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Summary for 8526 ROOSEVELT WAY / Parcel ID 5100400230 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Maple Leaf Reservoir Common Name:
Style: Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Roosevelt
Built By: Year Built: 1910
The Seattle Water Department completed construction of this 60,000,000-gallon reservoir in 1910 along with the 50,000,000-gallon Green Lake Reservoir located ten blocks to the south. Originally, Maple Leaf was identified as the upper or intermediate service Green Lake Reservoir, while Green Lake was identified as the lower or low service Green Lake Reservoir. These reservoirs and their 1911 pump stations were built as part of the Cedar River Water System No. 2, which also included a second pipeline from the Cedar River and the reservoirs and their appurtenances at Beacon Hill. Construction of the Cedar River water system had commenced in 1899 after Seattle residents voted in 1895 for the approval of bonds to finance the system. On January 10, 1901, water began flowing from the Cedar River into Seattle’s system carried by a newly completed 28.57-mile pipeline to the new Lincoln and Volunteer Park reservoirs. This new system had a capacity of 23.5 million gallons per day. Over the next ten years, the city’s population increased from 80,600 in 1900 to 237,194 in 1910, greatly increasing the demand for water all over the city. In 1908, construction began on a second pipeline and the reservoirs, which would be supplied by it. At Maple Leaf, the City acquired through purchase or condemnation the necessary lands for the reservoir site between 1906 and 1908. At the time, this site was located just within the northern limits of the city at 85th Street. On June 21, 1909, the second pipeline went into service, providing an additional 45 million-gallon per day capacity to meet the water needs of a fast-growing Seattle. Within a year, the Maple Leaf and Green Lake Reservoirs were completed with water supplied via water mains from the Volunteer Park Reservoir. With a capacity of 60,000,000 gallons, the intermediate service Maple Leaf reservoir served the north end of the city along with the low service Green Lake Reservoir. At that time, cast-in-place reinforced concrete construction was done with site-made concrete, which was hand-mixed and poured in small batches. This method resulted in great variations in the quality of the materials and in on-going maintenance problems, requiring extensive repairs over the years to repair the damage and deterioration. After the completion of the reservoirs, the Water Department planned to erect a standpipe at the Maple Leaf Reservoir site to improve gravity service to higher elevations. The standpipe would be supplied by a hydraulic pump, which would be installed at the Green Lake Reservoir. Water flowing downhill from the Maple Leaf Reservoir into the Green Lake Reservoir Pump Station would then be pumped back up to the standpipe at Maple Leaf. For some reason, the Water Department chose not to construct a standpipe but opted to construct two elevated tanks within the next decade. A new 1,000,000-gallon tank later replaced these smaller tanks in 1949. The Maple Leaf Reservoir is significant for its associations with the development of the Cedar River Water System No. 2 and with the growth and development of Seattle’s water system.
This 60,000,000-gallon reservoir occupies the northern two thirds of a large grassy site bounded by Roosevelt Way NE on the west, by 14th Avenue NE on the east, and by NE 82nd Street on the south. Houses facing onto NE 88th Street abut the site’s northern edge. Maple Leaf Playfield occupies much of the southern third of the site except for a strip centered on 12th Avenue NE. In addition to the concrete lined reservoir completed in 1910, the fenced site includes a 1,000,000-gallon tank, a small building and a large radio tower at the northwest corner along NE Roosevelt Way as well as a new building located on the eastern side. Two pump stations are located outside of the fenced area within the portion maintained by the Parks Department. A one-foot curb and a paved road surround the mostly square reservoir, which features gently sloped walls and curved corners. Stairs lead down into north and south sides of the reservoir. Because the site slopes down from north to south, a high berm supports the southern end of the reservoir. The Maple Leaf Reservoir appears identical in design to the Green Lake Reservoir, located ten blocks to the south and constructed at the same time. However, the Green Lake Reservoir has a lower capacity of 50,000,000 gallons and different berming due to different site requirements. 

In 2007, the Landmarks Preservation Board reviewed a nomination for the Maple Leaf Reservoir and determined that it did not meet the standards for designation.  A new 60 million gallon concrete buried reservoir will be constructed beginning in the summer of 2009, with construction completed by the end of 2011. Seattle Public Utilities will cover the concrete reservoir will soil and grass/hydroseed and the area will be opened up for passive public use.

Detail for 8526 ROOSEVELT WAY / Parcel ID 5100400230 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Structure District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): None Roof Material(s): None
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Waterworks Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories:
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Science & Engineering
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
McWilliams, Mary. Seattle Water Department History, 1854-1954: Operational Data and Memoranda. Seattle, WA: Water Department, City of Seattle, c1955.
Seattle Water Department. Annual report / City of Seattle, Water Department. Seattle, WA: 1908-1965.

Photo collection for 8526 ROOSEVELT WAY / Parcel ID 5100400230 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Aug 14, 2000
App v2.0.1.0