Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 6900 35TH AVE / Parcel ID 2489200285 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: SW Myrtle Street Reservoir Common Name:
Style: Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Morgan Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1947
The Seattle Water Department constructed this 7,000,000-gallon reservoir in 1947 after completing a 1,000,000-gallon steel tank the previous year on a site adjacent to a 500,000-gallon tank built in 1919. As early as 1916, the Water Department had recognized the need for two reservoirs in West Seattle and had acquired a large tract of land in the vicinity of SW Cloverdale Street and 8th Avenue SW for the purpose of constructing one of them. At the time, six wooden tanks at 40th Avenue SW and SW Charleston Street served the entire West Seattle area with a combined capacity of 300,000 gallons. Within a few years, the construction of three more wooden tanks at SW Charleston Street and a new steel tank at 36th Avenue SW and SW Myrtle Street increased West Seattle’s capacity to almost a 1,000,000 gallons. Despite the purchase of the land in 1916, the first reservoir at 8th Avenue SW and SW Trenton Street was not completed until 1932. The Depression of the 1930s and the shortage of labor and materials during the Second World War prevented the Water Department from carrying out their plans to construct the second reservoir until 1945. In that year, additional land was acquired adjacent to the 1919 tank on SW Myrtle Street at 35th Avenue SW for the purposes of constructing a reservoir and an elevated tank. The tank was completed in 1946 and the reservoir the following year with connections to the West Seattle Reservoir to the south and the SW Charleston Street Standpipe to the north. The Water Department retained the earlier tank on the site. The new 7,000,000-gallon reservoir was the second of three small distribution reservoirs constructed within a three-year period for the Seattle water system. In 1945, the 5,500,000-gallon Magnolia Manor Reservoir was completed at 27th Avenue West and West Bertona Street. Three years later, the 6,000,000-gallon Bow Lake Reservoir was constructed outside of the city limits at 24th Avenue South and South 160th Street. The Bow Lake Reservoir was taken out of service in 1979, while the Magnolia Manor Reservoir was covered in 1994. The SW Myrtle Street Reservoir is significant for its association with the growth and development of the Seattle water system.
Completed in 1947, this small 7,000,000-gallon reservoir occupies the center portion of a large grassy site roughly bounded by 35th and 36th Avenues SW and by SW Myrtle and SW Willow Streets. In addition to the concrete lined reservoir, the fenced site includes a 500,000-gallon tank constructed in 1919 and a 1,000,000-gallon tank constructed in 1946, which are both located at the higher southern end along SW Myrtle Street. A concrete wall capped with a concrete coping surrounds the mostly square reservoir, which features steeply sloped walls and curved corners. The perimeter wall is higher on the southern half of the reservoir. A break in the wall on the eastern side opens onto stairs leading down into the reservoir. Because the site slopes down from north to south, a high berm supports the east, west and north sides of the reservoir. A service road enters the site from 35th Avenue SW and encircles the reservoir. A high retaining wall skirts the southern edge of the road along the base of the hill. Stairs within the wall lead to the upper level containing the two tanks. The reservoir is used in conjunction with the SW Charleston Standpipe to serve the 488-foot elevation pressure zone in southwest Seattle. They are filled by pumping water from the West Seattle reservoir and/or from the SW Spokane Street Pump Station.

In 2008, Seattle Public Utilities completed a new 5 million gallon concrete buried reservoir.  After the grass has been established, the area will be opened up for passive public use.

Detail for 6900 35TH AVE / Parcel ID 2489200285 / 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: Square
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories:
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Science & Engineering
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
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 6900 35TH AVE / Parcel ID 2489200285 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Nov 13, 2000
App v2.0.1.0