Update on New and Restored Paths at Volunteer Park

We are very excited that a further piece of Olmsted’s original design for Volunteer Park is now being restored and/or installed for the first time! ‘New’ pathways are currently being constructed, and existing paths repaved, in the park’s eastern greensward as part of mitigation efforts for the SAAM expansion project.

A gently sweeping path leading NE from the water tower to the central area of the greensward was originally proposed by John Charles Olmsted to connect these two features of the park. On-site discoveries suggest that this path did originally get built, but it was lost and disappeared over time.

A second, new path extension will formalize an existing “desire path” into the park at its SE corner. In addition, a new pathway north of the SAAM museum will replace a former walk leading through the museum’s service area to provide a cleaner, safer connection between the greensward and the park’s central concourse.

If you happen to visit Volunteer Park sometime in the next several months, you will also encounter much temporary fencing — these are in place for general safety and/or to protect the existing mature trees on-site.

For more info, please visit http://volunteerparktrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Path-Restoration-Flyer-Nov-2018.pdf

crushed rock path leading between two tall shrubs, with chain link fencing in background

Public Meetings for SAAM Expansion Project in Volunteer Park

Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks has been involved in reviewing proposed plans for the Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation and expansion project. We wrote a letter in June to the Landmarks Board outlining our concerns about the loss of park land, the need to effectively integrate any modifications into the surrounding park, and the impact the project would have on users. You can read our letter here: Landmarks Board Letter.

FSOP will be reviewing revised plans on Monday, September 26th. We will be sending a letter to the Landmarks Board in response to those new plans and posting information on our home page.

Please attend the following public meetings to learn more about the project and to provide feedback on the proposed plans:

SAT OCT 15 2016
Asian Art Museum
1400 E Prospect St, Seattle WA 98112

SAT NOV 19 2016
Asian Art Museum
1400 E Prospect St, Seattle WA 98112

SAT DEC 10 2016
Asian Art Museum
1400 E Prospect St, Seattle WA 98112

Black and white aerial view of linear breezeway structure with slightly larger, peaked square structures at each end and a peaked oval structure bisecting the middle. A drive with pullouts and a broad walk are seen in front of the breezeway. Conifer trees and clipped lawn are in background.
Volunteer Park Concert Grove and Pergola, 1910. This structure was demolished in 1932 to make way for the Seattle Art Museum. Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 30464

Summer 2015 Walking Tours Announced

Getting to Know the Seattle Olmsted Park System

Join us for monthly walking tours in Seattle’s Olmsted parks and start your weekend with a dose of beauty, nature, and history! They are held on 3rd Saturdays (except August) and begin at 10:00 AM, lasting approximately two hours. Appropriate for all ages. These walks are free and open to all, and go on rain or shine. There is no need to register in advance. Contact friends@seattleolmsted.org for more information about specific tours.

2015 Summer Walking Tour Schedule

May 16th
Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at the University of Washington campus
Meet at the entrance to the Burke Museum.

June 20th
Washington Park Arboretum
Meet at the Graham Visitor Center.

July 18th
Madrona Park and Frink Park
Meet at Leschi Elementary School parking lot.

September 19th
Volunteer Park
Meet at the Black Sun sculpture across from the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
*This is the FSOP annual meeting, please join us for potluck lunch after the tour.

colorized photo from old postcard showing aerial view of central plaza, bordered by red-roofed buildings, with cascading pools to large round pool, all centered on-axis with a distant view to Mt. Rainier. Text on postcard reads, "Mt. Rainier and Court of Honor, as seen from the US Government Building, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle, Wash., 1909. (Official Post Card)"
Rainier Vista, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, 1909. Courtesy J&A Collection.

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Olmsted 200. Celebrating Parks for All People

We are a proud partner of the Olmsted 200 campaign, a nationwide bicentennial birthday celebration of the democratic values and enduring influence of the visionary American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Join the celebration at Olmsted200.org