Jutting 400 feet into Lake Union and offering a spectacular view of Downtown as well as the Queen Anne and Eastlake neighborhoods, Seattle’s Gas Works Park is one of the city’s most unique landmarks.
The Seattle Gas Light Company converted coal to gas from 1906 to 1937 and oil to gas from 1937 to 1956. Gas production ended in 1956; the City of Seattle bought the property for use as a park in 1962 and Gas Works Park opened to the public in 1975. The architect retained many of the old structures in the park; some are off limits, cordoned off behind chain link fences, others were painted bright colors and included in the children’s play area.
There were several concerted cleanup projects to remove benzene and other contaminants from the soil and groundwater. Tar still bubbles up every once in a while. The park is monitored closely for contamination but it is considered clean enough for public use.
Just don’t eat the dirt.
The property is now a monstrous bird condominium and a favorite target of taggers. It has been the site of numerous weddings and a gathering place for rallys and watching fireworks.
Its also a favorite spot for Seattlites to picnic.
The man made hill is made from rubble and top soil and is topped with a sundial. It is by far the best place in the city to fly a kite.