Cal Anderson Park

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Cal Anderson Park
Cal Anderson Park.jpg
The park on May 13, 2006
Typepublic park
LocationCapitol Hill, Seattle, Washington
Coordinates47°37′01″N 122°19′08″W / 47.617°N 122.319°W / 47.617; -122.319Coordinates: 47°37′01″N 122°19′08″W / 47.617°N 122.319°W / 47.617; -122.319
Area7.37 acres (29,800 m2)
CreatedSeptember 24, 2005
Operated bySeattle Parks and Recreation
OpenAll year
Public transit accessCapitol Hill Station

Cal Anderson Park is a public park on Seattle, Washington's Capitol Hill that includes Lincoln Reservoir and Bobby Morris Playfield.


The north end of the open park features Waterworks, a large mountain-shaped water fountain feeding a shallow texture pool, a reflecting pool, and a wading pool. The south end features the lighted Bobby Morris Playfield. The wading pool operates in the summer months from 12 noon to 7 p.m.

Other features:

  • Shelterhouse
  • Plaza
  • Children's play area
  • Caged tennis courts with outdoor lights
  • Basketball courts
  • Dodgeball court


Baseball at Lincoln Park circa 1919. The open-air Lincoln Reservoir is visible in the near background. The building at left still exists today, as does the German United Church of Christ at right. The water tower on the horizon is in Volunteer Park.
George Floyd memorial graffiti at Lincoln Reservoir in Cal Anderson Park on June 25, 2020, during CHAZ/CHOP occupation of the park and surrounding area

Lincoln Reservoir was begun in 1889, in response to the Great Seattle fire of the same year, and was completed in 1901. A parcel just south of it was named Lincoln Park the same year. The famed Olmsted Brothers designed the park, as part of their many works in the Seattle area. In 1908 it was developed as a playfield, and in 1922 its name was changed to Broadway Playfield so as not to duplicate the name of the new Lincoln Park in West Seattle. The playfield was named after Bobby Morris, former King County, Washington auditor, in 1980. Meanwhile, the area around the reservoir had come to be known as Lincoln Reservoir Park. On April 10, 2003, the entire area was designated Cal Anderson Park, after Washington's first openly gay state legislator. Anderson had died in 1995 of AIDS.

From 2003–2005, the reservoir was rebuilt as a covered basin.

Three security cameras were installed in the park in April 2008 in an effort to combat certain types of criminal activity, namely vandalism, drug dealing, and public sex.

In 2004, World Naked Bike Ride Seattle established a tradition of stopping briefly in the park, usually in the midsection near the shelter house and water feature. Body Pride ride also began making stops in 2005.

In 2009, Forbes magazine recognized Cal Anderson Park as one of the 12 Best City Parks in the U.S.

The Seattle March for Science took place at the park on April 22, 2017.

On June 8, 2020, protesters occupied the park and declared it part of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

On June 20, 2020, a shooting took place in the park, which served as a gathering area in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone at the time. A 19-year-old man was fatally shot, and a 33-year-old man was critically injured. The incident was cited by opponents of the zone as a justification to disband it, using either the National Guard or the Seattle Police Department.

Light rail station[]

The northwest corner of Cal Anderson Park (at the corner of East Denny Way and Nagle Place) contains an entrance to the underground Capitol Hill Station of Sound Transit's Link Light Rail.


  1. "Seattle Parks and Recreation: Cal Anderson Park". Retrieved 2007-06-21.
  2. Banel, Feliks (June 26, 2020). "All Over The Map: Like CHOP, Cal Anderson Park has a history of changing its name". KIRO Radio. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  3. "Security cameras installed at Cal Anderson Park". Archived from the original on 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  4. "Cal Anderson Park named one of 12 best city parks in U.S. by" (PDF) (Press release). Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. November 18, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-22. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  5. "'Welcome to Free Capitol Hill' — Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms around emptied East Precinct — UPDATE". Capitol Hill Seattle Blog. June 9, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  6. Clarridge, Christine (June 23, 2020). "Seattle police investigating Tuesday morning shooting on Capitol Hill near Cal Anderson Park and CHOP". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  7. "Link Light Rail, Capitol Hill Station". Sound Transit. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-06-19.

External links[]