Lakeview Park

Lakeview Park is located in the Denny Blaine neighborhood at 340 37th Ave E, 98112. It is 4.5 acres.

In their 1903 report, the Olmsted Brothers noted this terrain as a “marked saddle in the ridge” and proposed routing a boulevard through the area to connect Washington Park with the lakeshore parkway. They proposed capturing a broad swath of land in which to “construct the pleasure drive in the form of a loop extending northward beyond the ravine far enough to secure the needed length, and then running southwesterly to the divide.” This would be necessary to provide a more moderate grade for the parkway, if land from the Denny-Blaine Park Addition were not made available to help ascend the slope from a more southerly point.

With the advent of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909, properties for the boulevard system extending from the University campus southward through Washington Park and along Lake Washington were quickly acquired and the extensive “pleasure drive” designed, built and planted.  The first parcels making up Lakeview Park were acquired in 1908 (with later acquisitions in 1910). This portion of boulevard, originally called “Blaine Boulevard,” was developed as soon as the land was acquired.

Park historian Don Sherwood noted that this “park’s development in 1910 was for viewpoint purposes as a ‘resting spot on the parkway (where) a sweeping view of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains can be obtained (from) a slightly knoll.’” And indeed, a 1910 site plan labels a “lake view point” from the top of the knoll. Also that year, the board of parks commissioners described this park thus: “Though small in area, the tract is an excellent viewpoint and resting spot on the parkway and a sweeping view of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains can be obtained.” They reported also that a “sightly knoll on the tract has been improved in a formal manner.” By 1928, some of these improvements were beginning to disappear. A letter written by F.R. Singleton, a neighbor of the park, lamented the condition of the knoll area – “once perhaps the finest beauty spot in the city, [it] is fast losing its charm.” Brambles and volunteer maple trees were replacing the “roses and shrubs which used to decorate its sides.”

In 1947 a second view area was created on the east side of Hillside Drive and across the boulevard from the knoll, by clearing alders from the slope below and adding lawn, bench and hedgerow. In 1965, the spot was more formally developed as a viewpoint terrace. To-date, views from this belvedere are maintained, while distant views from the knoll have been lost due to vegetation growth.

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