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History Cafe: A Park System for All - The Olmsted Vision

Parks and greenspace are an important part of Seattle living. Join HistoryLink historian Jennifer Ott for a discussion about the Olmsted Plans that created the city's park and boulevard system in the early 1900s.

About History Cafe
Join us on the 3rd Thursday of the month at the MOHAI Cafe at the Museum of History & Industry's new location in Lake Union Park for lively a discussion about history. Each cafe features a different topic, and invites history enthusiasts to come together and share what you know. Grab a cup of coffee - or glass of wine - and enjoy learning about the past!

Please note: History Cafe is a free program, but if you wish to visit the MOHAI galleries, you must pay museum admission (galleries close at 8 pm).

This event series is brought to you by MOHAI, The Seattle Public Library, and

RSVPs: Seating at History Cafe is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Your RSVP gives us an idea of how many people are coming, but does not guarantee you a seat, so we encourage you to arrive at least 15 minutes early. If an event is full on Meetup, you may still come.
Parking: After 6 pm, numerous lots near Lake Union Park offer free parking. Look for parking lots off Fairview Ave, Westlake Ave, or Valley Street, or take the South Lake Union Streetcar from downtown Seattle.

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  • Chris

    My first time at History Cafe. I really appreciated it - such good information. It brings a new appreciation for Seattle's beautiful landscape and parks. Thanks to all who brought it to us.

    November 21, 2014

  • laura

    Fascinating and informative. Thanks, Meris for organizing this and also to speaker Jennifer Ott for her presentation.

    November 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member


    1 · November 20, 2014

  • Joe P.

    I had the evening free for once and so here I am attending. I stopped there on the way home.

    November 20, 2014

  • Meris M.

    Thank you everyone for the questions. I'll make sure Jennifer Ott sees them before she goes on stage. If her presentation doesn't answer your question, don't hesitate to bring it up during discussion. We will also be hosting a staff member from the Seattle 2035 team, who will be available before and after the formal History Cafe program to answer your questions about how parks are being considered and planned for in Seattle's future.

    1 · November 19, 2014

  • Mary F.

    Seattle Green Spaces Coalition is working on a new vision for Seattle's open space. As it turns out, the City has a lot of so-called "surplus" property which is a part of our ecosystem and park heritage. Interested to hear how it complements Olmstead vision. Mary Fleck, co-chair, SGSC

    November 18, 2014

  • Paul A.

    Curious about...if there are ideas/plans for new parks and green spaces in our beautiful NW region?

    1 · November 4, 2014

  • Amy

    Hi, our middle daughter who's 9 is a natural engineer. She's always constructing something, and we discovered Seattle Architecture Foundation. They have a main office with an intimate gallery of all kinds of historical and modern Seattle architecture models, pieces, and blueprints... It's fascinating to walk through! This is in the hidden 'mall' underneath the upside down Pioneer Building on 5th Ave. Besides that they offer walking tours and classes (which I think MOHAI collaborates with). They also offer classes for kids and teens on subjects like the thought process in designing parks in Seattle. Here's a link to their unique classes for kids:

    1 · November 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I've read a bit about the parks development in Seattle. What interests me is what went into the design of the parks system and how that system still functions today in ways envisioned by Olmsted.

    2 · October 30, 2014

  • Heidi B

    Will you bring maps that show which parks are part of the Olmsted vision? Any other visuals too!
    Re-instill their passion for parks & green space.

    1 · October 29, 2014

  • Meris M.

    What questions do you have about the Seattle's park system? What are you hoping to learn next month?

    October 29, 2014

  • Linda

    Checking this out...I'm always asking "how did this start" or "where did this come from".

    1 · October 25, 2014

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