Saint Edward State Park
Saint Edward State Park is a 316-acre (128 ha)-park in Kenmore, Washington and Kirkland, Washington. It is part of the Washington State Park System. Before becoming a Catholic seminary and later a state park, the area was logged in the 19th century and again in the 1920s. A series of trails runs through the park for bicyclists and hikers. The forest canopy is primarily made up of the Coast Douglas-fir, Western Redcedar, Bigleaf Maple, Pacific Madrone and Western Hemlock. Its dense carpet includes many varieties of fern (mainly Western Sword Fern), shrub and moss. It is flanked on the west by an undeveloped beach on Lake Washington. The park surrounds the Saint Thomas Center, which houses Bastyr University.
Saint Edward Seminary
Saint Edward Seminary
St. Edward Seminary
|Nearest city||Kenmore, Washington|
|Area||319 acres (129 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||07000137|
|Added to NRHP||March 8, 2007|
The park's most singular feature is the Saint Edward Seminary, listed on the Washington State Heritage Register since 1997 and added in April 2007 to the National Register of Historic Places. This large, historic building has fallen into disrepair in recent years. It is not currently accessible to the public except by special arrangement, e.g. renting the refectory for special events.
Other facilities include the indoor Carole Ann Wald Memorial Pool, which was built in the late 1960s with funding from a seminarian's family, and named after the seminarian's sister and donors' daughter. The pool has been operated in recent years by concessionaires and was mothballed December 31, 2009, pending a new operator and/or a greater consortium of support from SESP near-neighbor citizenry, municipalities, and other sponsors.
City of Kenmore, Evergreen Health, and Bastyr University helped underwrite the CAWM Pool from 2003-2008. In 2009 only Evergreen Health and Bastyr University were continuing partners.
The park is day-use only, and no camping is permitted. Dogs are allowed at Saint Edward State Park but state law requires that they be on a physical leash (8 feet or less) at all times.
A local citizens group, Friends of Saint Edward State Park, assists the Park Department in scheduling park usage, but is barred by contract from advocacy.
Another citizen group, Saint Edward Environmental Learning Center (SEELC) is dedicated to creating a sustainable future through park preservation, community collaboration, and innovative educational experiences for all ages. The Kenmore Reporter covered SEELC's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream as part of its environmental-education program, which consists of a variety of courses at Saint Edward State Park between Spring and Fall each year.
In 2005, Washington State Parks began a land use planning project for the park. Also known as Classification and Management Planning (CAMP), the project addresses overall visitor experiences, natural and cultural resources, use of the park’s buildings, recreation fields and trails, and other topics of interest to the community and customers.
Because the "Friends" group is barred from advocacy, another citizens group, Citizens for Saint Edward State Park, emerged to contribute public comment and ideas.
A proposal by McMenamins to develop the main building into a hotel, restaurant, and conference center was withdrawn in spring of 2007.
With elevated attention from C4SEP the State Legislature allocated $500,000 to evaluate the declining condition of the seminary building, and $500,000 toward much needed and previously deferred maintenance.
With the newly available injection of funding, State Parks began an RFQ process with architectural firms Spring 2007, moving forward toward a timely evaluation, creating an opportunity for a wider array of prospective uses.
Bassetti Architects were selected to evaluate and report on the Seminary building.
Ranger/Park Manager Mohammad Mostafavinassab reports (April 2008) that an additional $1.7 million is being funded for Phase 1 (repair/replace foundation and field drainage, and repair foundation), and to begin Phase 2 (Exterior repairs).
In 2010 Friends of Saint Edward State Park and Kenmore Heritage Society began working together on the Interpretive Sign project, drawing on KHS's experience with the Kenmore History Path at Log Boom Park.
From the 1920s until 1977, the land on which Saint Edward State Park sits was owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle. From 1931, it was developed and used for a seminary by the Sulpician Order. The St. Edward Seminary was constructed in 1931, followed in 1958 by the Saint Thomas Seminary, and pool in 1969. Due to declining enrollments, the seminaries closed in 1977. Most of the land was sold to the state of Washington, with the support of then-governor Dixy Lee Ray.
The remainder of the land, which includes the Saint Thomas Seminary (now Saint Thomas Center) continued under the ownership of the archdiocese until November 2005, when its tenant, Bastyr University, completed their purchase of the property.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "Your guide to Saint Edward State Park", Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission; document P&R 45-87000-1 (12/02)
- "St. Edward Playground". Seattle Times.
- "09 Best Playground". KING5-TV.
- "About us". SEELC.
- "article". Kenmore Reporter. 2008.
- "Saint Edward State Park planning". Washington State Parks.
- Casey McNerthney (February 8, 2007). "Neighbors oppose McMenamins' plan for hotel at St. Edward State Park". Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saint Edward State Park.|
- Official website Washington State Parks & Recreation
- Seattle Times writeup
- Video Tour, a May 2009 video of the seminary building, created by the Seattle Times (approximately 4 minutes).
- Archdiocese of Seattle
- Saint Edward Environmental Learning Center
- Seattle Citysearch review
- Kenmore Heritage Society