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Broadway Hill Park, last of its kind, now open on Capitol Hill

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It just might be the last of its kind. The fences have come down around Broadway Hill Park, 12,000 square feet of grass, benches, community gardening space, and a sure to be popular BBQ grill in the middle of Capitol Hill. There may never be another.

Seattle Parks acquired the land at the corner for Federal and Republican in 2010 for $2 million after a townhome project slated for the property fell through. In the time since the project started, Parks has opened small greenspaces just off E Olive Way at the garden-filled, skateboard-popular Summit Slope Park and near 15th Ave at the sleepy Seven Hills Park. It also opened 12th Ave Square Park across from Seattle U, but even that woonerf-y paved square featuring sculptures and seating doesn’t appear to be the direction Parks will be taking for future Capitol Hill-area open spaces.

The near future, instead, seems to be focused on small investments in smaller spaces. Parklets, streateries, pavement parks. Inspired by success on First Hill, Parks and SDOT are planning the Hill’s first pavement park at Summit and Denny. There won’t be any grass but there will be some sort of playful feature like a street maze. Seattle Parks is currently looking for an artist to create the Summit/Denny centerpiece:

Capitol Hill Community Post | Submit your a-MAZE-ing mural design for the Summit Ave E Pavement to Parks project

One of the most obvious reasons for the shift in focus, of course, is real estate. Every single lot on Capitol Hill is being sized up for development. The next great hope for a grassy park in Central Seattle, in fact, might just be building a lid over I-5.

In addition to space, a project like Broadway Hill needed a lot of community love to create its “large lawn area, seating at a ‘front porch’ area at the top of the site” and on the “seat wall.” A $750,000 construction budget from the parks levy was augmented by $37,500 in grants matched in volunteer time and effort by neighbors dedicated to creating the new park. You can celebrate with them July 14th:

Broadway Hill Park Grand Opening

UPDATE: Oops. One element at Broadway Hill is going to need an update. Check out the sign (which has already been yanked for a replacement):

BroadwayHillPark- - 1

Meanwhile, as mentioned in comments, Cayton Corner Park might be another contender for the “last of its kind” designation. The 4,500-square-foot lot is intended to eventually be home to a community greenspace.

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14 thoughts on “Broadway Hill Park, last of its kind, now open on Capitol Hill

  1. This is a great addition to the neighborhood! (so much better than the uninviting “pavement park” concept). Kudos to all those who made this a reality!

    • We have parks scattered around in lots of places in the Central District. Unfortunately, many of them end up being somewhat bullet-prone.

    • I agree about a lack of parks in the central district. There is nothing remotely close to 23rd/Union. Garfield playfields — which don’t qualify as very close — are open space, but hardly serve as a park since it’s for school and organized event space. And you’ll get a ticket if your dog goes anywhere near it…even with a leash on!

  2. And we’re hoping the Parks Dept. will have corrected the typo on the park’s sign before the ribbon-cutting on July 14. See if you can find it before they do. :-)

  3. Awesome park! We’re right around the corner and lack a patio or deck, so this is basically our new front yard. I’ve been bbq deficient for far too long!

    Was there last night and the sprinklers came on at 6:00, so have alerted the parks department and apparently they’ll be re-setting them for 9:30pm.

    • Thanks for taking the time to report the problem! So many people just look the other way when such things are noticed, and expect that “someone else” will deal with it.

  4. How about Cayton Corner Park? (if that counts as Capitol Hill.) It’s on the slow track to construction funding but the land was purchased by the city at about the same time so I’d place it in the same category.

  5. I’ve been excited for this park to open since I moved to Federal Ave 4 years ago! Overall, it looks great, but I wish there were two or three BBQ grills instead of just the one. I’ve sometimes seen all four grills at Seven Hills Park in use during the summer, so I imagine this one will be a hot commodity!