Terry Pettus Park renovation now a reality

Seattle Parks and Recreation has acquired about 4,000 square feet of property along Lake Union that will be added to Terry Pettus Park. In addition, the department has begun a project to update and improve this park at 2001 Fairview Ave. E., at the foot of East Newton Street.

Parks and Recreation also has invited the Eastlake and Floating Homes communities to participate in the future renovation of the park through an on-line survey. (Editor’s note: the survey is now closed.)

“SPR values community engagement, and public input is essential for the success of this project to improve the health and safety of the existing park and its new addition directly south of the park,” the department said in a news release. The survey at is part of the planning process to incorporate the new parcel into the existing Terry Pettus Park.

This $1.6 million renovation project seeks to maintain the park and improve the health and safety for all. The waterfront recreation use and character will be maintained with additional goals of incorporating the new parcel, restoring the existing park’s pier, enhancing the park entrance to meet Americans with Disability Act (ADA) standards, and implementing shoreline habitat restoration.  

Planning and design work is expected to continue into the fall of 2021. Bidding on the project will be completed by early 2022 with construction continuing until the summer of 2023.

During construction the contractor will need to close the park. Seattle Parks and Recreation and the contractor hired for the project will work to minimize impacts to park users and the community.

The expansion will provide additional park space in a developing urban village and double access to the Lake Union shoreline at this location. The expansion will also improve the transition from the single-family residential houseboat community north of the property, to the heavy marine industrial zone to the south.

Built in 1970-71 by volunteers and businesses, and named after the late Terry Pettus, labor journalist and longtime Secretary of the Floating Homes Association, the park currently includes picnic tables, a beach and floating dock, but has suffered from neglect with the vegetation overgrown and the floating dock and some of the pilings deteriorated.

Seattle Parks and Recreation tried to acquire this new property in 2010 when NOAA was moving out of town. Ride the Ducks ended up acquiring the property in 2012 with the intention of putting in a boat ramp for its commercial operation. Due to liabilities related to the company’s crash on the Aurora Bridge, Ride the Ducks decided to sell the property. When the City and the adjoining landowner, US Seafoods, were interested in acquiring the property, SPR met with US Seafoods and the two parties agreed to split the acquisition.

US Seafoods closed on the whole property and then worked with the Parks department on the sale of the part that it did not need. The Eastlake Community Council thanks US Seafoods for its efforts to preserve the property for park use.

Written by Steve Dunphy

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Don Bennett, 1931-2020

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