Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Northeast Mount Baker

The majority of today's walk was sandwiched between the I-90 lid, 31st Avenue S, Colman Park and Lake Washington. My husband and I got wet (and my camera lens got foggy) during this 4.7 mile Mount Baker walk but many things made it worthwhile.

We started by climbing 103 steps at Day Street and admiring what may be the cleanest underpass area in the city.

At the top of the hill, we saw some large homes,

the view from East Portal Viewpoint and a number of plaques declaring the bridge and tunnels a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and honoring Homer M. Hadley (who conceived this application for concrete), Lacey V. Murrow (who led project design and construction) and the contractors who worked on the bridge and tunnels.

The bridge was built in 1940 and was the world's first reinforced concrete floating bridge and the largest floating structure ever built. The tunnels were the largest diameter soft-earth tunnels when completed in 1940.

We walked the winding boulevard through Colman Park (an Olmsted Legacy Park), observing a large community garden

and artistic landscaping

before coming to the Ellsworth Storey Cottages National Historic District. "Between 1910 and 1915, Storey designed a set of cottages near Colman Park on Lake Washington Boulevard. Although modest, and built as a developmental enterprise, these houses were more influential than many of his more impressive works. These houses, looking much like bungalows, used generous amounts of local lumber and had wide projecting eaves covering ample porches. This method of building suited the house’s natural surroundings.
Storey was perhaps the first Seattle architect to integrate directly local materials with architectural design. This practice, later known as "regionalism," was highly influential in Seattle architecture of the middle- and late-twentieth century". (from linked page above)

We continued on to Mount Baker Park and back north to Day Street, observing staircases and shore view access points along the way.

This area has quite a few vacant lots and some impressive homes.

It is home to Saint Clement's Episcopal ChurchSponge (language classes for kids) and a "No Camping" sign which has been modified to say "Snow Camping" - we did not see any campers.

Mount Baker has a lot to offer and we enjoyed our walk in the rain. Only the constant sound of traffic from I-90 detracts from this neighborhood.

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