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Summary for 2001 NW Canoe PL NW / Parcel ID 7518508946 / Inv # DPR079

Historic Name: Salmon Bay Park Comfort Station Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Crown Hill/Ballard
Built By: Year Built: 1952
This modern, concrete block comfort station was constructed in 1952 to replace an earlier wood frame building completed about 1910. In 1890, Elon W. Denton platted a three-acre park at the center of his Salmon Bay Addition in what was then the independent city of Ballard. Salmon Bay Park appears to have been the first dedicated park area in Ballard, which was incorporated the same year. The area’s first Donation Land Claims were filed in the vicinity of Salmon Bay in the early 1850s. This area was eventually divided into farm tracts known as Farmdale before Captain William Ballard formed the West Coast Improvement Company in the late 1880s to develop 720 acres on the north shore of Salmon Bay. Platted as Gilman Park in 1888, this development, with its easy access to the waters of the bay and Puget Sound, quickly attracted settlers and industry, particularly lumbering and fishing. When the municipality was incorporated in 1890, the city council changed the name to Ballard. The same year, a rail link was established with Seattle. By 1895, the community had begun to clear trees and underbrush in the park and to develop it for use as a local gathering place. A bandstand was constructed on a knoll for concerts, and a brick camp stove was built for picnics. Known variously as "City Park" or "Ballard Park," the property was transferred to the Seattle Parks Department in 1907 when Ballard was annexed. Voters had approved annexation due to concerns about an adequate water supply and problems with sewage and school funding. At that time, Ballard’s population of 10,000 made it the seventh largest city in Washington. As part of its annexation, Ballard was promised increased municipal services, including additional parks and recreational facilities. The 1908 Olmsted Supplemental Plan identifies Salmon Bay Park as being small in size and located in a neighborhood without other parks in the vicinity. The Olmsted Brothers recommended improvements for the park in order to create a resting place for the neighborhood and a playground for small children. 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, including Ballard. By 1911, many of the suggested improvements had been made, including the construction of a small, ornate comfort station designed by Seattle architects Saunders & Lawton. Over the next forty years, the Parks Department made numerous repairs to the small wood-frame comfort station before replacing it with a new masonry building in 1952. Until the later 1940s, the financial difficulties of the 1930s and the shortages of labor and materials during the Second World War had halted the construction of most new park buildings except for those projects completed by Depression-era federal relief agencies, such as the WPA. Construction of new park buildings commenced in the late 1940s, however, the materials gradually changed from wood and brick to the less expensive and more durable concrete block. The modern design of most of the new structures also contrasted with the earlier buildings, which generally exhibited Craftsman or period revival stylistic features. This building is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of the independent City of Ballard and of Salmon Bay Park.
Completed in 1952, this Modern concrete block comfort station occupies a site near the center of the northern end of Salmon Bay Park. The simple one-story structure has a rectangular footprint covered by a front gable roof with deep overhangs on the east and west elevations and slight overhangs on the north and south side elevations. The south elevation has a longer concrete block end wall, which extends to the edges of the overhanging roof and screens the entrances to the restrooms. Tongue and groove vertical boards cover the wide gable ends of the low-pitch roof. The modest building faces north and contains a women’s restroom in the eastern half and a men’s restroom in the western half. The entrances to the restrooms are situated at the southern ends of the east and west elevations and covered by modern metal gates. An additional door at the western end of the principal north elevation provides access to a maintenance room. At the center of the rear south elevation, a long narrow louvered opening lines the upper wall below the eaves. The east and west elevations have similar openings with their ends aligned adjacent to the restroom entrances. This well-maintained building retains good physical integrity.

Detail for 2001 NW Canoe PL NW / Parcel ID 7518508946 / Inv # DPR079

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete - Block, Vertical - Boards Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Metal - Standing Seam
Building Type: Other Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Block No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: 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 2001 NW Canoe PL NW / Parcel ID 7518508946 / Inv # DPR079

Photo taken Nov 01, 2000
App v2.0.1.0