History Trail - At Lake Union Park


History Trail - At Lake Union Park
South Lake Union History Trail
Seattle Starts Here: Welcome to the History Trail
Travel through 150 years of history, from wilderness to world
city, right at the water’s edge – and the city’s heart.
Explore Seattle's history in a whole new way. Throughout the
fully accessible public route, visitors encounter Discovery Stations
that allow them to peel back the layers of time and reveal the
people, innovations and events that shaped who we are today – at
the very site where history happened.
It’s a unique educational experience in real, living history,
unlike anything in any other park in the region. Through
photographs, text, and objects, at each station students and other
visitors discover historical facts and engage in hands-on
applications that bring history to life.
Discovery Stations: Nine Themes
The park will include nine unique Discovery
Stations containing a mix of photographs, text,
objects, and activities. Each station will be
anchored by a key object which will represent
the station’s theme. The themes follow:
1. On Native Ground
Duwamish Indians in a canoe on Lake Union.
Lake Union’s earliest
inhabitants were
Native Americans,
who lived on its
shores and fished its
waters for thousands
of years before the
arrival of American
settlers in the 1850s.
2. From Resources to Riches
Seattle’s first big
business was
milling lumber.
David Denny’s
Western Mill
shipped lumber to
California, Hawaii
and the
The Western Mill was located on the site of today’s
Armory building on the south end of Lake Union.
3. The City Afloat
Throughout Seattle’s
history, Lake Union has
been a center for maritime
industries, shipping, and
Above: Boat towing logs in Lake Union.
Right: Launching a yacht at Grandy Boat Works.
4. Bill Boeing & the Development of Aviation
Bill Boeing had the vision to see an opportunity that few others
recognized when he converted his hobby of aviation into a burgeoning
industry, starting with his first flight on the Blue Bell. Lake Union was
the site of Boeing’s first assembly plant, the first three B aircraft, and
the first ever international mail run (to Vancouver), opening up the
region to the world. The lake also saw other aviation pioneers like Herb
Munter test out new planes and start air transport businesses.
Left: The Boeing B&W seaplane is pulled
into its hangar on Lake Union.
Above: Herb Munter’s seaplane makes a
landing on the lake.
5. Seattle at Work
Lake Union put Seattle to work.
Planes, trains, and automobiles
were made here – ice cream, hats,
and glass, too. During World War
II, Rosie the Riveter made Lake
Union a center of aircraft engine
Above: Workers at South Lake Union’s Kenworth
plant pose with an airplane part during World War II.
Right: A woman sews a hat at the J.T. Hardeman Hat
6. Seattle at Play
Yachts, boats, shells –
Lake Union was a
playground in the
center of the city, with
our fastest racers and
our grandest boats.
Above: The University of Washington crew
team rows near ships in Lake Union.
Right: A woman surveys the view from the
deck of a yacht.
7. Inventing the Future
South Lake Union is
becoming Seattle’s
biotechnology hub,
driving exciting changes
in the neighborhood.
The old Seattle City Light power plant is now the home of
8. Getting There
Motormen pose with a Seattle Electric Railway trolley.
The city’s first
streetcar and railroad
connected Lake Union
to downtown. This
station, looking back
toward downtown,
will also interpret how
Seattle has reshaped
itself through
regrades and other
feats of engineering.
9. Seattle’s Waterways
The area’s water highways,
both natural and manmade,
shaped the city’s
development. This station
would use the boat pond to
explore Lake Union’s watery
Above: Aerial view of University Bridge and
Lake Union.
Right: A Navy ship in the Ballard Locks.
Bringing the Themes to Life
Although the design process is not yet
underway, here are three suggestions of the
kinds of experiences that might be
incorporated into the Discovery Stations.
Sample 1: Taking Flight
• Iconic element: Replicated cockpit of a float
plane, accessible to children
• Historical text and images: The story of Boeing
and aviation development told through historic
photographs on control panel
• Activity: Telescope allows you to scan the skies
– and look toward the site of original hangars
Sample 2: From Resources to Riches
• Iconic element: Simulated log boom embedded
in boardwalk
• Historical images and text: Scenes of logging
and early milling activity etched on saw blades
• Activity: Cross section of log for counting rings,
or water feature to show “floating” weight of
Sample 3: Seattle at Work
• Iconic element: Replica of Model T from the
nearby Ford assembly plant, accessible to
• Historical images and text: Images of South
Lake Union manufacturing
• Activity: Hand-cranked assembly line activity
Interactive Kiosks
The concept design could also include three
interactive touch-screen kiosks that provide
more in-depth access to the richness of
historical resources about the region. The
kiosks will use interpretive text, photographs
and graphics, and interactive question-andanswer activities to help tell the region’s and the
neighborhood’s story. Topics explored could
include early Native American settlements at
Lake Union, our rich maritime heritage, and a
wide-ranging overview of Seattle history.
Other Experiences
In addition to the nine Discovery Stations and three kiosks, the History
Trail will also include:
Highlighted History
Less structured educational components may include signs, benches,
or other elements. The highlighted stops could include fun historical
facts (“Did you know…”), timelines, captioned photographs, or other
discrete pieces of historical information. These highlights are meant
to be informative and thought-provoking, but will have less detail and
interactivity than the Discovery Stations.
Objects of Discovery
The History Trail will also include integrated elements for visitors to
discover on their own. Images and artifacts will be embedded in the
trail’s pathways, giving visitors a sense of discovery as they find the
items on their route. These pieces will be evocative of the
neighborhood’s history and make people want to find out more.
Scope of Work for Phase I Design
• Initial research
• Coordination with existing park design team
• Concept
• One to two revisions to concept
• Approved concept presentation drawings
• Rough cost estimates and schedule
Expected timeline for Phase I : 6 to 9 months after
initial team meeting
Suggested Budget for Phase I Design
Base planning budget: $50,000
• Based on 9 stations plus integrated design
Reimbursables – not to exceed $8,000
• Local travel
• Reproductions, copies, presentation boards, etc.
• Other out-of-pocket expenses
Assumes little to no out-of-town travel
This is not a design; this document represents
an initial set of ideas to begin a dialogue. The
actual design work will require extensive
coordination with the Seattle Parks Department
and Hargreaves Associates to integrate the
historical interpretation into the new South
Lake Union Park.