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Seattle’s Volunteer Park: Not off-leash, but dog-friendly

Photo by Joe Szilagyi

Photo by Joe Szilagyi

Volunteer Park is a 48-acre oasis in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The land was originally used as a cemetery, but in 1887 the graves were relocated a short distance northwards, to Lake View Cemetery. The park now includes the Seattle Asian Art Museum (housed in a magnificent 1933 Art Moderne building designed by Carl Gould), a lovely 1912 conservatory, a 1906 water tower (climb to the top for a fine view) overlooking a reservoir, and a children’s wading pool, all located in a setting created by the Olmstead Brothers between about 1904 and 1912. The brothers did good work, and much of it remains. The park is beloved and well-used, especially during the summer, when it becomes the neighborhood’s front yard. At all times of year, however, it’s a great place to walk a (leashed) dog. Right now, Chloe’s focusing on squirrels, with the odd detour to chase a crow (earlier in the year, swallows were her obsession). The dog clientele is well-mannered, and there are lots of trashcans around for poop disposal. The park is open until 11 p.m., but I head home at dusk, and suggest that you do too.

The neighborhood around the park is full of lovely homes — the most astonishing ones are on “Millionaire’s Row,” or 14th Avenue E., which leads southwards out of the park from the base of the water tower, but there are also some behemoths on Federal Ave. E., a block west of the park, and in the Harvard-Belmont historic district, just to the west of 10th Avenue E. Take your dog for a stroll outside the park and check them out!

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