From the ‘you asked, we checked’ file: West Seattle Junction park status

Almost a year after the last public meetings about the West Seattle Junction park site on 40th SW, across from the Alki Masonic Center, a WSB reader wondered about the project status. As they pointed out at the time, the project website hadn’t been updated in months. So we checked with Seattle Parks, which tells us the project is at 65 percent design – the renderings above and below are two views from project architect GGLO:

They expect to have one more public meeting, date TBA, when they’re ready to discuss the construction timeline. (And after our inquiry, they updated the project website. It also reflects a change in project managers since last year’s meetings – Kelly Goold is now in charge.) This two-thirds-of-an-acre site is one of three “landbanked” sites set for city park development in West Seattle.

16 Replies to "From the 'you asked, we checked' file: West Seattle Junction park status"

  • Tim J January 25, 2019 (8:17 am)

    Does the $2 million dollar budget for this park include the cost of purchasing the land?  $2 million to build the park shown seems very steep. 

    • WSB January 25, 2019 (8:47 am)

      The land was purchased six years ago, as noted in the previous story linked in this one (and many others we’ve reported), for $1.4 million, separate from the development budget.

  • HS January 25, 2019 (8:54 am)

    Looking forward to seeing how this progresses. It’s less community engagement than I had hoped… less “discovery”. I suppose climbing on logs, sitting on the grass, and removable patio sets are something. But really it’s a pathway, a retaining wall, an arch and wide planter boxes. From the renderings it feels like a pedestrian thoroughfare, which is the way many small Seattle parks feel, which are then populated accordingly – transitory. Why does Portland do small parks better? Tanner Springs Park is super engaging and I believe a similar size… I’d love to see planning that plays to the delight of kids – curves, reflection, unexpected edge shapes, all of which increase curiosity and discovery. I guess I’m a little bummed. West Seattle is so great – full of families, still has the older generation and a healthy influx of working adults. It’s one of the better balanced neighborhoods. A place to engage and bring a community together would be so welcomed.

  • dsa January 25, 2019 (11:05 am)

    HS can you find an example of a small Portland park that is a better design than this.  I ask because I was not much impressed with this one, but I would not know where to start from scratch to design one myself.

    • HS January 25, 2019 (11:41 am)

      Look for images of Tanner Springs Park in Portland. It is larger but the design elements could easily be adapted to a smaller venue. For example, built-in natural step seating (for us, perhaps in a “V” shape with a simple short kid slide at the pointy end), unexpected edging along a walkway versus straight boardwalk lines, varied path surfaces (for us, perhaps they circle to short kid tables, or simple flat topped rocks, filled with marbles, legos… essentially a patio table or two worth of area), surface reflection that reflects light (doesn’t need to be water for us, what if the short kid tables were in front of a small collection of amusement park fun mirrors 5’ tall), and an element that creates a backdrop “stage” inviting engagement. That park usilizes a huge metal curved sculpture which is a huge photograph site draw. Curved path seating (for us, a few colorful molded curved seating with a simple granite boulder table). Add a super simple solar pin drop overhead light feature and the park is suddenly populated with “fireflies” (curiosity and magic). Not so different but a more a “curious and discovery” approach. The light festival at Lake Union was very popular, it’d be awesome if one of the walls at this park was somehow incorporated to create an opportunity for future community engagement. 

  • Also John January 25, 2019 (11:40 am)

    HS mentions Tanner Spring Park in Portland.

  • HS January 25, 2019 (11:57 am)

    I should mention that I’m a designer and that my comments are meant as constructive criticism in hopes of furthering the design. I do recognize how much work went into the original rendering and plan.

  • dsa January 25, 2019 (12:42 pm)

    Tanner Spring Park takes up a full city block coming in at nearly an acre.  Is there another example for an ideal small park?

  • Mr. J January 25, 2019 (1:26 pm)

    There’s plenty of kid focused parks in West Seattle, this one is intended to be used by all. There’s a playground 3-4 blocks from this park. The Parks Department had several open houses and online voting which  is plenty of engagement for this sized project. 

    • HW January 25, 2019 (1:58 pm)

      I think the broader point was that this is going to be either a thoroughfare only or a parking spot for the homeless since there will be no other purpose to visit the park. It either needs to be functional to kids (play) or functional to adults (community, conversation, exploration). right now, it is a path with things to look at as you walk through, much like Denny Park downtown. People just walk through it because it is basically paths that connect to roads with a few tables scattered.

      • HS January 25, 2019 (2:45 pm)

        That’s correct. That was indeed my broader point.

        • Mr J January 25, 2019 (3:08 pm)

          I get that. I would have liked to see a basketball court or something more active and that’s exactly what I told the Parks Department during the open house. Having green space in a dense area is purpose enough to visit the park. There’s several yoga studios in the area that could do summer classes out there too, the park needs to be utilized by the community regardless of what they put in it.As far as homeless camping there, yeah  its a public park. But until we can solve income inequality and support better mental health solutions that’s the reality. There’s already homeless in the area and they are perfectly harmless human beings. 

  • dsa January 25, 2019 (2:33 pm)

    The sketches above are misleading.  They make it look like it will be a huge tree lined park with buildings in the far distance.  But the site is only about 100 feet by 144 feet.   I am objecting to misleading information.  I don’t know how they calculate 2/3 of an acre from 100X144 feet since an acre has 43,560 square feet.  It  does not come up to 1/2 an acre if you include the alley, street sidewalk and planting strip.  This is the plan I’m pulling from.

  • Erin98126 January 25, 2019 (4:14 pm)

    Darn. I was hoping it would become a dog park. I just don’t understand why Seattle is so averse to them. 

  • Jeannie January 25, 2019 (5:45 pm)

    YES to dog park. Dog parks don’t have to be huge, either. The park would actually be a space that people (and dogs) would use – otherwise, it holds little attraction.  Too bad that isn’t part of the plan. And, yes, it would be helpful to know why Seattle keeps ignoring this idea. I don’t have a dog, but I like them – and it’s fun to see them joyfully play in small dog parks near Amazon and in NYC. And this would help keep at least some of the off-leashers out of Lincoln Park.

  • Wseattleite January 25, 2019 (7:17 pm)

    Yes to a dog park on the West side of West Seattle! 

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