Lake Washington Boulevard

Blueprint of long road with some curves but mostly straight, with straight roads leading up
Lake Washington Boulevard, Job #02718, Seattle, WA

Olmsted Archives

Quick Facts
Seattle, WA
Olmsted Designed Park
The longest and most significant boulevard in John Charles Olmsted’s Seattle Park System, Lake Washington Boulevard extends six miles, linking nine Olmsted Parks together. First proposed in Olmsted Brothers’ 1903 report, they recommended the Boulevard stretch beyond Seattle’s limits towards water.

John Charles observed that a nearby street “is laid out on a succession of straight lines, . . . resulting in an extremely ugly route for a pleasure drive, and this street is apparently pushed out so close to the water line, and in some cases even beyond it, that scarcely a single one of all the beautiful trees which now fringe the lake, not to mention the important undergrowth, could be preserved. It would scarcely be possible to solve the problem in a more hideous manner than has been done in this case.”

During the planning stages of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Lake Washington Boulevard was intended to serve as the vehicular entry to the Exposition grounds, showcasing the beauty of Seattle’s scenery along Lake Washington.

Source: "Lake Washington Boulevard," The Cultural Landscape Foundation

For more information and primary resources, please visit:
Olmsted Research Guide Online
Olmsted Archives on Flickr
Olmsted Online

Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

Last updated: June 7, 2024