West Seattle 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.

This road was intended to traverse northwesterly across West Seattle from the Longfellow Creek ravine, west of today’s Puget Park to Alki Point. Topographic challenges to executing the route rivaled those along Lake Washington Boulevard. 

From a location west of Puget Park, the West Seattle Parkway would have crossed Delridge Way at the P-Patch gardens, then run northwesterly through today’s West Seattle Golf Course and crossed California Ave a few blocks north of present-day Alaska Junction, at that time part of the “Boston Subdivision.” It would have then headed northwest and down a ravine, eventually turning southwest to terminate at Alki Point.

In 1911 John Charles proposed a refined alignment for the parkway in the area of Schmitz Park, addressing the topographic challenges through a series of turns toward an elevated bridge. The parkway was never built, although portions of ROW had been bought up for this and the South Seattle Parkway routes, including a route through the golf course and the north portion of Puget Park.

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