Wallingford is a neighborhood located in North Seattle. The main drag on Wallingford is 45th street. Filled with shops, restaurants, and coffee shops, you could spend half a day just meandering. I visited the Gas Works Park once, and haven’t been back there for ages. Because I was near the area, I thought I would do a quick stop.
History of the Gas Works Park
This time while standing on top of the grassy hill, I wanted to know the history of the park. I found little history. So I called the Seattle.gov number to get some history on the park. Gas Works Park was a former site for an active gas plant that manufactured coal into gas operated by a private company. If you want to know more history, watch this video, “10 Parks that changed America,” hosted by PBS.
The City of Seattle brought the site in 1962. With the help of landscape architect Richard Haag the site has been recycled to a public park. The rustic towers of the plant are still fenced off due to safety concerns.
The music man tells me that back in the day, there was a Seattle joke that “if you dropped any food in Gas Works parks, you better not eat it.” Now annual and seasonal events take place, inviting musicians and kite connoisseurs to play in the park. Walkers, joggers, bicyclists, dog walkers roam the area to catch a good view of the skyline while getting a dose of their daily exercise. On Fourth of July, people gather with their friends and families to see fireworks launching from the barges at Lake Union.
Getting to the park from the parking lot
Walk up the pathway that winds around the big green hill. The cemented winding path takes you all the way up to the top. Halfway through the hill, you can see rustic gas plant from where you stand. As you walk your way up to the top, you can see a great view of Lake Union, a decent view of the Skyline of Downtown Seattle (even on a cloudy day), a skinny view of the Space Needle.
There are couple of benches on top of the hill. You can sit there and see small to midsize boats coming in or going away. Rowers navigate the waters, too. Yachts and other water vessels are moored in the marina.
Overall, I think this is a good place to take pictures, but I wouldn’t go out of you way, if you are not already in or near Wallingford. I would recommend other parks to go in Seattle.
If you are in Wallingford and wondering what else is there to do in Wallingford, here are few more activities:
Go have coffee on 45th street
Pick any coffee place and go sit down and sip on your coffee.
You can shop
A string of boutique shops line 45th street. If you are looking for funky gifts, Archie McPhee is a fun place to shop. They carry inexpensive toys that no one carries anymore in brick and mortar store. For some,this store is walk through a memory lane.
If you are hungry stop at a pub or a bakery
If you like Sushi there Kisaku Sushi Restaurant, If you like Pizza, there is Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria (though I like the one in Columbia City more), If you like Afghan food, there is Kabul Afghan Cuisine. Note: my friend plays music in Kabul few nights a week.
The park has a decent sized parking lot
Driving around Wallingford: Most likely, you would be parallel parking on the street. Some shops do have parking lots but you can only park there while you shop at the store.
You can also take the bus from downtown Seattle. The buses do run on the weekends too, but not as frequently as they do on weekdays.
If you are a walker, you can also walk from Gas Works to 45th street.
Tidbits: Recently when I went, there were Canadian geese poop. I guess they know where they best views are. Please do look down where you step.