Mount Baker Boulevard

Mount Baker Boulevard, is located in the Mount Baker Neighborhood, from S McClellan Street to Rainier Ave S. It is .8 miles long and 3.6 acres in size.


Mount Baker Boulevard stretches from Lake Park Drive (which connects at its north end to Lake Washington Boulevard) southwesterly to Rainier Boulevard, where the road came within one block of the Rainer Avenue trolley. It also connects Mount Baker Park (adjacent to Lake Park Boulevard) to the Mount Baker Playfield (now the Franklin High School athletic fields). The curving road, with a 150’ right-of way, has a wide central green space between the paved lanes, as well as wide parking strips on each side. The boulevard, as well as Mount Baker Park, was built in 1908-9 by the Hunter Improvement Company as part of the ‘Mount Baker Park’ residential subdivision.

In their 1903 plan for parks and boulevards, JCO recommended setting aside the ravine (Mt Baker Park) as a park with a parkway (now Lake Park Drive connecting to Mount Baker Boulevard) as a spur boulevard from Lake Washington Boulevard that would extend to Beacon Hill: “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. . . run gradually up the west flank of the next hill, in a southeasterly direction, to a saddle (where Mt. Baker Park is today) south-southwest. . . and then turning slant down the east side of the hill to the vicinity of the pumping station (at Colman Beach).” 

The designers of the subdivision, including the boulevard, were George Cotterill, former City Engineer, who laid out the plat, and former Parks Superintendent E.O. Schwagerl, who provided landscape design. John Charles Olmsted was hired by the Hunter company to review the plat and meet with Cotterill.

The west border of the subdivision was at 30th Avenue, along the bank of a stream that flowed south toward Wetmore Slough (today, Genesee Park). To extend the boulevard to the trolley line at Rainier Avenue and link up with Cheasty Blvd, a dual roadway was to be built west of 30th, with a commercial street on the north side and the park-owned boulevard on the south extending to Cheasty Boulevard.

In their 1910 report, which advocated for additional playgrounds located throughout Seattle, John Charles advised that a plat area be established adjacent to this westernmost stretch of Mount Baker Boulevard: “Mt. Baker Parkway near Rainier Avenue is about halfway between Colman Playground and Columbia Playground and about one mile from each. . . . Obviously there should be a playground there.” He continues with his recommendation, noting that the “land north of Mt. Baker Parkway is acreage property, level in part and would be nearer the school at 24th Avenue and Stevens Street. Although land in this locality along Rainier Avenue is held for its speculative value for business purposes, it offers the only good opportunity in this large section of the City for a really adequate playground combined with a small popular park. For these reasons we urge that a large playground be taken north of Mt. Baker Parkway and east of Rainier Avenue and that it be at least ten acres. . . .” Today that area contains the athletic facilities for Franklin High School.


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