Department of Parks and Recreation Pro Parks Development Digital Photograph Collection, 2007

Overview of the Collection

Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Parks and Recreation
Department of Parks and Recreation Pro Parks Development Digital Photograph Collection
2007 (inclusive)
512 digital image files
Collection Number
Digital images documenting community center and park openings.
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 nadcent 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 Amendement 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 adminstration under the superintendent. In 1902 the City hired the Olmsted Brothers, the country's premier landscape architectural firm, to design a parks and boulevard system. Although not all of the plan was implemented, the Olmstead 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 amendement 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 Program, supported the largest expansion of the Park system in Seattle history. These programs funded more thatn 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

Digital images documenting community center and park openings. Community celebrations and opening day events include elected officials and musical performers as well as entertainment for children. Parks and community centers represented are John C. Little Park opening in South Beacon Hill, Ella Bailey Park opening in Magnolia, Laurelhurst Community Center ribbon cutting, and Maple Leaf Garden opening attended by Councilmember Richard Conlin and Department of Neighborhoods Director Stella Chao. Also documented is the Delridge Parks Project Celebration which includes Cottage Grove Park, Greg Davis Park, and Pacific Boulevard Park, all located in West Seattle. All images can be viewed in the Photograph Index online. View 5811-01 online

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item number.] Pro Parks Development Digital Photograph Collection, Record Series 5811-01. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Photographs acquired through the Seattle Municipal Archives Digital Image Management Program.

Future Additions

This series may grow due to the continued accessioning through the Digital Image Management Program. This finding aid will be updated to reflect additional accessions.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Community centers--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Forward Thrust (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Parks--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Playgrounds--Washington (State)--Seattle

Corporate Names

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

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)