Freeway Park Improvements

Updated: December 6, 2023

December 2023

SPR and the design team successfully presented the results of the structural analysis and refinement of the proposed design to the City of Seattle Landmarks and Preservation Board (LPB), the Seattle Design Commission (SDC) and the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) for the project. The project team kicked off construction documentation at the beginning of December 2023 and will be incorporating the feedback obtained from those meetings and our coordination with WSDOT. We look forward to providing an update to the Freeway Park Advisory Council in the new year. 

While ongoing collaboration will continue throughout the Construction Documentation Phase, the project has targeted milestones for progress presentations/feedback:

65% Construction Documents  (April 2024) – Present to LPB, DAHP and WSDOT

95% Construction Documents (July 2024)- Present to LPB, DAHP, SDC, WSDOTand Freeway Park Advisory Council

SPR is targeting to go out to bid in early 2005 with construction running throughout the year and completing in time to celebrate the Park’s 50th Anniversary in Spring 2006.

Improvement Project Overview

Seattle Parks and Recreation has received $10 million in funding from the Washington State Convention Center Expansion Project as part of the public benefit package associated with the Convention Center expansion. The funding will repair, restore, and enhance Freeway Park. Of the $10 million, $750,000 is for activation within the park and $9,250,000 is dedicated to capital improvements which covers construction (approximately $6 million), as well as design and project management, permitting, sales tax and contingencies.

The initial scope of the capital improvements is based on the Finding Freeway Park Concept Report, produced by the Freeway Park Association.

Our project team includes:
Walker Macy -
3 Square Blocks LLC
Freeway Park Association -

Project Elements Funded in Phase 1

  • Entire Park
    o  New lighting at existing light poles
    o  Architectural lighting spot improvements (i.e.: 8th Ave Underpass)
    o  New Wayfinding signage
    o  Landscape, irrigation, and drainage spot improvements
  • Upper Lawns
    o  Renovated restroom structure with 2 gender-neutral stalls
    o  60% Planting/Irrigation
  • Seneca Plaza
    o  New larger plaza
    o  New paving and seating elements
    o  New planting and lawn terrace
    o  New lighting and signage
    o  New buildings: restroom with 2 gender-neutral stalls, concierge, storage
    o  Improved access to Canyon Fountain
  • Box Gardens
    o  Clean-up and tree removal
    o  60% Planting/Irrigation
  • Pigott Corridor
    o  60% Planting/Irrigation


Freeway Park, 700 Seneca St, 98101


As a result of the Washington State Convention Center Expansion Project's proposed street vacations, $10 million has been paid to Seattle Parks and Recreation over the next twenty-one (21) months to repair, restore and enhance Freeway Park. This $10 million is part of the public benefit package associated with the Convention Center expansion. A portion of this money ($750,000) is focused on activation within Freeway Park; the remainder ($9,250,000) is dedicated to capital improvements at the park.


Planning: 2019 - 2020
Design: 2020 - Winter 2023
Construction Documentation: Winter 2023 - Fall 2024
Bidding: Early 2025
Construction Begins: Spring 2025 - Spring 2026

Project Description

The scope of the capital project work builds on the Finding Freeway Park concept plan, produced by the Freeway Park Association, and includes infrastructure upgrades, lighting, wayfinding, and a new restroom. The design phase is expected to be complete with all necessary permits/approvals in hand by the end of 2022. The rough order of magnitude cost estimate to repair, restore and enhance Freeway Park is based on the Finding Freeway Park Concept Report, produced by the Freeway Park Association, which identifies areas of focus.

View information about the separate Jim Ellis Freeway Park Fountain Discharge Retrofit project here.


In July 2022, the City of Seattle Landmarks and Preservation Board designated Freeway Park a City Landmark. Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and Landmarks Preservation Board finalized the Controls and Incentives Agreement in June 2023. View the Controls and Incentives document here.

Community Participation

One of the critical components of this project is public outreach. There is a very diverse set of stakeholders that surround and use the park. Together with our consultant team, we will engage with the adjacent Washington State Convention Center, surrounding business community, residents that live around the park, homeless individuals who use the park on a frequent basis, and other stakeholders and user groups.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey. It closed November 2019. See results below.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Project Kick-Off event on September 10, 2019, and everyone who joined us at the Open House and Panel Discussion on October 28, 2019. These events were great opportunities to learn more about the project and share your ideas for repairing, restoring, and enhancing Freeway Park. Your input was helpful and greatly appreciated.
View the events poster here.

Public Kick-Off Event 9/10/2019

Open House and Panel Discussion 10/28/2019

Panel: Randy Gragg (Executive Director, Portland Parks Foundation); Alison Hirsch (Director of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at USC School of Architecture); Kenneth Helphand (FASLA, Professor Emeritus in Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon); Charles A. Birnbaum (FASLA, FAAR, President & CEO, The Cultural Landscape Foundation); Iain Robertson (Associate Professor and Adjunct Faculty, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences).

Online Open House July 7 - August 5, 2020

Background Documents

Parks and Recreation

AP Diaz, Superintendent
Mailing Address: 100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98109
Phone: (206) 684-4075
Fax: (206) 615-1813

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