It was only a few short years ago that Seattle had no public skateparks. Though its citizens have access to the ocean, lakes, rivers, and mountains, they still love their parks. Nearly 12% of the City is public park land. It seems incredible that a city with 630,000 people intentionally its only skatepark without a replacement. With the help of advocacy groups like SeattleSkateparks.org, the situation was quickly remedied and today there are several parks in the City with more to come.
The Ballard Bowl is a newer structure that is meant to replace the concrete bowl that used to be located there. While the new bowl is larger, many agree that it lacks the unique qualities of the old one. Still, the bowl is well-used and popular among skaters and non-skaters.
Seattle’s newest skatepark was designed and built by Hardcore Shotcrete. It services the Northeast portion of the city.
Seattle’s largest and most diverse skatepark is in the north-end of the city near Green Lake. It was designed by Wally Hollyday and built by Sahli Construction. Read more about Lower Woodland here.
Seattle Center is the city’s premier tourist destination and home to the famous Seattle Space Needle. Originally the fairgrounds to the 1962 World Expo, today it is a cultural arts center, venue for festivals, and educational “theme park,” among other things. Seattle’s only public skatepark was once located directly across the street but was demolished to create room for the Bill and Melinda Gates Center headquarters. The Seattle Center opted to create the new skatepark within the fairgrounds and hired Newline Skateparks to design the facility.
One interesting fact about the skatepark is that it is built upon the roof of a building. Because weight was a concern, the concrete is poured over high-density foam blocks instead of fill-dirt.
While the fine folks at SeattleSkateparks.org were busy coordinating with the city to create new skateparks, other skaters in the area took matters into their own hands and began building their own place to skate. Today Marginal Way is well known and has become a destination for skaters across the country. Note that Marginal Way is not officially a “public park” and was not initiated by Seattle Parks and Recreation. Read more about Marginal Way here.