Ballard Tide Flats and the 11th Ave Street End Park

On Thursday, June 11, 2015 Ballard celebrated the opening of the 11th Ave NW Street End Park. Neighbors gathered for the park’s dedication and celebrated with a potluck dinner. Photos of the event are available here.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) worked in partnership with the University of Washington to improve 11th Ave NW Street End.  The project is part of the Shoreline Street End Program, which works to preserve and improve public waterway access. Shoreline access projects are important for Seattle residents, as many residents don’t live right on the water and desire access.  This program is an effort to reclaim those spaces.

A landscape architecture studio, comprised of 25 undergraduate and graduate students, designed and then construct public access and habitat improvements over the span of two quarters (from January 5th – June 5th).

Historic Look at the 11th Ave NW Street End:

The photo below, item 51954 courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, is dated December 30, 1915.  Description provided states, “Ballard Tide Lands. Taken at a point on the hydraulic fill about 100′ NE of bulkhead on the N side of the Lake Washington Canal and about 200′ E of 11th Ave. NW, looking N 60 W, showing pools of water standing on top of fill.”

Today, this location is better known at the Ballard Fred Meyer’s parking lot.  Approximate modern view available HERE.


The next photo, item 51953 courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, is dated December 30, 1915.  Description provided states, “Gilman Park Addition. Taken at the SE corner of 11th Ave. NW and W 45th St. Boys skating.”

A modern view from this location would include the Fred Meyer’s parking lot and Albert Lee warehouse. Approximate modern view available HERE.


Bonus photo:

The final photo, item 51950 courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, is dated December 30, 1915. Description provided states, “Gilman Park Addition. Taken at the NW corner of 11th Ave., NW and W 47th St., looking N 60 W, showing portion of Block 168.”

Today, this location is a parking lot and future home of New Seasons Market.  Approximate modern view available HERE.


More about the Shoreline Street End Program:  

Lake Washington, Lake Union, Puget Sound, and other waterways offer Seattle residents more than 200 miles of magnificent shoreline.  While much of it is private or park land, 149 public streets in Seattle end on waterfronts.  These “shoreline street ends” are precious community assets designated by the City of Seattle (City Resolution 29370, adopted in September 1996) as special rights-of-way that should be preserved and improved for public use.  View map of shoreline street ends.

Though some street ends have been improved for public use, nearly two-thirds are unmarked, overgrown, or have private encroachments. Partnering with local residents and community groups, SDOT intends to improve these hidden spots so as to provide the public with increased waterfront access and enjoyment.

Guided by the policy that public access allows the highest and best use of these sites, SDOT’s Shoreline Street Ends Program manages the process for improving a shoreline street end and, in some cases, permitting of private uses.  SDOT Director’s Rule #00-1 lays out city guidelines for this program.

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