Seattle approves Sand Point site as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Western headquarters on February 22, 1975.

  • By Patrick McRoberts
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2240
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On February 22, 1975, over objections from neighbors, Seattle officials approve the siting of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Western headquarters at Sand Point near the future Magnuson Park.

Neighbors argued that there were better locations for NOAA and that the fleet of 12 research vessels of up to 300 feet long would damage the character of the neighborhood.

Neighbor Roy Nelson said, "You're bringing your darn fleet in here and making a seaport out of a residential area." He referred to Mayor Wes Uhlman's opposition to continued use of Sand Point as an airport, saying, "The mayor said he would stand on the strip to keep planes from landing. Unfortunately, I can't stand on Lake Washington to keep your ships out."

Seattle officials, on the other hand, urged cooperation with NOAA and said access and traffic problems could be worked out.

The Navy had declared the land at Sand Point surplus. Part of the land (100 acres) became the Western headquarters of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Another 195.6 acres later became Sand Point Park, which was then renamed Warren G. Magnuson Park, after the long-serving senator.

The park was dedicated on December 26, 1975, and renamed Magnuson Park and opened on May 29, 1977.


Byron Johnsrud, "City OK's NOAA's Sand Point Site; Residents Object," The Seattle Times, February 23, 1975, p. B-2.

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