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Summary for 7201 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID 9551200005 / Inv # DPR029

Historic Name: Green Lake Park Comfort Station #1 (c.1910) Common Name:
Style: Other Neighborhood: Green Lake
Built By: Year Built: 1910
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 unique structure was completed about 1910 as a combination comfort station and waiting shelter for the eastern side of Green Lake Park. 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. Although the exact construction date of this unique comfort station is unknown at this time, it is believed to have been built around 1910. However, it may have been constructed in conjunction with the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in anticipation of the increased numbers of visitors. Similar buildings in design and function were also constructed at this time at Cowen and Volunteer Parks. Each of the buildings are located at or near what was once the end of a streetcar line, serving a popular public park. Streetcar lines often terminated at a popular attraction so as to encourage real estate development along the length of the line and to increase ridership outside of regular commuting hours, especially on weekends. This would have been one of the first improvements made at Green Lake Park after acquisition of the property. Its location at the northeast corner of the lake would have been near the edge of the original shoreline and along the route of the streetcar line, which served the nearby residential neighborhood and commercial area. It is probable that this Classical Revival building predates the massive reclamation effort, which commenced in 1911. This building is significant for its design and for its associations with one of Seattle’s earliest modes of mass public transportation, the streetcar lines, and with the development of the Green Lake neighborhood and Green Lake Park.
Believed to have been built c.1910, this distinctive one-story comfort station is located at the northeast corner of Green Lake along East Green Lake Drive North near NE 72nd Street. This wood frame structure originally functioned as a combination comfort and waiting station. A hip roof with slightly overhanging eaves covers the rectangular plan building constructed with cement stuccoed walls set on a concrete plinth. A simple cornice above a wide fascia wraps the building, which displays Classical Revival stylistic influences. The building faces east towards the street and contains a women’s restroom at the southern end and a men’s restroom in the northern end. A recessed waiting area on the principal east elevation separates the restrooms at either end. Two Doric columns on small wood plinths support the center of the wide opening while engaged columns frame the outer edges. A long slatted wooden bench lines the rear of the recessed area. The end walls on the east elevation each have a tall narrow recessed opening with a horizontal window opening set high on the wall above a vertical inset panel. Wire mesh screens the windows within the openings. Three of the same openings cover the north and south elevations, however the entrances to the restrooms replace the lower panels in the eastern openings. Modern metal gates cover the original single door openings. The rear west elevation contains five of the openings with a paneled entrance door at the center, which provides access to a maintenance room. Only the women’s restroom retains the original multi-paned wood sash pivot windows. Although deteriorated in places, this building retains good physical integrity in spite of the window and door alterations.

Detail for 7201 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID 9551200005 / Inv # DPR029

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Other Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation, Transportation
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: 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 7201 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID 9551200005 / Inv # DPR029

Photo taken Jul 17, 2000
App v2.0.1.0