Shelter House

Volunteer Park

Olmsted Brothers plan for shelter house. Courtesy National Park Service Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, 02695-B-36.
Loggia of the shelter house. Courtesy Volunteer Park Trust.

The shelter house is one of just a handful of Olmsted-designed structures still standing in Seattle parks. The 1910 building has a restroom on each end, with a loggia connecting the two. It is designed in the Arts and Crafts style. It is stucco-clad, with decorative projecting gable roofs, exaggerated rafter tails, brackets, and curved cross braces.

The benches in the loggia were originally intended for caregivers tending to children playing on the Little Folks Lawn. The two beds that are today planted with cherry trees and low shrubs were originally sand boxes. Scups — which appear to have been the bucket-like swings for small babies and toddlers — and swings occupied the space between the lawn and the wading pool.

To reach the next stop, go back to the sidewalk along the drive and turn right, the Conservatory is just ahead, on the right.

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