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Saint Edward State Park

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Title: Saint Edward State Park  
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Subject: St. Edward Seminary, Kirkland, Washington, Saint Edward, Bastyr University, History of King County, Washington
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Saint Edward State Park

Saint Edward State Park is a 316-acre (128 ha)-park in Kenmore, Washington and Kirkland, Washington. It is part of the Washington State Park System. Before becoming a Catholic seminary and later a state park, the area was logged in the 19th century and again in the 1920s. A series of trails runs through the park for bicyclists and hikers. The forest canopy is primarily made up of the Coast Douglas-fir, Western Redcedar, Bigleaf Maple, Pacific Madrone and Western Hemlock. Its dense carpet includes many varieties of fern (mainly Western Sword Fern), shrub and moss. It is flanked on the west by an undeveloped beach on Lake Washington. The park surrounds the Saint Thomas Center, which houses Bastyr University.


  • Facilities 1
    • Saint Edward Seminary 1.1
    • Other facilities 1.2
  • Advocacy groups 2
  • Renovation 3
  • History 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6


Saint Edward Seminary

Saint Edward Seminary
St. Edward Seminary
Nearest city Kenmore, Washington
Area 319 acres (129 ha)
Architectural style Romanesque
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 07000137[1]
Added to NRHP March 8, 2007

The park's most singular feature is the Saint Edward Seminary, listed on the Washington State Heritage Register since 1997[2] and added in April 2007 to the National Register of Historic Places. This large, historic building has fallen into disrepair in recent years. It is not currently accessible to the public except by special arrangement, e.g. renting the refectory for special events.

Other facilities

Other facilities include the indoor Carole Ann Wald Memorial Pool, which was built in the late 1960s with funding from a seminarian's family, and named after the seminarian's sister and donors' daughter. The pool has been operated in recent years by concessionaires and was mothballed December 31, 2009, pending a new operator and/or a greater consortium of support from SESP near-neighbor citizenry, municipalities, and other sponsors.

City of Kenmore, Evergreen Health, and Bastyr University helped underwrite the CAWM Pool from 2003-2008. In 2009 only Evergreen Health and Bastyr University were continuing partners.

The gymnasium and an outdoor stone sanctuary ("the Grotto") both date from the original 1930s construction period. A baseball field and a soccer field lay south of the seminary building.

The park boasts the largest children's playground in the state, built primarily by local volunteers in 2003.[3] It was recently named one of the Top 5 playgrounds in Washington State.[4]

The park is day-use only, and no camping is permitted. Dogs are allowed at Saint Edward State Park but state law requires that they be on a physical leash (8 feet or less) at all times.

Advocacy groups

A local nonprofit group, Friends of Saint Edward State Park, is dedicated to encouraging the wise use and public enjoyment of the park. Membership is open to all.

Another citizen group, Saint Edward Environmental Learning Center (SEELC) is dedicated to creating a sustainable future through park preservation, community collaboration, and innovative educational experiences for all ages.[5] The Kenmore Reporter covered SEELC's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream as part of its environmental-education program, which consists of a variety of courses at Saint Edward State Park between Spring and Fall each year.[6]


In 2005, Washington State Parks began a land use planning project for the park.[7] Also known as Classification and Management Planning (CAMP), the project addresses overall visitor experiences, natural and cultural resources, use of the park’s buildings, recreation fields and trails, and other topics of interest to the community and customers.

A proposal by McMenamins to develop the main building into a hotel, restaurant, and conference center was withdrawn in spring of 2007 due to backlash from the Citizens for Saint Edward Park.

The State Legislature allocated $500,000 to evaluate the declining condition of the seminary building, and $500,000 toward much needed and previously deferred maintenance.

With the newly available injection of funding, State Parks began an RFQ process with architectural firms spring 2007, moving forward toward a timely evaluation, creating an opportunity for a wider array of prospective uses.[8]

Bassetti Architects were selected to evaluate and report on the Seminary building.

In 2010 Friends of Saint Edward State Park and Kenmore Heritage Society began working together on the interpretive sign project, drawing on KHS's experience with the Kenmore History Path at Log Boom Park.


From the 1920s until 1977, the land on which Saint Edward State Park sits was owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle. From 1931, it was developed and used for a seminary by the Sulpician Order.[2] The St. Edward Seminary was constructed in 1931, followed in 1958 by the Saint Thomas Seminary, and pool in 1969. Due to declining enrollments, the seminaries closed in 1977.[2] Most of the land was sold to the state of Washington, with the support of then-governor Dixy Lee Ray.

The remainder of the land, which includes the Saint Thomas Seminary (now Saint Thomas Center) continued under the ownership of the archdiocese until November 2005, when its tenant, Bastyr University, completed their purchase of the property.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ a b c "Your guide to Saint Edward State Park", Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission; document P&R 45-87000-1 (12/02)
  3. ^ "St. Edward Playground".  
  4. ^ "09 Best Playground". 
  5. ^ "About us". 
  6. ^ "article". Kenmore Reporter. 2008. 
  7. ^ "Saint Edward State Park planning". Washington State Parks. 
  8. ^ Casey McNerthney (February 8, 2007). "Neighbors oppose McMenamins' plan for hotel at St. Edward State Park". Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 

External links

  • Official website Washington State Parks & Recreation
  • Seattle Times writeup
  • Video Tour, a May 2009 video of the seminary building, created by the Seattle Times (approximately 4 minutes).
  • Archdiocese of Seattle
  • Saint Edward Environmental Learning Center
  • Seattle Citysearch review
  • Kenmore Heritage Society

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