Duwamish Head Parkway (unrealized)

This is one of several parkways, never built, that were recommended by Olmsted in his 1908 supplemental report. The 1908 study specifically addressed recently annexed areas of the city, including West Seattle, Ballard and south Seattle. The network of “pleasure drives” that Olmsted envisioned aimed to extend the connected system of parks and boulevards into these newer city areas, and the routes he proposed responded to the local topography and features of the region to help provide a heightened experience of one’s surroundings. As John Charles penned in the 1908 report, these parkways were to provide “an appreciable amount of informal natural landscape beauty.” These parkways also would have connected and sometimes traversed park parcels dedicated for recreation and/or scenic beauty.

In the report Olmsted explained that this parkway, starting at or near the north end of Schmitz Park, was “intended mainly to preserve the steep slopes from the West Seattle Parkway at the ravine north of Alki avenue to Duwamish Head Park [Hamilton Viewpoint] and southeasterly to a point west of Youngs Cove.”  From this point it would head south and west to meet up with the West Seattle Parkway near today’s Alaska Junction. Olmsted envisioned the parkway as having “two driveways with a sloping reservation between them.”

The route shown on the map is approximate and based on the 1908 map, “Olmsted System, Parks, Boulevards and Playgrounds of the City of Seattle.”

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Olmsted 200. Celebrating Parks for All People

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