Lake Washington Boulevard

Lake Washington Boulevard is a Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation property that extends from the Montlake neighborhood to Seward Park, on or near the shore of Lake Washington. John Charles Olmsted (1852-1920) located it in his 1903 plan for Seattle's park and boulevard system to take advantage of Seattle's landscape, including the lake, forested parks, and views across the lake and of distant mountains. The boulevard was constructed in parts, starting with an initial section in Washington Park. More than five miles were completed in time for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition held on the University of Washington campus in 1909, and the final segment was opened in 1917.

Where possible, the roadway follows the lakeshore, but some subdivision plats preceded the boulevard, so it climbs the adjacent hillsides to skirt them, and to gain views and link to parks. As the city has grown up around the boulevard, most of the forest and the clear-cuts have been filled in by neighborhoods, between the numerous parks dotting its 9.2-mile length. While it is an ongoing challenge to maintain the integrity of the boulevard in the face of increased traffic and development, the boulevard's importance in showcasing the beauty of Seattle's natural setting is unparalleled.

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