2300 Arboretum Dr. E.
Seattle, WA USA


Seattle, WA

With Architectural Historian Susan Boyle, and Landscape Historian David Streatfield, Karen Kiest prepared a detailed history of the Washington Park Arboretum. The objective of the project is essentially two-fold: to provide a credible, definitive history of the Arboretum for future use and reference by its many constituents, and to guide the landmark process for future management of changes proposed in the Master Plan. The research addressed the property’s physical development in the context of Seattle’ history and that of surrounding neighborhoods, the role of the Parks Department and the University of Washington School of Forestry, development of Seattle’s road system and impacts of highways, roles that specific local individuals played in the Arboretum’s history, and the history of site improvements and buildings in the Arboretum. Karen Kiest investigated the history of public gardens and arboreta in America, the instrumental role of the Olmsted firm in designing urban landscapes and its specific design of the Washington Park Arboretum and the crucial involvement of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to build the plan.