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May 2020

FSOP to Participate in GiveBIG Washington

May 5, 2020 @ 8:00 am - May 6, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
Give big logo -- blue heart shape overlaid with text, "give big, 10 years of giving." Also includes text, "May 5-6; Powered by 501c Commons."

Parks and open spaces have always been vital to people's health and well-being and are especially so in this challenging time. The Seattle parks system is now over 100 years old, originally designed by the Olmsted Brothers’ Landscape Architecture firm in 1903. Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks (FSOP) is dedicated to educating people and preserving Seattle’s rich Olmsted heritage.   Your donation to FSOP through GiveBig on May 5 and 6 will help us in our efforts to teach about…

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March 2020

watercolor of orange, red and gold-colored madrone tree trunk against blue sky.

Call for Submissions – Earth Day

March 25, 2020 @ 8:00 am - April 18, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and Appreciation of Seattle’s Parks   Do you have a favorite photo, memory, or personal artwork that involves one of our Olmsted parks or boulevards, or any of our city parks? In these days of self-containment, do you find yourself growing introspective about Seattle’s striking surroundings or its colorful history? We’d love to see and hear from you! With the global outbreak of COVID-19, Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks is revisiting some of…

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November 2019

Olmsted Book Launch Announced

November 16, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave
Seattle, 98104 United States

HistoryLink, Documentary Media and FSOP are proud to announce the upcoming launch of Olmsted in Seattle: Creating a Park System for a Modern City, which tells the story of Seattle's Olmsted Brothers-designed public park system. Join us for a book launch featuring a talk by its author, historian Jennifer Ott, who will discuss how research for the book revealed new details in the story of creating an Olmsted park system in Seattle, and what the park system has meant to…

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Olmsted in Seattle Book Talk at CUH

November 12, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St
Seattle, WA 98105 United States
+ Google Map
book cover with title reading "Olmsted in Seattle; Creating a Park System for a Modern City, by Jennifer Ott and HistoryLink staff." Full color photo of woodland path in autumn.

Join us for a talk by historian Jennifer Ott about stories she uncovered in her research for Olmsted in Seattle. In the midst of galloping growth at the turn of the 20th century, Seattle's city leaders seized on the confluence of a roaring economy with the City Beautiful movement to hire the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm to design a park and parkway system. Their 1903 plan led to a supplemental plan, a playground plan, numerous park and boulevard designs,…

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September 2019

Join Us on September 21 for our Walking Tour of the UW Campus & FSOP Annual Meeting

September 21, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
University of Washington, WA United States

View of Rainier Vista, UW Campus, from Drumheller Fountain.   This walking tour will be followed by our annual meeting and potluck, which all are welcome to attend. On the tour, learn about the Olmsted Brothers' design of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909 and experience its lasting legacy, the central axial green of Rainier Vista. We will meet in the plaza behind (south of) Anderson Hall on the UW campus. If you'd like to bring anything for the potluck, please…

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“History Pub” Event at Tacoma’s New McMenamin’s

September 3, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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August 2019

Landmarks Preservation Board to consider nomination of University of Washington Mechanical Engineering Building and former Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE) Foundry / MEB Annex for landmark status

August 21, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider the nomination of the University of Washington Mechanical Engineering Building and the former Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE) Foundry / MEB Annex (3900-3902 East Stevens Way NE) on Wednesday, August 21 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, Floor L2) in the Boards & Commissions Room L2-80. The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments regarding the nominations. Written comments are also accepted and should be received…

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Join Us on August 17th for our Discovery Park Walking Tour

August 17, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Discovery Park, WA 98199 United States

Officer's Barracks, 1907 (Asahel Curtis). Courtesy UW Special Collections   This walking tour will be led by members of both FSOP and Friends of Discovery Park. Learn about John Charles Olmsted's original impressions and vision for Fort Lawton, renamed Discovery Park in the 1970's. Olmsted envisioned this park as the north anchor of Seattle's inter-connected system of parks and boulevards, extending throughout the city from Seward Park in the southeast.   The tour will begin and end at Discovery Park's…

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July 2019

Schmitz Preserve Park Walking Tour

July 20, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Schmitz Preserve Park, Meet near the intersection of 58th Ave SW and SW Stevens St
Seattle, WA 98116 United States
black and white photo of woman and toddler on a narrow, long footbridge spanning a deep ravine. Bridge is rustic, dress is early 20th-century, and surroundings are wooded with conifer trees.

