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Summary for 952 NW Carkeek Park RD NW / Parcel ID 2526039009 / Inv # DPR013

Historic Name: Carkeek Park Shop Common Name:
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Broadview-Bitter Lake-Haller Lake
Built By: Year Built: 1955
This modest one-story wood frame shop was constructed in 1953-55 as a service building for Carkeek Park in the far northwest corner of Seattle. The original Carkeek Park had been located on Lake Washington’s Pontiac Bay on the north side of the Sand Point peninsula. In 1918, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan J. Carkeek had donated the 23-acre park as an overnight camp facility. In 1889, Carkeek, a prominent builder and contractor, had established a brick and tile mill on the Pontiac Bay site, which remained in almost continuous operation until its closure in 1914. In 1926, the Federal government acquired the entire Sand Point peninsula as the site for a Naval Air Station. As the original donor of the park property, Mr. Carkeek offered to give his sale proceeds of $25,000 towards the purchase of another park site. Neighborhood groups in the north end petitioned the City Council for the acquisition of Piper’s Canyon, then located outside the city limits and accessible only by a dusty county road. Once inside the property, the road continued along the winding ravine until it terminated at the site of a former sawmill on the beach after crossing the Great Northern railroad tracks. While the Park Board was vigorously opposed this site due to its distant location and difficult topography, the City Council proceeded and acquired Piper’s Canyon in 1928. Led by Greenwood-Phinney Commercial Club, the new Carkeek Park was dedicated the following year on August 24, 1929, however no permanent improvements were made until the early 1930s. The work crews of several federal relief programs, including the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, built trails and a stove shelter. Carkeek Park remained largely undeveloped until a sewage treatment plant was established in the park in 1949. Four years later, the Parks Department decided to use bond funds issued in 1948 to develop and pave a loop road, and to construct a caretaker's residence and service building at the entrance, a picnic area with a second stove shelter, and a footbridge over the railroad tracks. By this time, Seattle was finalizing plans to annex all of the territory north of the city to 145th Street. Seattle had annexed the independent City of Ballard in 1907, but the area north of 85th Street remained part of unincorporated King County until 1954. In the intervening forty years, the city’s population had shifted further to the north, pushing into the unincorporated areas. In 1954, architect Robert H. Ross prepared plans for a large caretaker’s residence with a separate service building. However, budget restraints forced the abandonment of these ambitious plans, and the architecture firm of Durham, Anderson & Freed was hired to prepare revised plans for a more modest residence. The Parks Department also decided to build a smaller service building using their own plans. This building is similar in design to other park maintenance buildings constructed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including facilities located at Washington Park, Colman Park, Atlantic Nursery, and Ravenna Park. This building is significant for its association with the development of Carkeek Park.
Completed in 1955, this one-story wood frame building occupies the western end of a service area just inside the entrance to Carkeek Park. A former caretaker’s residence is located across a grassy lawn to the east. A more recent building across the road houses the Carkeek Park Environmental Education Center. The front gable building has a rectangular plan, which measures 48 feet by 24 feet. The low-pitch gable roof overhangs the exterior walls clad with board and batten siding. A large opening nearly fills the eastern half of the principal north elevation and contains two wide sliding doors and one narrow entrance door. The western half of the elevation has a paneled entrance door adjacent to a horizontal window opening set with two single pane windows separated by a wide mullion. The east elevation presents a blank wall, while the west elevation contains two horizontal openings with the same window configuration as well as a single entrance door and a small window at the southern end. The rear south elevation has three more of the same window openings, two of which are partially covered by plywood. This modest building retains very good physical integrity.

Detail for 952 NW Carkeek Park RD NW / Parcel ID 2526039009 / Inv # DPR013

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Vertical - Board and Batten Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Other
Building Type: Other Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Conservation
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
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.
HistoryLink Website (

Photo collection for 952 NW Carkeek Park RD NW / Parcel ID 2526039009 / Inv # DPR013

Photo taken Nov 01, 2000
App v2.0.1.0