Open Space Program Records, 1978-2002

Overview of the Collection

Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Parks and Recreation
Open Space Program Records
1978-2002 (inclusive)
5.4 cubic feet, (14 boxes)
Collection Number
Records documenting the Seattle Parks Department's Open Space Program.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Department of Parks and Recreation maintains the City's parks, shorelines, and boulevards; and administers community centers, public golf courses, and other athletic and cultural facilities. Seattle's first park was established in 1884 after David Denny donated land to the City for that purpose. At that time, a three-member park committee, with limited authority, was created to manage the nascent park system. A Board of Parks Commissioners was established in 1890 with control over all public parks and authority to appoint a Parks Superintendent. In 1896, the City Charter created the position of Superintendent of Streets, Sewers and Parks. The Parks Department became a separate entity in 1904. In 1926, a City Charter amendment abolished the position of Superintendent, distributing its responsibilities between the Head Gardener and the Landscape Architect. A 1948 City Charter amendment required the Board of Park Commissioners to appoint a park superintendent to administer the department. In 1967, another City Charter Amendment reconstituted the Board as an advisory body to the Mayor and City Council, changed the agency name to Department of Parks and Recreation, and placed fiscal and operational administration under the superintendent. In 1902 the City hired the Olmsted Brothers, the country's premier landscape architectural firm, to design a parks and boulevards system. Although not all of the plan was implemented, the Olmsted legacy is evident in many of Seattle's parks and boulevards. The City acquired significant amounts of property for park purposes following the turn of the 20th Century, but in 1926 further acquisition was limited by a City Charter amendment that stipulated only money in the Park Fund could be used for that purpose. However, in the 1970s the Forward Thrust Bond issue, along with federal grants and the Seattle Model City Program, supported the largest expansion of the Park system in Seattle history. These programs funded more than 70 new parks and park facilities. The Department manages over 6,000 acres of park land, over two dozen community centers, five municipal golf courses, the Aquarium, and many other recreational and athletic facilities.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Records of the Open Space Program from Property and Acquisition Services Manager Donald Harris,including his correspondence, working files, and subject files. There are 35 mm slides in the draft proposal for a grant, but all other materials are paper administrative files. Records document property acquisition (including costs and correspondence), condemnation, project planning, and funding from bond and tax initiatives. Highlights include the Duwamish River Greenbelts, memos from the 1990 Open Spaces Bond, and the development of small neighborhood parks.

