Mount Baker Park

Mount Baker Park is located in the Mount Baker neighborhood at 2521 Lake Park Dr S, 98144. It is 21.7 acres.

The park has upland lawn areas and beach frontage on Lake Washington. The park, as well as Mount Baker Boulevard, was built in 1908-9 by the Hunter Improvement Company as part of the ‘Mount Baker Park’ residential subdivision.

The land for the park was deemed an essential part of the open space and boulevard system in the Olmsted Brothers 1903 report. The land here provided access to mild grades necessary for establishment of Lake Washington Boulevard, relatively easy access to the lakefront for water access, and a spur boulevard connecting Lake Washington Boulevard with Beacon Avenue, which became Lake Park Drive and Mt. Baker and Cheasty Boulevards.

The owners of the residential lots established an ‘Improvement Club’ in 1909 to manage the maintenance and upkeep of the public areas, and the park was built with enthusiastic community support. The design of the park was centered on a stream that flowed down to Lake Washington. At the upper (south) portion of the park, the stream was piped and fill was brought in to create flat lawn areas, picnic areas and clay tennis courts.

In an addendum to the 1909 report, in a letter dated Jan 21, 1909, the Olmsted Brothers firm advocated locating a recreational pier for small boats at the lakefront adjacent to Mount Baker Park. This area was mostly level shoreline and close to the boulevard so a building (boathouse) could be accommodated in the future. They suggested this area could also be used to create a beach, which would create access to the water from the southern neighborhoods. The letter, signed John C. Olmsted, concedes that the uninterrupted view from Mount Baker Park to the Cascade Mountains will be impacted by the pier and boathouse, but that the other conveniences of this location make it the best choice. A boathouse and pier were constructed at the park around 1910.

When the level of Lake Washington was lowered in 1917, the shoreline receded and created a small beach area. A 6-ton granite pagoda lantern in Mount Baker Park was a good-will gift of Kohiro Matsukata, Kobe, Japan, 1911. This came about because a group of Kobe, Japan businessmen visited the 1909 AYP Exposition, and a group of Seattle businessmen reciprocated. One of them remarked favorably on a lantern in Kobe, leading to the gift from Mr. Matsukata.  A comfort station was added in 1928; tennis courts were re-built in 1941 and a playground was added in 1971 and renovated in the 1990’s and again in 2014. The original boathouse was removed in 1946; a new pier and boathouse were built in 1949. The boathouse was the headquarters of the hydroplane races from 1950 to 1957; the moorage was replaced in 1961 as a fishing-only pier. The boathouse was remodeled in 1964 for use as a bathhouse.

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