Cheasty Boulevard

Cheasty Boulevard was designed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1910. It is located in the Jefferson Park neighborhood and runs between the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Rainier Ave to the north and Beacon Ave at Jefferson Park to the south. It is 1.3 miles long.

The boulevard was originally the entrance to Jefferson Park and so was named Jefferson Boulevard. It was renamed in 1914 to honor a Seattle Park Board member, E.C. Cheasty, who was instrumental in bringing the Olmsted Brothers to the city to develop a parks and boulevards system. The Olmsted Brothers intended the boulevard to connect Jefferson Park to Mount Baker Boulevard and, ultimately, Lake Washington. As stated in their 1903 report: “To connect Beacon Hill Park (now Jefferson Park) with Lake Washington Parkway, as well as to benefit the citizens and property in the southern part of the city, it would be desirable to have a broad parkway slant down the east flank of the hill in a northerly direction . . . to a crossing of the Renton electric railway (today’s Rainier Avenue).” From that point the parkway would turn and navigate the next hill in a southeasterly direction until reaching the “saddle” in the ridge (where Mt. Baker Park is today). From the saddle, the route would take the gentle slope down to the shoreline of Lake Washington. John Charles originally envisioned the parkway leading to Jefferson Park’s northeast corner, but by 1907 the city boundary had extended further southward, allowing a more southerly alignment that was still within city limits. A December 1908 map showing the Olmsted system of parks and boulevards shows a revised alignment connecting the parkway to the southeast corner of Jefferson Park. In early 1909 the park commissioners approved this alignment.

A 1912 Preliminary Plan by Olmsted for Jefferson Park includes the upper section of the boulevard and shows a winding route responding to the natural terrain, the roadway incorporating a median strip and formal tree spacing as it heads further down the wooded slope.

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