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Seattle Landmarks: Parsons Memorial Gardens (1905) Essay 3207 : Printer-Friendly Format

Address: Immediately west of 618 W Highland Drive, Seattle. In 1956, the children of Reginald H. Parsons (1873-1955) and Maude (Bemis) Parsons (d. 1955) provided this 16,552 square foot garden to the city of Seattle in memory of their parents. The garden had been the eastern portion of the Parsons estate on W Highland Drive since 1905.

Reginald Parsons came to Seattle in 1903 to represent the Bemis Bag Co. He branched out into mining, and into agricultural and financial businesses. Maude Parsons was a founder of the Seattle Fine Arts Society, precursor of the Seattle Art Museum. They built a home and estate on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill where other prominent Seattle residents were erecting large homes.

In 1956, the Parsons children leased the garden to the city and in 1960, deeded ownership. Their gift provided that "no structure other than ... a chapel" shall be built in the park (Sherwood). Behind the gardens was a carriage house, which was replaced by a town house in 1968.

On September 2, 1980, the garden was designated a Seattle Landmark.

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Landmarks Preservation Board, 700 Third Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, Washington; Don Sherwood, "Parsons Memorial Garden," Interpretive Essays on the History of Seattle Parks, Handwritten bound manuscript dated 1977, Seattle Room, Seattle Public Library.

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Related Topics: Seattle Neighborhoods | Landmarks |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

This essay made possible by:
The SCHOONER Project:
The Hon. Jan Drago
Seattle City Council
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

Parsons Memorial Garden, Queen Anne Hill, Seattle, 2001
Photo by David Wilma

Reginald Parsons (1873-1955)
Courtesy C. H. Hanford, Seattle and Environs

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