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Summary for 7200 12TH AVE / Parcel ID 6814600005 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Green Lake Reservoir Common Name:
Style: Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Green Lake
Built By: Year Built: 1910
The Seattle Water Department completed construction of this 50,000,000-gallon reservoir in 1910 along with the 60,000,000-gallon Maple Leaf Reservoir located ten blocks to the north. 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 Green Lake, the City acquired through purchase or condemnation the necessary lands for the reservoir site between 1906 and 1908. 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 Green Lake and Maple Leaf Reservoirs were completed with water supplied via water mains from the Volunteer Park Reservoir. With a capacity of 50,000,000 gallons, the low service Green Lake Reservoir served the north end of the city along with the larger intermediate service Maple Leaf 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. The Green Lake 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 50,000,000-gallon reservoir occupies all but a narrow portion of a large grassy site bounded by 12th Avenue NE on the west, by 15th Avenue NE on the east, and by NE 75th Street on the north. The reservoir property terminates just north of NE 71st Street with single family houses abutting Froula Playground, which is located within a narrow strip along the southern edge of the site. The original 1911 pump station as well as a newer facility are located outside the fenced area along the western side of the site near the southwest corner. A one-foot curb and a paved road surround the mostly square reservoir, which features curved corners and gently sloped walls covered with a plastic liner. The reservoir measures approximately 924 by 924 feet with a maximum depth of about 22 feet. Because the site slopes down from north to south, a high berm supports the reservoir on the east, west and south sides. Evergreen trees line the southern end of the fenced area, which has stairs leading down the embankment beyond. The Green Lake Reservoir appears identical in design to the Maple Leaf Reservoir, located ten blocks to the north and constructed at the same time. However, the Maple Leaf Reservoir has a greater capacity of 60,000,000 gallons and different berming due to different site requirements.  Seattle Public Utilities currently plans to decommission this reservoir after a new buried Maple Leaf Reservoir is constructed.

Detail for 7200 12TH AVE / Parcel ID 6814600005 / 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 Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
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 7200 12TH AVE / Parcel ID 6814600005 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jul 25, 2000
App v2.0.1.0