AKA: Athletic Park #1, First Hill, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - recreation areas and structures

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1895, demolished 1903

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Building History

Athletic competitions in track and field and cycling occurred for the first time at Y.M.C.A. Athletic Park on 09/02/1895. According to the Seattle blog BA-KGROUND written by historian Rob Ketcherside, "The athletic field hosted YMCA, Seattle Athletic Club, and University of Washington athletic meets of many types: football, track and field, baseball, and bicycle races. From 1896 it hosted professional baseball games and went by the new name “Athletic Park”, but the name Y.M.C.A Park or Y.M.C.A. Grounds still frequently appeared." (See Rob Ketcherside, BA-KGROUND.com, "Seattle's YMCA Park, 1895-1903," publised 01/10/2019, accessed 11/10/2022.) By 1898, some residents referred to the YMCA Athletic Park, simply as "Athletic Park." Two years later, advertisements used this as the common name for the recreational field. (See "Athletic Park," advertisement, Seattle Times, 05/18/1900, p. 5.)

The field closed for athletic use in 1903, when 13th Avenue was cut through the middle of the park. During the 1930s-1950s, the field housed a street car maintenance barn and railyard. In 1949, buses of the Seattle Transit Trackless Trolley service were parked here.


An article in the 03/26/1896 issue of the Seattle Times reported that the athletic fields of the Y.M.C.A. would be expanded. It stated: "W.H. Lewis, for the Y.M.C.A., today petitioned the board of public works for permissio to extend their athletic park grounds. They desire to extend the fence fifty feet to the east over a portion of Sixteenth street and enlarge the premises north and south 400 feet, between Remington avenue and Willow street. C.H. Hagan, manager of Senator Watson C. Squire's interests here, who owns the abutting property, attests his approval of the proposition by signing the petition as agent for the senator. The board has not acted upon the petition yet, but it is not thought that the members will interpose any objections to the use of the street, which is now ungraded and across a section not now settled." (See "Enlarge the Grounds: The Y.M.C.A. Athletic Park Will Be Enlarged," Seattle Times, 03/26/1896, p. 5.)


This field had been abandoned by 1903. An insurance map of 1905 (sheet #160) showed that the parcel between Cherry Street, 12th Avenue, Jefferson Street, and 14th Street, was largely open, save for some woodframe residences and the Parker Lumber Company complex. In 1997, Seattle University erected its soccer field, Championship Field, on the northeast corner of the property, on the property bounded by 13th Avenue on the west, Jefferson Street on the south, 14th Avenue on the east, and Cherry Street on the north.

PCAD id: 24538