Jack Block Park

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The observation tower at Jack Block Park offers views of Elliott Bay, downtown Seattle, and the Port of Seattle.
The observation tower at Jack Block Park offers views of Elliott Bay, downtown Seattle, and the Port of Seattle.
Seattle's skyline from Jack Block Park

Jack Block Park is a 15-acre (6.1 ha) park in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA.[1] Situated on the northwest corner of the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5, the park offers public beach access, a children's play area, and a 45-foot (14 m) observation tower.


The site of the park was previously occupied by a wood treatment plant and a shipbuilding facility, both shut down in 1924 after several suicides, officially attributed to the creosote used in wood treatment.[2] The area was eventually contaminated with creosote and designated a Superfund site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1994.[3][4] Originally named Terminal 5 Park,[5] the park opened in 1998 as part of the Port of Seattle's redevelopment of Terminal 5 and was dedicated and named after former Port Commissioner Jack Block in 2001.[2][6]

In 2007 a local community group proposed a plan to move the West Seattle terminal of the King County Water Taxi from Seacrest Park to Jack Block Park,[7] but as of 2012 the plan has not been implemented.

After an environmental cleanup effort that included the removal of contaminated mud and wood pilings as well as the capping of 58 acres (23 ha) of sediment, the park's beach opened to the public in 2011.[8]


The park features a walking path along the shoreline, which passes by a play area and a walkable pier before terminating at the park's observation tower.[5] The tower overlooks Elliott Bay and downtown Seattle, and also offers a view of port operations at Terminal 5 and Vigor Shipyards. Interpretive plaques at the tower provide a summary of activities at the Port of Seattle and an overview of maritime shipping technology.


  1. ^ "Jack Block Park". Port of Seattle. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Terminal 5". Port of Seattle. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  3. ^ "Five-Year Review Report" (PDF). United States Environmental Protection Agency. September 28, 2004. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  4. ^ "Beach access Opening Celebration at Jack Block Park set for Fri. June 24". West Seattle Herald. June 24, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Reiner, Cathy (July 17, 1999). "Alki Adventures -- There's More To The Peninsula Than Just Playing On The Beach". Seattle Times. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  6. ^ "Terminal 5 Remediation". Port of Seattle. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  7. ^ St. Clair, Tim (August 13, 2007). "New water taxi dock proposed". Ballard News-Tribune. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  8. ^ "Beach at Jack Block Park is open". KOMO News. April 19, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2016.

Coordinates: 47°34′59″N 122°22′17″W / 47.58309°N 122.37142°W / 47.58309; -122.37142