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Summary for 7201 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID 9551200005 / Inv # DPR031

Historic Name: Green Lake Park Field House Common Name: Green Lake Community Center
Style: Art Deco - Streamline Moderne Neighborhood: Green Lake
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 reinforced concrete building was constructed in 1928-29 on filled land along the eastern shores of Green Lake. Within thirty years of the first settlement at Green Lake in 1869, the area had been transformed from dense forests to an attractive residential neighborhood served by a streetcar line, which connected it with downtown Seattle. In the late 1880s, entrepreneur William D. Wood acquired more than 600 acres of real estate around Green Lake and then platted and promoted his holdings. In order to stimulate development, Wood convinced Dr. Edward C. Kilbourne, one of the founders of Fremont, to extend his streetcar line from Fremont to Green Lake in 1891. Together, they organized the Green Lake Electric Railway, which Wood managed, and developed a ten-acre amusement park at its terminus on the northwestern corner of Green Lake. The same year, the City of Seattle annexed the Green Lake area along with other northern suburbs. 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. The Olmsted Brothers recommended the acquisition of Green Lake and the creation of a park and boulevard surrounding the lake. Unfortunately, settlement had reached to the shoreline by this time, providing little opportunity to create the park economically. As a solution, the Olmsted Brothers recommended lowering the level of the lake and filling in the wetlands to create more usable parkland. In 1905, the State of Washington deeded ownership of the lake bottom to the city, which proceeded to acquire the remainder of the shoreline through purchase and condemnation, including the former amusement park site. Beginning in 1911, the level of the lake was lowered seven feet, which added 100 acres of dry land once it had been graded and filled. This process was completed by the early 1930s with the filling of the southern end of the lake using material excavated from Woodland Park during the construction of Aurora Avenue in 1932. The large cove at the northeast corner of the lake was not completely filled until the later 1920s. Upon completion of this massive reclamation effort, the first major improvement was the construction of a large reinforced concrete field house, which featured Art Deco and Streamline Moderne stylistic features. As it was necessary to drive piles to support the foundation, construction of the building lasted from 1928 to 1929. In 1928, the Parks Department had completed a brick bathhouse on the western shore of the lake to replace an earlier frame structure. A structure with similar functions was needed across the lake to serve the East Green Lake Beach. The Parks Department decided to construct a field house, which would not only serve swimmers in the summer months but also offer indoor recreation facilities for year-round activities. The Parks Department had constructed its first field houses in 1911 at Hiawatha and Ballard Playfields. Within the next several years, similar wood frame field houses were constructed at Collins, and South Park Playfields. In the later 1920s, larger masonry field houses were constructed at Green Lake Park and Rainier Playfield. In addition to it bathhouse facilities, this building featured social rooms, clubrooms, and a large gymnasium with a raised stage and full proscenium arch at one end. When the Evans Pool addition was completed in 1955, the building’s principal east elevation lost much of its prominence. However, the building is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of the Green Lake neighborhood and Green Lake Park.
Completed in 1929, this reinforced concrete structure adjoins the west elevation of the later Evans Swimming Pool and occupies a site on the eastern shore of Green Lake. Originally, the one and two-story field house faced east towards a large lawn planted with rows of trees and shrubs. Unfortunately, much of the principal east elevation was obscured as a result of the construction of the 1954-55 swimming pool addition. The addition also muted the strong Art Deco and Streamline Moderne stylistic features. Set on a high foundation, the mostly flat roof structure has a two-story block at the eastern end of the building, which houses social, craft and meeting rooms as well as restrooms. A multi-story gymnasium extends from the west elevation of this main block between smaller one-story wings, creating a building with a T-shaped footprint. Overall, the building measures 110 feet by 137 feet through its main axes. The large fly tower, which rises from the western end of the main block, originally served a stage situated at the eastern end of the gymnasium. The stage use was discontinued at the time of the construction of the swimming pool addition. As part of that project, the interior of the original field house was reconfigured, including the insertion of a second floor within the fly tower. The small one-story addition on the north elevation of the gymnasium may have been constructed at this time as well to serve as a concession. Originally, the principal east elevation featured a center entrance at the first story within a slightly projecting entrance pavilion frame by pilasters and capped by a gabled parapet. The original "FIELD HOUSE" sign above the double entrance doors is still visible on the now interior wall shared with the addition. Eight large window openings lined the upper story level above eight smaller window openings along the first story on either side of the center entrance pavilion. Most of these windows were covered with the construction of the addition. On the north and south side elevations of the main block, most of the identical window openings remain intact, however many have replacement sash, especially at the upper floor level. On the south elevation, a window near the western end of the second story has been replaced with an entrance door accessed by a modern metal exterior staircase. This entrance is located above two entrances to the men’s restroom at the first story level. The openings within the separate shallow arched surrounds contain modern doors, which open onto a small landing accessed by a set of concrete stairs. The entrances to the women’s restroom are located near the western end of the north elevation. Originally, a single shallow arched surround contained two door openings separated by a wide mullion. However, one of the openings has been filled. The rear west elevation of the main block has windows at the upper floor level on either side of the gymnasium. The gymnasium features a prominent gabled parapet on the west elevation, which echoes the roofline. The front gable and flat roof has short but steep slopes on the northern and southern sides terminating at the low parapet walls along the side elevations. Originally, rows of narrow steel skylights covered these slopes and provided additional light into the gymnasium. Subsequently, the skylights have either been removed or covered. The first story of the west elevation has a large arched opening flanked by narrower arched openings. The center opening originally contained double entrance doors below a multi-paned fanlight. A single modern entrance door has replaced the original doors, and the fanlight has been filled, as have the sidelights. Additional entrances to the gymnasium are located on the side elevations and from within the building. The window openings on the west elevation retain their original multi-paned steel sash. These include five small windows situated on the upper wall below the gable end and two large vertical windows at either end of the elevation. The south elevation has similar small windows below the roofline above multi-paned metal sash windows set in twos in threes at the first story level. On the north elevation, the later flat roof addition most likely covers similar window openings. The west elevation of the addition contains an entrance door and sliding windows covered by a metal screen while the north elevation has an infilled opening. Originally built to serve as a concession, this addition now houses a weight room. The fly tower adjoins the eastern end of the gymnasium and features characteristic Art Deco and Streamline Moderne embellishments. These include chamfered corners, small raised circles within the indented cornice band, and incised vertical bars arranged in sets of three above raised bull’s-eyes. The lowest level of the fly tower has two narrow vertical window openings on the south, east and north elevations. Although the addition of the swimming pool building has significantly altered the original appearance, this architecturally distinctive building retains good physical integrity and much of its original character and form.

Detail for 7201 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID 9551200005 / Inv # DPR031

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat, Gable Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Recreation and Culture - Auditorium Plan: T-Shape
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
Seattle Department of Parks. Annual report/Department of Parks. Seattle, WA: 1909-1955.
Fiset, Louis. "Green Lake -- Thumbnail History," The Green Lake News, July-August 2000, p. 4-5.

Photo collection for 7201 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID 9551200005 / Inv # DPR031

Photo taken Jul 17, 2000
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