The Seattle Park Department acquired the land for Colman Playground in 1910, shortly after the opening of nearby Colman School. A regrading project in the early 1910s made the site suitable for picnics and baseball, but otherwise the Park Department made few improvements to the site prior to the 1930s. When WPA funding became available, several neighborhood organizations joined together and convinced the Park Board to upgrade the playground.
Major work on improving Colman Playground started in 1937, when WPA workers began constructing the two-story, reinforced concrete shelter house that stands near southwest corner of the playground. As construction of the shelter house moved toward completion in 1938, WPA workers made additional improvements to the surrounding playground. These projects included the construction of new retaining walls, new pathways, and a baseball backstop, as well as the installation of a drinking fountain. The new shelter house and playground were formally dedicated on May 17, 1940.
"Colman Playground." Seattle Parks and Recreation. Accessed May 13, 2016. "Fete Arranged at Colman Field." Seattle Daily Times, May 16, 1940. Seattle Board of Park Commissioners. Annual Reports. Seattle, WA: Seattle Board of Park Commissioners, 1937, 1938. "Summary for 1740 23rd AVE / Parcel ID 0924049004 / Inv # DPR017." Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Accessed May 13, 2016.
Project originally submitted by Scott Newman on May 21, 2016.
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