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Summary for 7201 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID 9551200005 / Inv # DPR022

Historic Name: Evans Swimming Pool (Green Lake Park) Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Green Lake
Built By: Year Built: 1955
This architecturally distinctive reinforced concrete building was constructed in 1954-55 as an addition to the earlier Green Lake Park Field House, which was completed in 1929 on filled land along the eastern shores of Green Lake. 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. The large cove at the northeast corner of the lake was not completely filled until the later 1920s. Upon completion of this massive reclamation effort, the first major improvement was the construction of a large reinforced concrete field house, which featured Art Deco and Streamline Moderne stylistic features. As it was necessary to drive piles to support the foundation, construction of the building lasted from 1928 to 1929. In 1928, the Parks Department had completed a brick bathhouse on the western shore of the lake to replace an earlier frame structure. A structure with similar functions was needed across the lake to serve the East Green Lake Beach. The Parks Department decided to construct a field house, which would not only serve swimmers in the summer months but also offer indoor recreation facilities for year-round activities. In addition to it bathhouse facilities, this building featured social rooms, clubrooms, and a large gymnasium with a raised stage and full proscenium arch at one end. The acquisition of swimming beaches and the development of facilities for them had long been an emphasis of the Seattle Parks Department. Until the 1930s, indoor pools were considered the province of organizations, such as the YMCA or YWCA, as well as universities and private clubs. Public opinion eventually shifted to the position that the city should provide indoor pools among its other recreational facilities. About 1930, citizens in the north end began to petition the city for an indoor pool. However, the financial difficulties of the depression in the 1930s and the shortages of labor and materials during the Second World War halted the construction of most park buildings until the later 1940s with the exception of those built by state and federal relief agencies. In 1948, voters approved funding for a "North End Pool," which had been included in the bond issue as a result of a community petition with 50,000 signatures. Completed in 1955, the reinforced concrete building featured a modern design, which complemented the earlier building but obscured its principal east elevation. This first indoor pool was named in honor of brothers Lou and Ben Evans, whose combined service to the Parks Department totaled almost ninety years. Lou Evans served as the director of aquatic recreation from 1912 to 1957 while Ben Evans served as the director of playfield and playground recreation from 1917 to 1960. This building is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of Green Lake Park.
Completed in 1955, this reinforced concrete structure adjoins the east elevation of the earlier Green Lake Community Center and occupies a site on the eastern shore of Green Lake. Set on a high base, the one-story building has an L-shaped footprint arranged around an open courtyard at the northwest corner. On the longest sides, the approximate overall measurements are 135 feet by 112 feet. Measuring 64 feet by 112 feet, the eastern half houses the pool under a barrel vault roof and has a rectangular plan with smaller flat roof wings on the east and west elevations. The pool itself measures 42 feet by 75 feet with depths ranging between 3 feet and 12 feet. Measuring 71 feet by 55 feet, the flat roof western half connects the pool on the east to the community center on the west and houses a public lobby and dressing rooms for men and women. Originally, this section also contained a check room for swimmers’ belongings. However, the interior has since been reconfigured as a result of subsequent remodels. This section of the building also has a partial basement. Measuring 54 feet by 43 feet, the open courtyard has attractive landscaping and a low wall along the northern margin with a wide set of stairs and a wheelchair accessible ramp. The beveled vertical bands on the exterior walls of the building contrast with the raised horizontal bands on the high base. Otherwise, the building is devoid of exterior ornamentation. On the eastern half of the building, a wide shallow arch covers the north elevation of the main block and echoes the profile of the barrel vault roof. A large projecting bay at the center of the elevation contains three window openings above low concrete bulkheads embellished with incised waves. The center bulkhead also has a smiling face centered within the waves. Wide concrete mullions separate the openings, which feature modern metal sash. The south elevation of the main block is identical to the north elevation, however the window openings have been covered by textured concrete panels. On the east elevation, the wing extends nearly the full length of the main block. The wing has entrances on the north and south end walls, which open onto small landings covered by flat roofs and accessed by concrete stairs. Originally, a band of windows separated by concrete piers lined the upper wall of the wing’s east elevation. Concrete blocks now fill these openings. On the west elevation, the wing lines the northern end of the main block along the eastern side of the open courtyard. Originally, the west elevation of the wing contained three full height openings within a raised concrete surround. Concrete blocks now fill the northern opening while the original sash and entrance doors within the center and southern openings have been replaced by modern equivalents. On the western half of the building, the north elevation has a modern glassed in entrance at the western end and a long narrow window opening set high on the wall at the eastern end. The original windows within the opening have been replaced. The south elevation has an identical window opening also set with modern sash. This elevation also contains a modern glassed in entrance at the western end and an entrance to the lower basement level at the eastern end. Within the open courtyard, the exposed east elevation of the community center has been covered with the same beveled vertical bands of concrete cladding the pool addition. Originally, the courtyard was enclosed visually by a concrete beam, which rested on concrete posts and connected the addition with the original building. The beam and the posts may have been removed when the courtyard was reconfigured for ADA accessibility. Despite the extensive window alterations, this modest building retains good physical integrity and much of its original character and form.

Detail for 7201 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID 9551200005 / Inv # DPR022

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Barrel Vault, Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Recreation and Culture - Sports Facility Plan: L-Shape
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
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 # DPR022

Photo taken Jul 17, 2000
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