The public is invited to join Seattle Parks Foundation and Seattle Parks and Recreation, along with partners The Center for Wooden Boats, Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) and The United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, in celebrating the grand opening of Lake Union Park. On September 25, 2010 – almost 10 years to the day after the Navy conveyed the deed to its five acres of land to the City, allowing the consolidation of 12 acres at south Lake Union – this new showcase community gathering space and urban waterfront will officially open. Park supporters from around the region will gather to celebrate the grand opening with a full day of free community activities, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:30 a.m.
Saturday’s community-wide celebration begins with sunrise yoga and a family Fun Run, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony, when thousands of families, children, and neighbors from around the city and region will gather to dedicate Lake Union Park. Live music, a fitness field, parade of Seattle mascots, maritime activities, History Trail guided tours, kayak and paddle board demonstrations, and ample food and drink will set the stage for a great day in the park! Full details of the Lake Union Park Grand Opening Celebration can be found at http://seattleparksfoundation.org/LakeUnionParkGrandOpening.html.
“We believe Lake Union Park will become one of the most popular parks in the state. It has everything – water, a historic armory, places to play, boats, and a 6.2 mile loop that joins the whole lake to the park,” says Doug Walker, Seattle Parks Foundation board member, and co-chair of the Lake Union Park Campaign Committee.
The City has invested $17.5 million since the 1970s in acquiring and managing the park property. The total cost of the park construction project is $31.49 million, including revenue from these sources:
- $5.3 million in Pro Parks Levy funds allocated to support the design and planning of Lake Union Park (approved by Seattle voters in 2000)
- $5.5 million from the City of Seattle
- $10 million lead contribution from Vulcan Inc., the largest funding commitment ever made to a public Seattle park (2004)
- $10 million in additional private donations raised by Seattle Parks Foundation’s fundraising campaign (2008)
- $690,000 from Washington State grant funds
“Lake Union Park is one of the last Pro Parks Levy projects to be completed, and demonstrates the value citizens of Seattle place on parks,” said Christopher Williams, Acting Parks Superintendent. “We are excited to be opening this park that provides a great new open space and gathering place for Seattle residents and visitors.”
Now complete, Lake Union Park reclaims the shoreline and green space on Lake Union and fulfills the Olmsted vision of a magnificent waterfront park at the south end of Lake Union.
“Seattle Parks Foundation is incredibly proud to have served in a leadership role in the Lake Union Park project these past nine years and this success would not have been possible without the generosity and commitment of so many public and private donors and partners,” says Karen Daubert, Executive Director.
Lake Union Park construction was completed in two phases: Phase 1 began in November 2006 and was completed in the winter of 2008, including the first 1.6 acres of terraces to the water, a new seawall, a lakeside boardwalk, a pedestrian bridge to the park’s west side and landscaping. Phase 2 construction to complete the remaining 10.4 acres began in summer 2008.
Hargreaves Associates, a San Francisco based firm world-renowned for its expertise in designing waterfront green spaces, and Seattle-based architects Mithun designed the park with extensive input from neighborhood residents, businesses, and stakeholder groups. Lehrman Cameron Studio designed the interactive History Trail, with content developed by MOHAI, which will relocate to the Armory at Lake Union Park in 2012. Lake Union Park will also remain home to The Center for Wooden Boats, which will be constructing a new education center in the park.
Seattle Parks and Recreation managed construction and extensive environmental restoration, including removal of more than 20 tons of contaminated soil, replacement of the degraded seawall, and restored habitat in extensive areas throughout the park for the return of turtles, salmon, heron, birds and native plants.
- Model boat pond
- Restored shoreline habitat and native plants
- Beach for hand-launched boats
- 300-foot long interactive fountain
- Sculpted landforms for children’s play
- Tree grove with tables and benches
- Waterfront boardwalk
- Terraced steps at the lakes edge
- History Trail spread throughout the park.
“With features designed for both calm reflection on the shores of Lake Union and active recreation in multiple play areas, Lake Union Park has something for everyone and for all ages,” says Karen Daubert.
Trails for walking, jogging and biking, a pedestrian bridge, and a streetcar stop connect Lake Union Park to adjacent neighborhoods. In the future Lake Union Park will also be home to an expanded Center for Wooden Boats, Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) and United Indians of All Tribes canoe center. Offering access to local history, outdoor activities, and located at the heart of the burgeoning South Lake Union neighborhood, Lake Union Park will serve as a center for the city’s cultural and marine heritage.
Lake Union Park is located at 860 Terry Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109.
About Seattle Parks Foundation
Seattle Parks Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that works with public and private partners to improve, expand and create parks and green spaces, building a more vibrant community. Since 2001 Seattle Parks Foundation has completed 30 parks projects and secured more than $29 million for parks and green spaces in Seattle. Learn more about Seattle Parks Foundation and the Lake Union Park Grand Opening Celebration: http://seattleparksfoundation.org/LakeUnionParkGrandOpening.html
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