Alki Playground is located at 5817 SW Stephens St, 98116. It is 3.8 acres in size.
The Olmsted Brothers’ 1903 Comprehensive Plan recommended building independent playgrounds in addition to an interconnected park and parkway system. They urged the city to secure land “where there are opportunities for playgrounds.” In their 1909 report the board of parks commissioners identified this tract, “abutting on Schmitz Boulevard and a short distance south of the proposed Alki Point Bathing Beach” for acquisition for playground purposes. They acquired this property and the first section of Alki Beach, from 58th to 65th streets, for park purposes in 1910.
Schmitz Boulevard originally bordered the park to the west and south along 59th and Stevens, with an ornate archway entry point located at 59th and Lander near the park’s NW corner. As part of the boulevard’s development, rows of maple trees were planted along 59th. The Alki Elementary School was built in the block immediately south of the park in 1912. In 1949, this section of boulevard was removed due to conflicts with schoolchildren’s use of the playground area, and the new entry to the boulevard was established at Admiral Way.
In their 1910 annual report, the parks commissioners excitedly stated that “the combination of bathing beach, athletic grounds and picnic park, all adjoining each other [by way of Schmitz Boulevard] will probably result in Alki Playfield proving very useful this coming season.” Over the next several years the park site was bolstered with additional fill and bulkheading as surrounding street grades were also readjusted.