Colman Park (Seattle)

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Colman Park is a 24.3-acre (98,000 m2) park in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, located just south of the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge (Interstate 90) along Lake Washington and inland to 31st Avenue S.


In 1881 the Town Council authorized the first "municipal" water company which took over a maze of privately owned systems and was authorized to charge for water service.

Appropriately named "The Spring Hill Water Co.", the needs of a growing town were served by building a pumping plant "all the way over here" on Lake Washington; the year was 1886 and the pump was steam operated. Failure of the main pump brought the designing engineers from the East, who were unable to find the difficulty. A Seattle engineer, James M. Colman, went to work and 36 hours (non-stop) later he had the pump back in service. This pump station worked "to heartbreak" during the Great Fire of Seattle in 1889.

In 1907, the Park Board was given jurisdiction of the plant site plus part of the pipeline right-of-way up the hill. Following the route chosen by the Olmsted Brothers, Frink Boulevard was extended southward curving down the slope, joining Lake Washington Boulevard, coming up from the south along the lakeshore. Additional gifts plus the purchase of property along the north side widened the park, and in 1909 the State granted the shorelands for park purposes. In 1910 the James M. Colman Estate filed a plat in which the "head" of the slope was deeded for park purposes and the "strip" from 31st down to the lake was named to the memory of Mr. Colman

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Coordinates: 47°35′01″N 122°17′18″W / 47.583502°N 122.288303°W / 47.583502; -122.288303