Brighton Playfield

Brighton Playfield is located in the Hillman City neighborhood at 6000 39th Ave S.

The Olmsted Brothers recommended land be set aside for a playfield in this newly annexed area of the city in their 1908 report. The parcel they identified, which they initially called “Graham Avenue Playfield,” was just under 8 acres in size and was immediately adjacent to Rainier Ave and south of Graham Street and “fairly level.” The firm advocated for “playfields for boys of the grammar school age. . . within a mile of every home,” and this location would have helped realize that goal.

Two years later, no land acquisitions for a playfield had yet occurred in this neighborhood. In his 1910 report, John Charles reiterated this particular playfield recommendation (this time calling it “Hillman Park”), noting that it had been “urged of late that there should be a playground somewhere between the Hillman City Addition and Brighton Beach Addition so as to serve for both.” After mentioning the site he had previously identified, Olmsted acknowledged that a “larger area [may need to be] secured” and suggested that, should the current site not be “in accordance with promises made,” the firm might need to re-examine the neighborhood for another site. In 1913, the site that now holds Brighton Playfield and Aki Kurose Middle School was purchased by the city. Improvements to the park were slow, as several stumps and a lot of garbage debris had collected on the site, but by 1932 a shelter house and tennis courts had been built.  Today the park also includes a playground and ballfields. The park and adjacent neighborhood were named for the original town site of “Brighton Beach,” after a British seaport.

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