Gas Works Park is one of the most popular destinations in our area. On August 3rd, Seattle Parks and Recreation gave a presentation to give an update on its current renovation plans. The presentation was at the Wallingford Community Council monthly meeting and was open to the public. To make the park a better experience for all of its visitors, the City is redesigning of the play area and bringing parts of the park up to ADA standards. The three areas to be addressed are: the east entry, the “comfort station” (known to us lay folks as the restrooms), and the children’s play area. The design phase is almost completed, and the City is expecting renovations to start in the fall and likely be finished before next summer.
The east entry is the area off the parking lot down to the “comfort station.” Currently parts of the path surface are irregular and the slope may be difficult for those with mobility limitations. This will all be brought up to current ADA standards and will result in improved accessibility to these areas of the park. The railroad tracks will be kept to stay true to the original park layout, but will be lowered to ease crossing.
The current 40 year old restroom building will be demolished. In its place will be a new building, the comfort station. It will contain five gender-neutral bathrooms, which will each be its own small room. There will be diaper changing tables as well. A ramp will provide improved accessibility from the comfort station to the picnic shelter. In regards to the currently attached concessions stand, the City is moving away from having park concessions and moving towards having food carts and trucks. The current concessions has three years left in its contract with the City so there will be a period of transition. The City reported that food carts and trucks will be possible as soon as the construction is completed.
The children’s play area is the recessed sand pit. It is south of the picnic shelter and play barn (the covered area with the colorful equipment). Over time, as equipment has broken it has been removed from the current play area. In the new design, the area will be raised so that it is level with the surrounding walkways. Before the hole is filled, pipes will be laid to allow for future mediation of the soil that was contaminated when Gas Works was an operating gasification plant. The remaining contaminated soil is 8-10 feet below the surface and the area will also be covered with an impermeable membrane. This can have similar effect in reducing contamination like zero valent iron does to water. (All of the ground surface at Gas Works Park is considered safe, however the sediment in the water surrounding Gas Works is still contaminated as is the ground deep below the surface.) Once the hole is filled, the floor will be the standard rubberized playground material and play structures will be added.
Throughout the process Seattle Parks and Recreation has had meetings with the community to discuss the renovations, including meetings with Friends of Gas Works Park and the Wallingford Community Council. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in these improvements to our favorite gasification plant.
And now, just for fun, here’s a clip where Stephen Colbert talks about Gas Works Park. Enjoy.
Thanks for the update! Do I remember hearing something about a splash pad going in there? Any chance you could add a link to the playground design plans? Thank you!
I don’t believe they are published online anywhere. Questions should be directed to Jay Rood ([email protected]). I did ask him to email me the artist renderings, but I never received them. At the presentation, they only had renderings of the east entry and comfort station. There were no pictures of what the play area would look like. There was also no mention of a splash pad at this meeting.
Is Gasworks ever NOT being renovated?