Jefferson Park (Seattle)

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Jefferson Park golf course trees in snow

Jefferson Park is a 52.4 acres (0.212 km2) public park and golf course on top of Beacon Hill in Seattle, Washington, bounded on the east by 24th Avenue S. and 24th Place S., on the west by 15th Avenue S., on the north by S. Spokane Street, and on the south by Cheasty Boulevard S.


The park site was originally planned by the State of Washington for state university use. In 1892, it was the site of a "pesthouse," or isolation hospital. In 1898, the land was sold to the city of Seattle, with plans to build a reservoir and a cemetery. In 1908, the park was named for Thomas Jefferson.

The Olmsted Brothers included the park in their comprehensive plan for Seattle parks, and designed the 18 hole golf course which opened in 1915.[1]

During World War II, Jefferson Park contained anti-aircraft batteries, and was requisitioned by the U.S. Army for a G.I. recreation center, with recreation facilities, a gym, and tent housing for soldiers and visiting family.

In the post war years, the park returned to normal; the Army structures were mostly removed, though a new Veterans' Administration hospital was built on the site of the original 9-hole golf course. (A replacement 9-hole course was built elsewhere in the park.) This is also the home course of golfing great Fred Couples. The golf course was the site of the USA Cross Country Championships in 2011. A lawn bowling green and playgrounds were also constructed at this time.

The park's reservoir was covered from 2008 to 2009, creating new parkspace supported by 624 columns.[2][3]

The park today[edit]

Jefferson Park viewpoint, fall 2010

The Jefferson Park Golf Course, the Jefferson Community Center, Jefferson Lawn Bowling green, and playfields continue to be heavily used. Jefferson Park received $8 million from the recent ProParks funding levy, allowing redevelopment and remodeling to begin. Projects in this park revitalization effort include new walking paths, gardens, and a new gymnasium. The Jefferson Park expansion officially opened October 28, 2010.

In 2012, the park will have a groundbreaking for the Beacon Food Forest, a 7 acres (2.8 ha) forest gardening project on the west side of the reservoir.

In June 2014 a 'skate space' designed by artist CJ Rench opened up to the public. A sculpture that is specifically designed for skateboarding.

'Skate-Space' sculpture by CJ Rench


  1. ^ Wilma, David; Hinchliff, Catherine (February 24, 2001). "Jefferson Park Municipal Golf Course (Seattle)". HistoryLink. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  2. ^ Carlton Harrell, Debera (October 1, 2007). "Beacon Hill reservoir will disappear under new park". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Gamache, Shawana (June 26, 2008). "A park takes shape on Beacon Hill reservoir". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved October 4, 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°33′59.8″N 122°18′26.4″W / 47.566611°N 122.307333°W / 47.566611; -122.307333