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Summary for 2311 Lake Park DR / Parcel ID 5700004535 / Inv # DPR065

Historic Name: Mount Baker Park Comfort Station Common Name:
Style: Tudor Neighborhood: Mount Baker
Built By: Year Built: 1928
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 1928 as one of the first permanent improvements to Mount Baker Park. In 1907, the same year the city annexed much of the Rainier Valley, the Hunter Improvement Company began selling lots in its new Mount Baker Park development. In order to enhance the visual appeal of the neighborhood, the Olmsted Brothers landscape firm had been hired to design the tract’s curvilinear streets and park-like boulevards, which utilized the natural contours of the land. The developers envisioned an exclusive residential area, and applied restrictive covenants to that end, establishing minimum prices to discourage cheap construction and setting restrictions on setbacks and style that were considered revolutionary at the time. As a result, Mount Baker became one of Seattle’s earliest planned residential communities. The tract also included a large, linear parcel of land dedicated forever for park purposes. The beach strip at the northern end of the park had also been donated for boulevard purposes. Unlike other privately developed parks of the time, Mount Baker Park was not intended to be the usual streetcar amusement park. It was designed to be a quiet park along the banks of a stream flowing into the lake, which would feature meadows among the groves of second growth trees. With its attractive amenities and restrictive covenants, Mount Baker quickly developed into a popular and exclusive neighborhood of single family residences. In 1909, neighborhood residents formed the Mount Baker Park Improvement Club, now known as the Mount Baker Community Club, with a mandate to attend to such amenities as lighting, police protection, beautification, and social life. The same year, a public swimming beach with a frame bathhouse had been developed at Colman Park on the shores of Lake Washington just to the north of Mount Baker Park. A public boathouse was also constructed on a pier over the water at Mount Baker Park, and the upper half of the park’s ravine was filled and improved with tennis courts, picnic grounds, and lawns. For many years, however, residents of Mount Baker enjoyed the exclusive use of the boathouse and paid no fees to keep their watercraft there. In its early years, the Mount Baker Park Improvement Club worked to ensure that the park and adjacent beach areas were properly maintained and utilized and advocated for new improvements in keeping with their vision of the neighborhood. By the 1920s, the amenities at Mount Baker Park attracted larger numbers of visitors from outside the neighborhood. In an effort to reduce the park’s popularity, the Club had the Parks Department remove the picnic tables and stove shelters and paid for the installation of lights to protect against undesirables. To accommodate the growing use by outsiders, a comfort station was constructed in 1928. 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 Mount Baker Park.
Completed in 1928, this architecturally distinctive comfort station occupies a midpoint site along the western margin of Mount Baker Park. The side gable main block has side gable entrance porches aligned along the rear west elevation, which create a T-shaped footprint. Situated at the base of a hill, the building faces east and contains a women’s restroom in the southern end and a men’s restroom in the northern end. Tudor Revival stylistic details include a brick exterior and half timbering in the gabled ends. Wide bargeboards also cover the slightly overhanging rakes of the gable ends, and drop pendants ornament the peaks of the main block’s gable ends. Single door entrances to the restrooms are situated on the inner walls of the main block within the gabled wings accessed by shallow arched openings on the eastern side. The northern and southern end walls as well as the rear walls of the wings each have a large window opening covered with a decorative metal grate. On the principal east elevation, an entrance door centered between six window openings provides access to a maintenance area. The openings line the upper wall below the roofline and contain multi-paned pivot windows. The rear west elevation of the main block has a similar window configuration but no center entrance. This exquisitely detailed building retains very good physical integrity despite some signs of deterioration and efflorescence.

Detail for 2311 Lake Park DR / Parcel ID 5700004535 / Inv # DPR065

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: Unknown No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: 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 2311 Lake Park DR / Parcel ID 5700004535 / Inv # DPR065

Photo taken Nov 09, 2000
App v2.0.1.0