Records also include legal files related to the use of the right of way in Viretta Park. The Neighbors and Friends of Viretta Park, an unincorporated voluntary association, and several individuals who live in the vicinity of Viretta Park brought this lawsuit against the City of Seattle, its Parks Superintendent Holly Miller, and Howard Schultz (founder of Starbucks) and Sheri Schultz seeking declaratory judgment that vehicles are barred from the Viretta Park right of way, and that the City did not have the authority under the plat dedicating the park to allow the Schultzes to utilize the park right of way for vehicular access to their property.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Open Space Program Records, Record Series 5804-16. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Index to City Parks - Location, Size, Date Acquired, Elements/Features 1978
1/2 Project Development Division, Draft Annual Report 1978
1/3 Donald Harris, Director - Working File, Acquisition Costs 1989
1/4 Donald Harris, Director - Working File 1990-1998
1/5 Donald Harris, Director - Working File 1994-1995
1/6 Donald Harris, Director - Working File 1996-1997
1/7 Policies 1987-1991
1/8 Staff Meetings 1993-1994
1/9 Strategic Acquisitions Report, Cheasty Greenbelt, Cheasty Boulevard Additions Natural Area and Mountain View Drive Natural Area 1990
1/10 Program Status 1995
1/11 Program Cost Projections 1996
2/1 Acquisitions, Donations, Transfers 1997
2/2 Open Space Bond Issue, Background Information, Reports, Resolutions 1989
2/3 Open Space Bond Issue, Departmental/Interdepartmental Correspondence 1989
2/4 Open Space Bond Issue, Team Open Space - Memos/Minutes 1989
2/5 Open Space Bond Issue, Public Correspondence and Mailings 1989
2/6 Open Space Bond Issue, Memos and Correspondence, March 1990
2/7 Open Space Bond Issue, Memos and Correspondence, April 1990
2/8 Open Space Bond Issue, Memos and Correspondence, May 1990
3/1 Memos and Correspondence, June 1990
3/2 Memos and Correspondence, June 1990
3/3 Memos and Correspondence, July 1990
3/4 Memos and Correspondence, July 1990
3/5 Memos and Correspondence, August 1990
3/6 Memos and Correspondence, August 1990
3/7 Memos and Correspondence, September 1990
3/8 Memos and Correspondence, October 1990
3/9 Memos and Correspondence, November 1990
4/1 Memos and Correspondence, December 1990
4/2 Memos and Correspondence, January 1991
4/3 East Duwamish Greenbelt, Draft Application to WWRP [Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program] 1993
4/4 Kiwanis Ravine, Draft Application to WWRP [Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program] 1993
5/1 Puget Creek Natural Area and Arroyos Natural Area, WWRP Application [Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program] 1994
5/2 35mm Slides - Puget Creek Natural Area and Arroyos Natural Area, WWRP Application [Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program] 1994
5/3 West Duwamish Greenbelt, WWRP Draft Application [Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program] 1993
5/4 Alki and West Point Lighthouses, Acquisition Issue Paper 1994
5/5 Belltown P-Patch 1992-1994
5/6 Belltown P-Patch 1994-1995
5/7 Bikeways, Duwamish Trail and Freeway Park 1992-1994
5/8 Burke-Gilman Trail, Parcel Acquisition 1995
5/9 Cheasty Boulevard 2002
5/10 Citizen Participation Guidelines 1992
5/11 Condemnations, Duwamish Head Greenbelt (Tyrell, College Street Ravine) 1996
6/1 Condemnations, Open Space Program 1994-1996
6/2 Condemnations, Open Space Program 1995
6/3 Condemnations, Open Space Program 1992-1996
6/4 Conservation Easements 1990
6/5 Conservation Futures Bond Program 1994
6/6 Duwamish Head Greenbelt 1990-1995
6/7 Environmentally Critical Areas, Standard Operating Procedure 1994
6/8 Evergreen Alliance, Parks and Open Space Omnibus Legislation 1993-1994
6/9 Facilities Maintenance and Development Division, Operations and Annual Report 1993
6/10 Fuel Storage Tanks 1993-1994
6/11 Future Funding Proposal for Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces 1996
6/12 GIS 1994
7/1 Greenbelts 1979
7/2 Greenbelts 1989
7/3 Greenwood Nursery Site Acquisition 1994-1996
7/4 Hazardous Waste and Internal Operations Audit 1994
7/5 Interbay Landfill and Golf Center 1994
7/6 King County Open Space Citizens Committee 1989
7/7 Kubota Gardens 1995
7/8 Legislation and Ordinances for Land Acquisitions 1994
7/9 Leschi Natural Area 1990
7/10 Longfellow Creek and Seattle Steel 1993-1995
8/1 Longfellow Creek and Seattle Steel 1995
8/2 Magnolia Bluff Madrona [Madrona] Trees 1994
8/3 Martha Washington Park Development 1988
8/4 Mountain to Sound Greenway 1994
8/5 Natural Resources Maintenance and Management Seminar, Parks and Recreation 1993
8/6 Neighborhood Planning Work Group 1993-1995
8/7 Noise Ordinance Task Force 1994
8/8 North Beach, 30th NW Natural Area 1990-1991
8/9 Northgate, Thornton Creek 1992-1994
8/10 Olmsted/Fairview Park Acquisition 1989-1991
8/11 Open Space America, Newsletters 1990-1991
9/1 Opportunity Fund 1990-1991
9/2 Opportunity Fund 1991
9/3 Opportunity Fund, Public Meeting 1991
9/4 P-Patch Program 1992
9/5 Park Foundation 1996-1997
9/6 Park Foundation 1997-1998
9/7 Park Property Management of Non-Park Use of Park Lands 1995
9/8 Pending Transfers from King County Properties 1991
9/9 Proposed Revisions to Public Involvement Policies 1994
9/10 Real Estate Tax (REET) and Bond Funding 1994
9/11 Reforestation and Green Spaces 1990-1994
10/1 Seattle-King County Land Conservancy, Correspondence 1993
10/2 Seattle Street Trees and Urban Forest 1992-1993
10/3 Shoreline Park Improvement Fund 1993-1995
10/4 Shoreline Street Ends 1994-1995
10/5 Silver Cloud and Fairway Estates Properties 1994
10/6 Skagit Youth Camp 1993
10/7 Southeast Seattle 1993-1994
10/8 South Lake Union Development 1980
10/9 South Lake Union Trail 1994
10/10 St. Mark's Greenbelt 1989-1998
10/11 The Real Estate Environmental Endowment (TREE) 1989-1990
10/12 The Real Estate Environmental Endowment (TREE) 1990
10/13 TREEmendous Seattle 1992-1994
11/1 Washington Park Addition, Madison/McGilvra/McGraw 1990-1995
11/2 Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition Meetings 1991
11/3 Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition and State Legislation 1995
11/4 Waterways 2000 1994
11/5 Waterways 2000 1994
11/6 Waterways 2000 1994
11/7 Webster School Playground and Ballard Property Acquisition 1994
11/8 West Duwamish Greenbelt 1990-1994
11/9 West Duwamish Greenbelt / UW Pigeon Point / Cooper School 1989-1996
11/10 Wetland Mitigation Bank or Fee-in-lieu 1993
12/1 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case Law Research 1995
12/2 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case File 1995
12/3 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case File 1995
12/4 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case File 1995
12/5 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case File 1995
13/1 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case File 1995
13/2 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case File 1995
13/3 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case File 1995
13/4 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case File 1995
13/5 Viretta Park Lawsuit - Case File 1995
14/1 Seattle Parks Centennial 1984
14/2 Seattle Olmsted Parks Centennial and the Annnual Meeting (in Seattle) of the National Association for Olmsted Parks 2003

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Acquisition of property--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Open spaces--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Parks--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Viretta Park

Corporate Names

  • Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Parks and Recreation