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Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park

seattle.gov
Gas Works Park is a park located in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is a 19.1-acre public park on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light … See more

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Dec 31, 2022
Came here with my dogs on a trip! Great view of the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat! Really nice views of the city and Lake Union! Worth a trip here. It was super muddy though in areas. Probably much … Full review by Lei6584
Nov 6, 2022
This is a cool park by the lake, with both great views of the city and of course the very interesting old refinery. Nice to spend some time here. Full review by karimmaarouf
Oct 4, 2022
You can no longer climb and play on or near the oil refinery equipment but there is a great view of Seattle and surrounding areas from the sundial as the top of the hill. Full review by annmayereisen

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A Former Gas Plant Turned Public Park
When dealing with abandoned buildings, like the city of Seattle was when their gasification plant was rendered useless by their switch to natural gas in 1956, most would probably jump at the chance to tear everything down and start building something else from scratch-- but Seattle isn't most cities. Rather than develop the land into another plant, they saw the chance to build one of the world's coolest public parks, today known as Gas Works Park. It was definitely a great use of the space-- it's right on the shore of Lake Union and offers an unbeatable view of the Seattle city skyline. As you can imagine, the abandoned gas plant, which converted coal and crude oil into gas to power the city, wasn't the cleanest place when it was first purchased by Seattle, but it was decontaminated and fixed up to make it look spiffy. Despite the fact that the place needed a good scrub down, the city decided to leave a lot of the old structures standing, like the synthetic natural gas generator towers. They were built between the 1930's and 1940's, and it gives you a good idea of how much work went into providing power for Seattle back in the day-- and how much things have changed in the 70 years since then.Some of the structures weren't just preserved-- a few, like the pump house and boiler house, have been converted into public park buildings. The boiler house, which provided steam to power the engines and for the gasification process, is now a picnic shelter and the pump house, where air was compressed for the oxygen extraction process and where finished gas was pumped into storage or out to customers, is now a play barn. In the play barn, much of the original equipment is still in place and incorporated into the playground equipment.The city also built a kite-flying hill into the park; on top of the hill is a sculpted sundial designed by local artists. The hill makes a great place for events and celebrations, like fireworks and concerts and rallies and protests. But even when there's nothing major going on at the park, it's still a perfect was to spend a Pacfic Northwest afternoon-- whether you want to explore the old plant or sun yourself on the hill with a picnic lunch and contemplate the fact that something once considered a toxic eyesore is now one of the city's most beloved parks, it's worth a visit. -RoadtrippersGas Works Park in Seattle, Washington is a 19.1 acres public park on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant, located on the north shore of Lake Union at the south end of the Wallingford neighborhood. The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places January 2, 2013, more than a decade after being nominated. Gas Works park contains remnants of the sole remaining coal gasification plant in the US. The plant operated from 1906 to 1956, and was bought by the City of Seattle for park purposes in 1962.The park opened to the public in 1975. The park was designed by Seattle landscape architect Richard Haag, who won the American Society of Landscape Architects Presidents Award of Design Excellence for the project. It was originally named Myrtle Edwards Park, after the city councilwoman who had spearheaded the drive to acquire the site and who died in a car crash in 1969. In 1972, the Edwards family requested that her name be taken off the park because the design called for the retention of much of the plant. In 1976, Elliott Bay Park was renamed Myrtle Edwards Park.
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A Uniquely Captivating Draw
Gas Works Park rises above the north shore of Lake Union, a vaulted rampart of rusted towers and pipelines that serve as a testament to a bygone industrial age. Once a productive gasification plant, which converted superheated coal and crude oil into synthetic gas, the curious structure has been preserved since the plant’s closure in 1956 and opened to the public as a park in 1975. The plant primarily provided the city with gas for energy during its half-century of operation. It was officially acquired by the City of Seattle in 1962. Landscape architect Richard Haag piloted the development of the project, and eventually went on to win an American Society of Landscape Architects Presidents Award for his design. Haag and his team were responsible for retaining most of the plant’s original structure, as well as introducing oil-degrading enzymes into the surrounding area to stimulate the breakdown of toxic contaminants in the soil. In an interview, Haag stated that out of the 15,000 gas plants built across America, the gasification equipment at Gas Works Park are the last of their kind. Nowadays, Gas Works Park has been expanded into seven sections open to the public, although much of the works remains fenced off due to safety concerns. The park hosts everything from free concerts to athletic competitions to kite-flying and live action roleplaying tournaments. It remains one of the most popular free spaces in Seattle, and stands as a uniquely captivating draw to both locals and tourists alike.
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