Glimpse into the past – Changes in the Landscape

by John A. Wott, Director Emeritus

Currently there are many physical changes occurring in the north end of the Washington Park Arboretum, due to the construction of new SR-520 bridge. Local residents often remark that these changes will “disfigure” the natural landscape which has always been there. The truth is, this area has been greatly changed and altered over the past one hundred years, ever since the level of Lake Washington was lowered.  In fact, there is little left of its “original” shape. It has been dredged, moved, filled, planted and re-planted.

Many of the boggy areas in Washington Park, even starting from Madison Street north, have been filled with debris and served as neighborhood dumping sites. The areas north of Foster Island Drive/Lake Washington Blvd. E. were all fill sites. Now as the ramps come down and new changes occur, it will change once again.

The following photos show some of the changes in the 1940’s.

Photo looks north over the former city dump off of E Miller Street, across Union Bay, toward Laurelhurst, soil being added and plowed in.  March 1947.
Photo looks north over the former city dump off of E. Miller Street, across Union Bay, toward Laurelhurst, soil being added and plowed in.  March 1947.
Photo shows area being covered with soil.   November 1947.
Photo shows area being covered with soil.   November 1947.
Photo across fill…present location of ramps….looking west toward Simon poplars (Populus simonii ‘Pendula’).  November 1947.
Photo across fill…present location of ramps….looking west toward Simon poplars (Populus simonii ‘Pendula’).  November 1947.
Photo after seeding.   November 1947.
Photo after seeding.   November 1947.
Photo looking toward lagoon area where many lindens are planted.   November 1947.
Rare Care
Photo looking toward lagoon area where many lindens are planted.   November 1947.
Photo with more plantings. January 1, 1949.
Photo with more plantings. January 1, 1949.

 

One Response to “Glimpse into the past - Changes in the Landscape”

  1. Lyn White

    THANKS SO MUCH FOR THESE AMAZING PHOTOS. THINGS DO CHANGE, OFTEN FOR THE BETTER. SO MUCH MORE TRAFFIC OF ALL KINDS MAKES IT NECESSARY, THO SOMETIMES HARD TO ENDURE THE PROCESS! IT WILL GET BETTER!!