What you'll do
Join me for a walking tour of the failed Seattle Commons project. The park was a proposed redevelopment plan for South Lake Union, the neighborhood now at the center of Seattle’s tech-fueled population explosion. It was narrowly voted down by Seattleites in the mid-1990's. Referred to as “Seattle’s Central Park,” the plan would have created a large urban park in the center of the neighborhood, which is now occupied by blocks of skyscrapers. We’ll tour the area, learning about the various development plans and major land transformations throughout South Lake Union’s history. You’ll hear about the political and economic trends that led to the Seattle Commons plan and its rejection by Seattle voters, and we’ll discuss the future of Seattle’s urban core in the wake of the current population boom.
Hi, I’m Chris, a member of the Atlas Obscura community. As a 10-year resident of Seattle, I've witnessed firsthand how my city has rapidly changed. When I moved here, I became acquainted with this region as an AmeriCorps volunteer, doing environmental restoration in Seattle's urban parks. I learned more about regional policy and planning processes as a graduate student at the University of Washington, where I earned a Master's degree in public administration. The failed Seattle Commons plan is an intriguing case study in urban planning and Seattle politics. I'm excited to offer a walking tour of this ambitious project, and I hope you'll join me!
About the organization
Selected by Atlas Obscura
This experience is offered directly by a member of the Atlas Obscura community and has been selected by Atlas Obscura.
Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura is a global community of explorers, who have together created a comprehensive database of the world’s most wondrous places and foods. Community members also host their own experiences, providing special access to the world’s hidden wonders, local marvels, and gastronomical wonders.
I will provide printed maps and short informational packets.
Navigation section for review pages
Where you'll be
South Lake Union (SLU) is the fastest-growing neighborhood in America's fastest-growing city. However, if Seattle voters had voted slightly differently in the mid-1990s, it would have been a huge city park called the Seattle Commons. Despite what it could have become, SLU does have three public spaces: Denny Park, Cascade Park, SLU Park, which we will explore.
If you don’t see availability for the time you are looking for, you can .
Sat, Nov 9 From 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
$48 per person
10 of 10 spots left
Keep these in mind
Any experience can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase.
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Up to 10 guests ages 18 and up can attend.
The tour meets up in Denny Park and ends at Lake Union Park. This is a walking tour with a total distance of about 1.5 miles. Wear comfortable shoes and attire. We will walk rain or shine, so watch the weather and prepare accordingly.
Seattle's Unrealized Central Park