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Friends of Seattle Olmsted Parks Walking Tour: Volunteer Park
July 30 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm$25
Volunteer Park is often referred to as the crown jewel of Seattle’s Olmsted park and boulevard system, as its most complete and best-preserved Olmsted-designed landscape. Land purchased in 1876 was originally used as a cemetery, but in their 1903 report to the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners, the Olmsted Brothers proposed extensive improvements to the earlier park design by Parks Superintendent E.O. Schwagerl. Design drawings, developed from 1904 to 1910, incorporated the city water system facilities and guided the development of a pastoral landscape complemented by more formal garden beds along the ridge the park.
Creating an elaborate park system was probably the furthest thought from their minds when the Denny party arrived at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. All they could see through the rain were trees, more trees, and water. Building a home was far more important than building a place to play. And yet, just 33 years later Seattle had its first park and, 20 years after that, the city had a comprehensive plan for major parks and parkways that would rival any found in the United States.