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West Seattle’s New Pocket Park

Posted by Johnine Larsen on August 5, 2014
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We Real Estate Gals like parks. They give neighborhoods personality, get people outside, and make community happen. We praised Seattle’s new parklets a while ago, and now, there’s something even bigger on the horizon in West Seattle: a pocket park.

When George Watton, 94, died last January, he left a hefty donation for Seattle Parks:

  1. His one-lot property in West Seattle’s Gatewood neighborhood
  2. $60,000 to demolish his house and develop a pocket park

A pocket park is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a public park, a greenspace open to anyone, where friends can gather and families can barbeque—but it’s small enough to fit in just a pocket of the neighborhood. Instead of occupying a full block, a pocket park occupies just one lot.

A pocket park in Ballard

An existing pocket park in Ballard

Imagine replacing those neighbors down the street with a park that closes at dusk. During the day, you have access to a field, maybe a picnic area, and maybe a playground, too. At night, your street stays quiet and peaceful. And because your street now has a park, the value of your house goes up.

This will be a reality for a few families in West Seattle. Seattle Parks will tear down George Watton’s old house and develop a pocket park in its place. And for the rest of us? We’ll have another park.

Seattle Parks is getting the permits now, and they hope to start work this September. The Watton House Pocket Park (official name still undetermined) should be open to the public in the spring of 2015. You can check the official updates here.


An existing pocket park in Fremont

A guide to park sizes

Community Park
10 to 60 acres
Golden Gardens
Neighborhood Park
5 to 10 acres
Cal Anderson Park
Pocket Park
Less than 5 acres
Watton House Park
One parking space
Montana Bar Parklet