seam metal roof. A chimney pierces the peak of the rear west gable end while wood finials with drop pendants ornament the peaks of other three gable ends. At the center of the principal east elevation, a projecting gabled pavilion contains a door flanked by two tall narrow multi-paned windows. A shed roof supported on chamfered knee braces shelters the door, which appears to be a later metal replacement. The entrances to the bathrooms are set in fabulous screened porches on either side of the center gabled section. The lower portion of each porch is constructed of chamfered board and batten while the upper half is open but screened with turned posts. The entrance doors are similarly built but with the window openings in the upper section set with metal bars. On the door to the men’s room, the window opening has been covered because only one bar remains. Signs indicating "MEN" and "WOMEN" have been incised in the fascia at the corners of the porches. The identical north and south elevations have small louvered openings in the gable end. At the ground floor level of these elevations, there is a larger louvered opening on the western end and a multi-paned window at the eastern end. The rear west elevation has two window openings at the center set with multi-paned windows. All window openings have sills of diagonally set brick, and all wood trim pieces have chamfered edges. This architecturally distinctive building retains excellent physical integrity and is very well maintained in great condition.

Detail for 201 Lakeside AVE / Parcel ID 9829201150 / Inv # DPR047

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Other Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Metal - Standing Seam
Building Type: Other Plan: T-Shape
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: 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 201 Lakeside AVE / Parcel ID 9829201150 / Inv # DPR047

Photo taken Aug 23, 2000
App v2.0.1.0