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Summary for 1851 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID / Inv # DPR030

Historic Name: Green Lake Park Comfort Station #2 (1948) Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Green Lake
Built By: Year Built: 1948
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
This distinctive brick building was constructed on the northern shore of Green Lake in 1948 to serve the adjacent children’s wading pool. 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. Through the 1920s, the Parks Department made extensive improvements to Green Lake Park. However, the financial difficulties of the depression in the 1930s and the shortages of labor and materials during the Second World War halted the construction of most park buildings until the later 1940s with the exception of those built by state and federal relief agencies. One of the WPA projects involved the construction of a children’s wading pool and a bridge over a small waterfall on the northern shore of the lake. By the later 1940s, the Parks Department was able to resume construction of new buildings. In 1948, this distinctive brick comfort station was constructed at a time when less expensive and more durable concrete block buildings were beginning to be built. The modern design of the post-war comfort stations contrasted with the earlier buildings, which generally exhibited Craftsman or period revival stylistic features. This distinctive building is significant for its design and for its association with the development of Green Lake Park.
Completed in 1948, this one-story roman brick comfort station occupies a site at the northern end of Green Lake along East Green Lake Drive North at the foot of Stroud Avenue North. The one-story structure has a T-shaped footprint covered by a side gable roof with deep overhangs on the north and south elevations and slight overhangs on the east and west side elevations. Wide cedar siding covers the wide gable ends of the low-pitch roof. The Modern building faces south towards the lake and contains a women’s restroom at the eastern end and a men’s restroom at the western end. Single door entrances to the restrooms are situated within the recessed entrance wings at either end of the principal south elevation. An additional door at the center of this elevation provides access to a maintenance room. On the north and south elevations, the upper walls below the eaves are lined with narrow louvered openings covered on the inside with wire mesh. This well-maintained building retains very good physical integrity.

Detail for 1851 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID / Inv # DPR030

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Wood - Shingle
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 Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
Fiset, Louis. "Green Lake -- Thumbnail History," The Green Lake News, July-August 2000, p. 4-5.

Photo collection for 1851 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID / Inv # DPR030

Photo taken Jul 17, 2000
App v2.0.1.0