Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Cal Anderson Park, Seattle, WA


Cal Anderson Park is the village green and epicenter of all that is Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. It is a much loved crossroads and destination for this diverse, eclectic and densely populated area located just blocks away from downtown. The timeless and elegant design of this former open water reservoir accommodates a wide range of users and the park’s recent renovation reestablishes a much needed social balance once lost after being surrounded by chain link fence. The park is continuously occupied with people enjoying the open green lawn, taking in the scene from the formal promenade, being energized by the dynamic, artist-designed water feature, and rejoicing in the soothing sounds of the reflection pool. It serves as home to annual events such as the Capitol Hill Independence Day Community Picnic, the Bat N’ Rogue Softball Tournament and kick-off for the Seattle Gay Pride Parade, outdoor summer movies, a kickball league, and recently hosted the national bike polo championships.


Since its renovation, the surrounding developments have completely transformed with smart urban infill, vibrant brick and beam building restorations, housing, recycled furniture stores, organic restaurants, and art galleries. A new Light Rail station and TOD development is slated to serve the area soon. The community’s dedication to the park’s continued vitality is ensured through the Cal Anderson Park Alliance. This iconic eleven-acre park, built over a four-acre lidded reservoir, embodies the utilitarian function its original designers, the Olmsted Brothers, intended back in 1904 when they designed a park for the working class people of Seattle. Cal Anderson Park is truly one of the most authentic and loved parks of its time.



52 votes
Idea No. 143