A Word About Landscape Architecture and Garden Design

Archive for November, 2013

Transforming Volunteer Park’s Reservoir

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.”

Volunteer park sketch low res

Holiday in Volunteer Park, December 12, 2013

Come one, come all to the second Annual Holiday in Volunteer Park in Seattle on Thursday, December 12, 2013 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM for a festive program of Christmas carols and holiday music.  Hosted by the Volunteer Park Trust and the Friends of the Volunteer Park Conservatory, the event also includes free admission to the Asian Art Museum and the beautifully lit Conservatory.  You’ve got to get a look at the model train in the Conservatory!    Performers include the Beaconettes; the Columbia City Chorus; 5 Bit; the Mother Pluckers: Seatown Sound: Vocal Sounds Northwest and Acapella Northwest.  A founding member of the Volunteer Park Trust, Seattle Landscape Architect Brooks Kolb will introduce four of the performing groups.  Happy Holidays!

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The Beaconettes performing at the First Annual Holiday in Volunteer Park, in December, 2012