In the NYTimes today there was a great article about the High Line Park which I was able to visit last year and how other cities are looking at ways to transform old derelict structures into public spaces. The High Line Park use to be an abandoned elevated railway. It’s great to see cities finding ways to not only add more parks, but also to bring people out to them. In a related article, the question: What’s your favorite outdoor space? was asked.
Here in Seattle, especially in the summer when I have time to enjoy them, I have a few favorite spots like that.
The first is Cal Anderson Park. Most of this park used to be a water reservoir that was closed off to the public. But as the city is doing with most of its reservoirs, it is moving the systems underground and, what is essentially the reservoir’s roof, is all parkland. It was even named one of the top ten parks in the US by Forbes in ’09.
The Seattle Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park is also a great gem. It sits on Seattle’s waterfront and the park goes over the train tracks. Unlike its other sites, the sculpture park is free for all. With the help of the city and many generous donors, they turned this:
I feel fortunate to have so many great outdoor spaces to explore in Seattle, but I’m sure they exist in all communities. Some spaces may be a little unconventional, but have been around for ages. Lake View Cemetery in Seattle is a great place for a walk. Aside from a one or two tourists driving in and stopping at the graves of Bruce and Brandon Lee, the cemetery has sweeping panoramic views of the city, is a great way to learn some local history, and a great place to escape the daily grind of a bustling city.
And soon to open in the fall, the South Lake Union park has transformed what was once a naval post on a part of the Lake Union that was not easily accessible, the city has transformed the area, preserved the buildings and wooden boat center and created an area that connects the lake to the city.
There are many more great outdoor spaces to explore in Seattle. What’s your favorite outdoor space?