Help Name the new Yesler Park!

Yesler Terrace is getting a new 1.7-acre park, and the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department (SPR) is seeking nominations for the park’s name! Help shape the future of the neighborhood by submitting your ideas!

The deadline for submitting suggested names for the planned Yesler Neighborhood Park is February 1, 2017.  SPR is collaborating with the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) on outreach regarding the naming process. Over the next two months, SHA will be communicating with Yesler residents, external organizations, and residents and businesses in the surrounding neighborhoods to solicit park name suggestions.

Please submit suggestions for Yesler Neighborhood Park names to the Parks Naming Committee by Feb. 1, 2017. Include an explanation of how your suggestion matches the naming criteria, included below. Send to Seattle Parks and Recreation, Parks Naming Committee, 100 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109, or by e-mail to Paula Hoff at paula.hoff@seattle.gov.

Yesler Neighborhood Park

The scope of this project is to develop a 1.7-acre neighborhood park that is part of the Yesler Terrace Master Planned Community. The intent of the park is to serve as a gathering place for current and future residents of Yesler Terrace as well as people who live and work in the surrounding community. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy provides $3,000,000 for a new park at Yesler Terrace. Additional funding has been secured from the Seattle Housing Authority, State of Washington Recreation Conservation Office Recreation Grant, RAVE Foundation, Stim Bullitt Park Excellence Fund, Wyncote Foundation, and Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Foundation. The overall budget now totals $4,330,000. More information can be found here<http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/yesler-neighborhood-park>.

About the Parks Naming Committee and Park Naming Policy

The Parks Naming Committee is comprised of one representative designated by the Board of Park Commissioners, one by the Chair of the City Council Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee, and one by the Parks Superintendent. Criteria the committee considers in naming parks include: geographical location, historical or cultural significance, and natural or geological features. The Park Naming Policy, clarifying the criteria applied when naming a park, can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/parks/Publications/namingPolicy.htm

The Parks Naming Committee will consider all suggestions and make a recommendation to Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre, who makes the final decision.

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2 comments

  • I have a suggestion for a name for the Yesler Terrace park. To whom do I address my suggestion?

  • Subject: Yesler Terrace Park Naming

    Nomination Suggestion: Yamasaki Terrace

    Dear Park Naming Committee for Seattle Parks,

    I’d like to nominate Minoru Yamasaki as the namesake for the developing Yesler Terrace Park and this important public space.

    There are numerous reasons to consider this important individual. Here are a few:

    • Though rarely acknowledged in his hometown of Seattle, he is without question, Seattle’s greatest historical architect and there exists no significant honor in Seattle to reflect being one of the 20th Century’s greatest American architects (see the Wikipedia entry that details some of his achievements)
    • Detroit has a lovely memorial website dedicated to Mr. Yamasaki. Please take a second to read some facts about his Seattle roots. HistoricDetroit.org
    • He grew up about 4 blocks from this proposed park site in a tenement house at 510 Terrace St – approximately where the i-5 freeway displaced his Japan-town community.
    • He likely attended Bailey Gatzert elementary school at 12th and King (no longer extant, but see photograph attached showing the school in 1921. Minoru is likely in this photo and would be 9 years old) and is confirmed to have attended Garfield and later the UW school of Architecture.
    • He was on the cover of Time magazine in 1963! (an rare honor by any architect but shared by no other architect minority… alongside other notables- Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Bucky Fuller and Phillip Johnson)
    • He had an illustrious career and left Seattle for NY and finally Detroit. He managed to save money and thus his parents from internment during WWII – while also starting his own firm in Detroit.
    • The majority of residents (40%) in Yesler Terrace were Asian and though separated now by i-5, the neighborhood has a historical connection to Japan Town. Many of the residents of this neighborhood never made it back after internment. At the time of internment 45% of Bailey Gatzert Elementary school classroom seats were empty with forced removal of Japanese Americans.
    • The architect of several Seattle masterworks, including Rainier Tower and Pacific Science Center (which has a stunning park at its core). Beyond the Twin Towers, he designed numerous beautiful park and plaza landscapes – including my favorite at Oberlin College seen here.

    In short, Minoru Yamasaki should be a household Seattle name and because there is no public remembrance of his person, his Seattle roots are all but forgotten. A park, within sight of his childhood home and elementary school, would be an appropriate public reminder and inspiration to citizens and children of Seattle.

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