The Seattle Park Department acquired the site for Laurelhurst Playfield along NE 41st Street between 45th Avenue NE and 48th Avenue NE in 1927. Although a few improvements to the site were completed between 1929 and 1932, a series of New Deal projects between 1933 and 1941 allowed the Park Department to move forward with additional upgrades despite the hardships of the Great Depression.
Laurelhurst Playfield was one of a limited number of Seattle park facilities to receive funding under the New Deal’s Civil Works Administration program. During the winter of 1933-1934, CWA laborers began construction on a brick field house and rebuilt the playfield’s walkways. Work on the field house had not yet been completed when the federal government shut down the CWA program in March 1934. The remaining work on the field house was completed in 1935 with assistance from the Washington (State) Emergency Relief Administration.
Several WPA projects brought additional improvements to the playfield during the late 1930s and early 1940s. WPA laborers installed plants and shrubs as part of a 1935 project and repainted the field house as part of a 1938 project. In 1940, workers began the installation of two tennis courts near the southwest corner of the playfield, paved the roadway entrance, cleared brush from some of the rougher parts of the playfield, and did work to improve drainage. Construction of the tennis courts was completed in 1941 along with additional clearing and landscaping work.
"Laurelhurst Playfield and Community Center." Seattle Parks and Recreation. Accessed July 3, 2016. https://www.seattle.gov/parks/history/LaurelhurstPF.pdf Seattle Board of Park Commissioners. Annual Report. Seattle, WA: Seattle Board of Park Commissioners, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1940, 1941. "Summary for 4554 NE 41st ST NE / Parcel ID 7613700005 / Inv # DPR046." Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Accessed July 3, 2016. https://web6.seattle.gov/DPD/HistoricalSite/QueryResult.aspx?ID=-1925780202
Project originally submitted by Scott Newman on July 9, 2016.
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