Quote of the Month:

“It was November--the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds,

deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines." - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Gas Works Park

Parent Category: Seattle
Created: 25 November 2013
Address:

2101 N Northlake Way, 98103

Hours

6 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Acreage:

19.1

General Information

Gas Works Park is a public park that is located on the territory of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant. It is situated on the shore of Lake Union.

The territory of the present park was given in 1906 for the construction of the plant that manufactured gas from coal, but import of natural gas in the 1950’s lead to the uselessness of the plant.

In 1962 the City of Seattle bought this territory for park purposes, in 1975 Gas Works Park opened its’ doors to the public.

A great number of pieces of the old gas plant can be found on the territory of the Gas Works Park. Some of them are ruined but still stay in the park, others are redone into a children’s play barn. This playground for children was reconstructed from the plant’s exhauster-compressor building, most of the pipes, pumps and compressors can be still found here.

Many tourists consider this park to be the most strangest in Seattle, but despite its’ uniqueness Gas Works Park opens great and stunning views of Seattle. Lots of visitors come here daily to enjoy the beautiful skyline of the city of Seattle.

Gas Works Park also features big hill popular for flying kites and a beautiful sundial built into its summit. The sundial is made out of concrete and decorated with rocks, shells, glass, bronze and many other materials. For telling the time it uses the body of the visitor as the gnomon. The visitor’s shadow shows the time of day and the season.

The park opens great opportunities for picnic lovers because there is a very comfortable picnic shelter with table. This shelter was opened on the territory of the former boiler house of the plant. The tubes from the boiler can be still found here and they show the history of impressive industrial technologies.

One may think that this territory is dangerous; it really was, because the soil and the groundwater were contaminated during the times when the plant was in operation. Lots of efforts have been put into the cleaning of this site, and now there aren’t any traits of contamination on the site. But, unfortunately, access to Lake Union is still prohibited at the park because hazardous substances are contained in the lake sediment.

Burke-Gilman Trail runs along the Gas Works Park. This 12.5-miles-trail follows the Burlington-Northern Railroad north to Kirkland Log Boom Park.

It should be said that park is a unique landmark of the city of Seattle. It is difficult to believe that the designer of the park was able to integrate the industrial plant into a breathtaking park. Gas Works park gives its’ visitors an opportunity to be art and part in the past when such industrial monuments considered to be ugly.

Several words should be said about the designer of the park, Richard Haag. He is the only landscape architect who twice received the American Society of Landscape Architects Award for design excellence. One of these awards was given for the design of Gas Works Park.

Park’s Facilities:
  • Historic Landmark
  • Picnic Sites
  • Play Area
  • Restrooms
  • Paths
  • Waterfront
  • Restrooms (ADA Compliant)
  • Paths (ADA Compliant)
Directions:

From I-5:

Take 45th St. Exit, go West on NE 45th St. and then turn left on Meridian Ave. N. Merdian 

Ave. N ends at Gas Works Park, turn right on N Northlake Way to find a parking lot that will be on the left.


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Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Information: Marina Petrova

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