Bridge across stream in Schmitz Preserve Park, 1910. Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 30259.   We will meet at the park sign near the intersection of 58th Ave. SW and SW Stevens St., close to Alki Elementary School. We’ll take a look at the park as a component of the Olmsted system of parks and boulevard, compare the plan John Charles Olmsted created for the park in 1908 with the layout of the park today, and enjoy the amazing forest that…

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June 2019

Denny-Blaine, Lakeview, & Viretta Parks Walking Tour

June 15, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Denny-Blaine Park, 200 Lake Washington Blvd E
Seattle, WA 98112 United States

Learn about Olmsted's vision for Lake Washington Boulevard as it climbed the slope toward Washington Park, and view some early neighborhood parks established in 1901 with the platting of a new subdivision.  We will also visit the Bush School's oldest building and a couple of estates designed by Olmsted. The tour will begin and end at Denny-Blaine Park, situated on the shore of Lake Washington, and from there ascend along Lake Washington Boulevard to Lakeview Park, continuing on to Viretta…

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May 2019

May 18th Walking Tour — SW Queen Anne Hill

May 18, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Kinnear Park, 899 W Olympic Pl
Seattle, WA 98119 United States

Members of the Queen Anne Historical Society will be joining us and talking about early development and historical properties that we'll encounter on this walk.

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MOHAI History Café: Volunteer Park from Cemetery to City Landmark

May 15, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Join Jennifer Ott as she uncovers how Volunteer Park’s designers, caretakers, and users have shaped its ever-evolving landscape. Wednesday, May 15, 2019 6:30 – 8:30 pm For more information, please see the posting on MOHAI's website https://mohai.org/event/history-cafe-volunteer-park-from-cemetery-to-city-landmark/

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January 2019

Olmsted Legacy to be Featured at McMenamin’s Pub Night Talk

January 29, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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September 2018

Correction — Walking Tour Date

September 22, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Please note that the date for our final walking tour of the season, through Cal Anderson Park, has been changed. Originally scheduled for Saturday, September 15, it is now to occur the following Saturday, September 22nd. We are still meeting at 10:00am, by the Shelter House. We do hope you will join us! Cal Anderson Park  

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August 2018

Interlaken Park & Boulevard Walking Tour

August 18, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Interlaken Park, 2451 Delmar Dr E
Seattle, WA 98102 United States
+ Google Map

Come learn about some of the park’s history, including how the roadway traces an earlier bike trail system and how the park fulfills some basic tenets of the Olmsted Brothers’ design philosophy. Given this summer’s heat, a walk through the woods may be just the thing! We will meet and start at the intersection of 19th Ave. E and E Galer Street and take off downhill from there. The tour will entail ~2.8 miles of walking and last 2-2.5 hours.…

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May 2018

A Park System for All: The Olmsted Vision for Seattle – May 10th

May 10, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join historian and former FSOP board member at the Mercer Island Public Library on May 10th at 7:00 p.m. to learn about Seattle's Olmsted Brothers-designed park and boulevard system. Jennifer will talk about the Olmsted Brothers' vision for the park system, how it was implemented, and how it has shaped Seattle and contributed to the the city's livability. The event is free and open to the public. Mercer Island Public Library is located at 4400 88th Ave SE, Mercer Island,…

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September 2017

Volunteer Park Fall Restoration Day – September 17

September 17, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Save the date for the Volunteer Park Trust's 6th annual fall clean up event on September 17, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This major restoration effort brings scores of friends and neighbors together to make a huge impact on Volunteer Park. In past years volunteers have prepared beds for replanting (according to the original Olmsted plans), laid new gravel on paths, cleared out invasive weeds, and planted shrubs. Their efforts supplement the park staffs' work caring for the…

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Join us September 16th 2017 for a Walking Tour and the Annual Meeting!

September 16, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Our final walking tour for 2017 will be held at Washington Park Arboretum at 10:00am. We will meet in front of the Graham Visitors Center. Jennifer Ott and Andy Mitton will be leading the tour that will highlight the beginnings of the Arboretum as well as present-day activities. There will be an opportunity for a sneak peek at the Arboretum Loop Trail and a discussion of how the route follows trails indicated within the 1936 Olmsted Brothers general plan for…

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April 2017

Volunteer Park Amphitheater Design Review

April 6, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Volunteer Park Trust's Amphitheater replacement project is presenting the schematic design developed by ORA Architects at a public meeting on April 6, at 5:00 p.m., in the Volunteer Park Conservatory. The Trust is interested in the public's feedback on the design. Project leads ORA Architects, Seattle Parks representatives, and Volunteer Park Trust members will be on hand to answer questions. For more information, visit the Trust's project page.

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March 2017

Colman Park Vista Restoration Project Meeting

March 28, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Learn about where the effort to restore the Olmsted view corridor through Colman Park stands. Bradner Park meeting room - 1730 Bradner Pl S, Seattle, WA 98144 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. If you’re new to this project, you’re invited to arrive at 6:30. Project organizers will have a short presentation to share the background and answer questions. If this is of interest to you, please RSVP (colmanparkvista@gmail.com). Please pass this invitation along to anyone who might like to learn more…

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