Sept 23, 2005
Volume 33
Issue 38

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Cal Anderson to be remembered on Saturday; long awaited Cal Anderson Park to be unveiled
Cal Anderson to be remembered on Saturday; long awaited Cal Anderson Park to be unveiled
With the completion of several major construction projects, Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities will reopen Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Avenue, with a community celebration from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 24.

"We owe a big debt of gratitude to a lot of people for the completion of the work on this major Olmsted-designed park," said Parks Superintendent Ken Bounds. "Without the tenacity, support, and fund raising efforts of Groundswell Off Broadway and Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks, the work to underground the reservoir by SPU, the work of many Parks staff, and funding from several sources, we would be looking at a very different park today. I couldn't be happier to return this beautiful place to the community."

The park has undergone four major capital projects over the past several years that implement its 1999 Master Plan, endorsed by the Board of Park Commissioners, the Seattle Design Commission, and the Landmarks Preservation Board.

Long the site of illegal activities and neighborhood frustration, Cal Anderson Park reopens next week after $7.87 million in improvements as a major neighborhood gathering place with many features that will help bring about community involvement and events.


o The Shelterhouse: The Shelterhouse renovation included creation of a multi-purpose room with small kitchen, outdoor restrooms, a plaza, and storage for maintenance equipment. This new community space, completed in 2003, is seeing a lot of use for community meetings, events, and performances. Funding for this $1.2 million project came from the Pro Parks Levy, the Neighborhood Matching Fund, Seattle Central Community College, SPU, and the Cumulative Reserve Fund.

o Lincoln Reservoir Undergrounding: SPU's reservoir covering program is a citywide effort led by Mayor Greg Nickels to improve the quality and safety of our water supply, Another major benefit of the program is the creation citywide of 76 acres of new open space, four of them at Cal Anderson. SPU completed the Magnolia Reservoir cover in 200?, and the Lincoln Reservoir cover at Cal Anderson Park in 200?. Project funding comes from water revenues. SPU will cover five more reservoirs by 2013; the next ones scheduled are the Beacon Reservoir at Jefferson Park and the Myrtle Reservoir.

o Park Improvements on the Reservoir Cover: The Olmsted-inspired improvements to the newly created four acres of park land on the reservoir cover include a fountain, texture pool, and reflecting pool; promenade paths, landscaping, an irrigation system, and lighting. This new park site invites walking, sitting, reading, contemplation, and informal sports in the meadow. Funding for this $3.8 million project comes from the Pro Parks Levy.

o Bobby Morris Playfield Renovation: This playfield features one baseball field, one softball field, and one soccer field, The project includes artificial turf, fending, backstops, wing fencing, and dugouts. These lighted fields will accommodate about 2,400 hours of scheduled use per year, compared with about 800 hours before the turf conversion, thus contributing to Parks' efforts to meet growing demand for scheduled ballfield time. Funding for this $1.7 million project comes from the Cumulative Reserve Fund.


Cal Anderson Park includes Lincoln Reservoir and Bobby Morris Playfield. Lincoln Reservoir was built after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 and put to use in 1901. Originally named Lincoln Park by the City Council in 1901, Bobby Morris Playfield was one Seattle's first playgrounds, opening in 1908.

In 1922, the Park Board renamed it "Broadway Playfield" after the main street and neighborhood school to avoid confusion with a new major park in West Seattle which was to be named Lincoln.

In 1980, the playfield was renamed Bobby Morris, after a beloved Capitol Hill coach and who also served as King County Auditor for many years. In 2003, the entire site was named, "Cal Anderson Park" after the state legislator from this area. The playfield retains its name.t

A Seattle Parks Department press release


o Noon to 1 p.m.: Walking tours of the park and its trees

o 12:15 to 1 p.m.: Presentations at the Shelterhouse on the park's early history, the water system, and the late Cal Anderson's role in the community

o 12:45 p.m.: Music by the Rainbow City Band

o 1 to 3 p.m.: Entertainment provided

o 1:30 p.m.: Grand Opening Program and Official Ribbon-Cutting

o 2:15 p.m.: Music by the Rainbow City Band

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