This road is named after Seward Park, which occupies all of Bailey Peninsula’s 300 acres, as envisioned by the Olmsted Brothers. The park itself was bought by the city in 1911 and named after William Henry Seward (1801–1872), who was governor of New York from 1839–1842, senator from New York from 1849–1861, and secretary of state under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson from 1861–1869. His negotiation of the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 proved to be a major boon for Seattle, which nearly doubled its population between 1890 and 1900 due in no small part to the Klondike Gold Rush, and remains a gateway to Alaska to this day.

Seward Park Road begins at Lake Washington Boulevard S and S Juneau Street and winds for ⅓ of a mile into the park’s interior, where it becomes a ¾-mile-long loop. (It should not be confused with Shore Loop Road, which runs along the park’s perimeter on the Lake Washington shoreline and is not open to vehicle traffic. Like all park roads in Seattle, Seward Park Road carries no directional designation)

Article in June 11, 1911, Seattle Times on naming of Seward Park
Article in The Seattle Times on the naming of Seward Park, June 11, 1911. William Elder Bailey paid $26,000 to buy Bailey Peninsula in 1889 and the city began to consider it a potential park shortly thereafter. (It had previously been known as Graham Peninsula, after early settler David Graham, and Andrews Peninsula [though no one is sure who this Andrews might have been].) Bailey made it difficult for the city, finally offering to sell it for $430,000 in 1908, but the city ended up acquiring it for a more reasonable $322,000 in early 1911. Read more at HistoryLink.org and Friends of Seward Park.
Aerial view of Seward Park from the south
Aerial view of Seward Park from the south, circa 1965–1966. The Martha Washington School for Girls, (closed 1971, now Martha Washington Park) is in the foreground. Mercer Island and Lake Washington are in the background. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier 192974.
Sign at corner of Lake Washington Boulevard S, S Juneau Street, and Seward Park Road, January 7, 2012
Sign at corner of Lake Washington Boulevard S, S Juneau Street, and Seward Park Road, January 7, 2012. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

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