On April 28th, 2010, more than 50 community members gathered in room 4 of the Crown Hill Center (formerly Crown Hill Elementary School) to hear about, see and provide community input on the latest plans for the soon to be Crown Hill Park. Kim Baldwin, Pamela Alspaugh, and Shwu-Jen Hwang of the Seattle Parks and Recreation Dept presented the latest version of the schematic for the new park. Lynn Wirta (former director of Small Faces) presented the latest version of the schematic for the playground which will be on the adjoining Crown Hill Project/Small Faces property.
The last schematic (developed in 2006) was out of date, and needed to be updated to reflect the change in ownership of the park and school land. When the plan was last looked at, the future park land and buildings were owned by the Seattle School District. Subsequently, the School District surplussed the property and the Crown Hill Project acquired the building(s) and associated land on the northern portion, while the city acquired the actual park land on the southern portion. In the map below, the park property is shown in green while the Crown Hill Project property is shown in red and blue. Additionally, the project has suffered delays due to the temporary relocation of SFD Fire Station #35 to the southernmost portion of the property. The fire station will be relocating to its newly revamped headquarters in late summer or early fall, clearing the way for the development of the new park.
View Crown Hill Center Playground in a larger map
The plan includes a T-Ball field and U-8 Soccer Field, two loop trails, a performance plaza, fitness station, and a “skate dot” feature. The most controversial part of the park design was the inclusion the skate dot for skateboarding use. Some neighbors living nearby on 13th across from the park expressed concern about this. Others were very supportive. A lively discussion ensued about whether the skate dot should be there at all, and if there, whether it should be aimed toward beginners only or also include intermediate skateboarders. Other concerns expressed by community members included visibility (for instance, the two trees marked on the plan adjacent to the pedestrian overpass facing the Valero mini-mart, and the vegetation marked on the plan behind the public seating/community performance plaza). Another issue expressed was that at the North end of the new park on 13th, the plan dumps pedestrians onto a very narrow 13th Ave NW rather than allowing passage through the gate onto the path through the adjoining playground.
The Parks Department has prepared a summary of the meeting. The Parks Department is still soliciting suggestions for names for the new park. Send additional comments and names to Kim Baldwin. Names must adhere to the department’s naming guidelines: 1) Park names can be based on geographic locations, historic or cultural significance, and natural or geological features; 2) A park may be named after a person deceased for a minimum of three years who made a significant contribution to parks and/or recreation.