Discovery Park

Discovery Park is located in the Magnolia neighborhood at 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, WA 98199. It is 534 acres.

Fort Lawton (now Discovery Park) anchors John Charles Olmsted’s 1903 design for Seattle’s park and boulevard system as “a continuous pleasure drive from the north end of Bailey Peninsula to Fort Lawton Reservation, about twenty miles long.” Olmsted later drew plans in 1910 for trails and drives within the fort to maximize access to the site’s outstanding water views, beaches and forests. 

Obtaining public access to the Fort was important as Olmsted had urged the Park Commissioners to “secure and preserve for the use of the people as much as possible…of water and mountain views and of woodlands,” The hope had been that the U.S. Army would grant public access to at least some of the site based on Olmsted’s plan, but there were insufficient federal funding available at the time to consider such an option. 

Fortunately, as the military base was decommissioned starting in 1973, the land has returned to the City. Now Discovery Park, substantially fulfills Olmsted’s vision as an anchor for the city-wide system.

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