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Historic Clark Park gazebo to be removed


Michael Whitney photo

People with backpacks and one with a cart of clothing in a beige shopping cart hang around the Clark Park gazebo the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 2.


EVERETT — The 103-year-old gazebo at Clark Park will be removed because of safety concerns at the park, Mayor Cassie Franklin made public late last month.
The ground will be turned into an off-leash dog park.
Costs skunked a large-scale renovation plan for the gazebo.
The restoration plan included major structural repairs and adding a new movable shutter system to “close” the gazebo at night, a lockable door and an ADA-accessible ramp.
This work tallied up to as much as $400,000, according to the Herald.
After these costs became known last year, representatives in the Bayside Neighborhood suggested removing the gazebo instead of renovating it, the parks department’s Capital Projects Manager said, according to the minutes of a September parks board meeting.
Bayside Neighborhood leaders posted a statement last week that “we agree with Mayor Franklin that removing the gazebo is the best course of action. Clark Park can be a real neighborhood asset and we believe with the installation of the new dog park, it will be a space that the neighborhood can more fully utilize.”
Everett history advocates have cried foul about removing the gazebo. Past plans put the dog park adjacent to the gazebo.
It’s not been officially said if removing the gazebo will mean demolition or relocation.
Franklin posted Jan. 26 that more information will be shared with the public in the coming weeks.
The gazebo can be moved, reckons expert Jeff McCord from the historic building moving specialty firm Nickel Bros., calling it “a very good candidate” for moving.
Nickel Bros. is who moved the Weyerhaeuser Building at the Port of Everett a few years ago. McCord said the firm moved a similar structure bigger than this in Mercer Island.
The gazebo was built in 1921.
Trespassers have caused trouble there for much of its recent past.
In 2009, the city re-installed a chain link fence surrounding the structure because of numerous complaints about crimes and drug use occurring inside it. In 2021, the city removed the chain-link fence at the request of the Bayside Neighborhood.
The gazebo was spared in prior talks on what to do. In 2019, an option to remove the gazebo was dismissed in favor of looking into security features. An alternative at the time was moving it elsewhere within Clark Park to have activity inside be more visibly seen. The gazebo abuts a wall, added in the early ‘80s with the tennis courts, that lends some privacy to gazebo users.
The dog park expansion would be an off-leash area. The city last year won $10,000 toward the project through a Snohomish County’s Small Capital Project grant. This grant obligates the city to start preparing the off-leash area by Dec. 31.
Clark Park, originally named City Park, was established in 1894 and was the city’s first recreation space. It gained its name in 1931 to honor local community booster John Judson Clark.

  

 


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