Rogers Playground is located in the Eastlake neighborhood at Eastlake Ave E & E Roanoke St, 98102. It is 1.9 acres.
The Olmsted Brothers’ 1903 Comprehensive Plan recommended building independent playgrounds in addition to an interconnected park and parkway system. They urged the city to secure land “where there are opportunities for playgrounds.”
By 1909 the site had been acquired for playfield purposes, and the parks commissioners reported the park to have “a well-equipped small playground,” and its “borders and slopes [to] have been tastily cultivated and planted, giving it a very park-like appearance to the passerby.” The park also included a shelter house and ballfield, and “[g]ymnastics apparatus and supervisors are to be provided for the playfield this season for the first time, and it is expected that it will prove a very popular recreation center.”
In a 1908 map the park was called out as “Denny Firman Playground,” but in 1909 it was renamed in honor of John R. Rogers, former governor and “author of the famous ‘barefoot school boy’ law by which free text books are furnished in the public schools of the State of Washington.” [Sherwood files]