Amenities

Basketball Courts Restrooms Soccer Fields Football Fields Baseball/Softball Fields Wading Pools Tennis Courts Play Area Drinking fountains Adult Fitness Equipment

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About

Located in the heart of West Seattle, Hiawatha Playfield is within easy walking distance to many Admiral District businesses including coffee shops, restaurants and stores. It is located next to Hiawatha Community Center.

"A new era in public recreation in Seattle and in the Pacific Northwest was opened with the dedication of the recreation center on Hiawatha Playfield" in 1911. The Olmsted Brothers prepared the original design in 1911 for what was then the largest public playfield in Seattle. The Olmsted plan was drastically altered in 1932 when the demand for a longer running track caused its relocation from the east side of the center to the west and a redesign of the eastern half of the playfield.

Originally identified as the "West Seattle Playfield" in the newly annexed West Seattle (1907), it was named in time for the dedication, upon proposal of Park Commissioner Fredinand Schmitz, to honor the hero of a poem by Longfellow: Hiawatha. The 16th Century Mohawk Chieftan was famed for his miraculous powers and deeds and brought about the Five National Confederation of Indians known as the League of Iroquois. Hiawatha lived nd roamed through the forests of Northern Michigan.

The ballfield was floodlighted in 1954. In 1967, Parks lighted the tennis courts and replaced the wading pool and play equipment. The ballfields installed in 1954 developed drainage problems in winter and "paved" surface in summer, it was resurfaced in 1967 with the assistance of the SeaBee unit from Sand Point Naval Station.

(Edited from the files of Don Sherwood, 1916-1981, Park Historian.)

Current Projects

The Hiawatha Play Area Relocation and Renovation project relocates the play area from the north end of the park to the grass area just south of the wading pool closer to the community center. This includes providing new play equipment and improved visibility and access at the new play area and restoring the site of the old play area. For more information see the project page.

Hiawatha Playfield Synthetic Turf Replacement

The synthetic turf at the Hiawatha Playfield has aged over time and Seattle Parks and Recreation is investing in a state-of-the-art synthetic turf system that is safe, playable, durable, and retains less heat in the summer. Our standard is to provide a sustainable cork and sand infill over a cushioned pad system.

This project is a replacement in kind of the existing athletic facility. As part of the work, we plan to replace the batting cage and resurface the rubberized three lane running track if bidding and budget allows. The baseball field will be modified to offer softball markings to comply with Title 9 requirements by the school district. View the Layout Plan here.

The project will be scheduled to begin mid-May 2023. We expect a 60-day project with a completion date scheduled for mid-August 2023.

The school district will be providing safety fencing for the outfield for when baseball and softball is in play.

For more information or questions about this turf replacement project please contact:
Michelle Whitfield at Michelle.Whitfield@seattle.gov or (206) 465-8492

Reserve your tennis court

Same-day reservations can be made over the phone at (206) 684-4764 or in person. Find out more about how to reserve your space on our tennis court reservations page.