The future of Volunteer Park’s reservoir as a reflecting pond looks bright. As mentioned in past blog posts, City officials will reach a decision in the next few years about whether to “lid” the reservoir or decommission it. Either way, this significant water basin will look better than in the past, because Volunteer Park’s new status as a Seattle landmark means that changes to the reservoir will have to be consistent with its historic value as a reflecting pond viewed from the plaza in front of the Asian Art Museum. The unsightly chain link fences keeping people out can come down and a wading pool or reflecting pond can be installed, filling the basin to the brim. This exciting turn of events was reported in Valerie Easton’s column, “The Natural Gardener,” in the September 29, 2013 edition of the Seattle Times’ “Pacific NW” magazine. The article featured Seattle Landscape Architect Brooks Kolb’s sketch rendering of the reservoir re-conceived as a model boating basin. Already several local model boat racing clubs have expressed enthusiasm at the idea!
Improvements to the reservoir in the offing also underscore the opportunity to re-create the “Sunset Promenade” envisioned by the park’s original landscape architects, The Olmsted Brothers. As Doug Bayley, chair of the Volunteer Park Trust put it in the “Pacific NW” article, “We want to create a promenade where people could stroll and watch the sun go down over the city and the water.” And as Valerie Easton concluded, “That sweeping westward view now incoludes the Space Needle, a sight never imagined when the Olmsted Brothers designed the venerable park.”