Belltown P-Patch and Cottage Park

2520 Elliott Avenue

Belltown P-Patch bee mosaic, Seattle, May 27, 2020, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Belltown P-Patch stairway, Seattle, May 27, 2020, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Gardens and cottages, Belltown P-Patch, Seattle, May 27, 2020, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Belltown Cottage Park and P-Patch, Seattle, October 27, 1997, Courtesy Paul Dorpat
Front view of Vine Street cottages for rent (center and right), Belltown, Seattle
Rear view of Vine Street cottage for rent, Belltown, Seattle

2520 Elliott Avenue

In 1916 Seattle real estate developer William Hainsworth began advertising for sale six cottages located near the waterfront on Elliott Avenue at Vine Street. The location made the cottages attractive to the area’s maritime, cannery, and dock workers – who surely appreciated that they had indoor plumbing and electricity. Hainsworth sold the cottages to various families, and each family handed down its home through subsequent generations. In the 1960s, all six were sold to a new owner who razed three of the cottages and put the other three up for rent.

In the early 1980s, one renter, Katherine Shedd, along with artists Buster Simpson and Carl Smool, planted a garden where the three razed cottages once stood. A few years later, Myke Woodwell replaced Shedd in one cottage and expanded the garden into adjacent property where row houses once stood. Wilbur Hathaway showed up in 1988 with the dream of founding a community garden in Belltown, which led to the founding of the Friends of the Belltown P-Patch on this site. That organization raised $450,000 (with a big assist from a King County open-spaces bond measure) to buy the row house property, and then raised funds to convert the lot into the P-Patch, which opened for community gardening in 1995. In time the City of Seattle bought the cottages, and in 2000 the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board granted them historic status.

Return to 1st Avenue and continue north to the Labor Temple at 1st and Clay.

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