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Summary for 2701 Alki AVE / Parcel ID 7666706950 / Inv # DPR001

Historic Name: Alki Beach Park Bathhouse Common Name:
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Admiral
Built By: Year Built: 1955
Constructed in 1955, this simple masonry bathhouse replaced a larger wood frame Recreation Pavilion built in 1911. Alki Beach first gained fame as the landing point of the Denny Party in 1851, however residential and commercial development was slow to come to West Seattle due to its topography and geographic isolation. This problem was partially solved with the establishment of ferry service from Seattle to the east shore of Duwamish Head in 1888. A trolley car line built on trestles replaced the ferry in 1902, and was later extended over a trestle from Duwamish Head to the meadows near Alki Point. With improved access, West Seattle developed rapidly and was eventually annexed in 1907. The same year, Luna Park, Seattle’s "Coney Island of the West," opened for business at the point of Duwamish Head. For the next six years, Luna Park enticed people with thrilling rides, garish amusements, a dance hall, a natatorium, and a large and well-stocked bar until its closure in 1913. The attractions of Luna Park increased interest in a public park at Alki Beach. The 1908 Olmsted Supplemental Plan proposed a Duwamish Head Parkway as part of the Seattle boulevard system and an Alki Point Park on the south side of the point as part of the park system. The Plan also included the creation of a Schmitz Park near Alki Point, forty acres of which had recently been donated to the city. In 1903, the city had hired the Olmsted Brothers to prepare plans for a comprehensive park and boulevard system, including suggestions for improvements to existing parks. This was supplemented by an additional report in 1908 to include the large areas annexed by the city the previous year. Implementation of the report began almost immediately, however not always as envisioned by the Olmsteds. In 1910, the city acquired ten acres of dry and tidal lands between 58th and 65th Avenues SW and created Alki Beach Park. Nearby, a four-acre meadow along 59th Avenue SW was acquired the same year and developed as Alki Playfield. The following year, development began on the first municipal salt-water beach on the West Coast, boasting a beautiful sandy beach and a spectacular view. The main improvement was a magnificent frame Recreation Pavilion, which included spacious dressing and locker rooms for bathers, a viewing balcony for spectators, a gym, clubrooms, and a refectory serving refreshments. In 1924, a Park Bond provided funds for the acquisition of private property to create a "Marine Drive" along Alki Avenue. By 1927, the shoreline to Luna Park had been acquired, and the Seattle Engineering Department had begun work on the Marine Drive, an extension of Alki Beach Park. In 1946, the Parks Department purchased the Luna Park site, and later continued acquisition of the shoreline around Duwamish Head along Harbor Avenue. In 1931, the Luna Park Natatorium had come to a sudden end at the hands of an arsonist. Three years later, the Parks Department gave permission to the E.O. Welden Construction Company to build a large, indoor heated, salt water Natatorium on the beach east of the earlier wood frame Pavilion. Seven years later, the natatorium was converted to an indoor recreation facility, and the WPA rehabilitated the Pavilion. When a new recreation center was built at Alki Playground in 1954, the old natatorium was demolished, and a new masonry bathhouse replaced the old Pavilion. Currently, this building houses the Alki Bathhouse Studio for the Fine Arts, a program of the nearby Alki Community Center. This building is significant for its associations with the development of the Alki neighborhood and Alki Beach Park.
Completed in 1955, this one-story bathhouse faces the beach to the north and occupies a site towards the western end of Alki Beach Park on Alki Avenue SW at 60th Avenue SW. The side gable wood frame structure has concrete block end walls below gable ends covered with wood panels. These eastern and western end walls extend slightly beyond the north and south elevations clad with large wood shakes. Four large openings line the upper portion of the principal north elevation. The openings at either end each contain three 2/2 double hung windows separated by wood mullions and covered by individual metal grates. The opening west of center originally had a similar window configuration, however a single entrance door with a covered transom has replaced the western window. The opening east of center has double entrance doors at the center with multi-paned transoms above and narrow windows on either side. The south elevation has four identical openings, all of which contain the original 2/2 sash with the exception of the opening east of center. A single entrance door has replaced the western window within this opening. The eastern end wall has two entrance doors at the center. The northern entrance has a concrete block wall partially enclosing the door to the women’s restroom. The western end wall originally had two identical entrances at the center, however the southern opening has been filled with concrete blocks. The door to the men’s restroom is set within the recessed northern opening. The northern end of the elevation has an overhead metal door set within a large recessed opening. This modest building retains fair physical integrity.

Detail for 2701 Alki AVE / Parcel ID 7666706950 / Inv # DPR001

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete, Other, Shingle, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Recreation and Culture - Sports Facility Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
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 2701 Alki AVE / Parcel ID 7666706950 / Inv # DPR001

Photo taken Nov 04, 2000
App v2.0.1.0