Integrating Arts, Nature and History

in a Revitalized and Sustainable Historic District in Discovery Park.



Discovery Park is Seattle’s largest public park; 534 acres of natural beauty on the shores of the Puget Sound in the Magnolia neighborhood.


Fort Lawton U.S. Army Post was established in the 1900s. During the 70's most of the property was transferred back to the City of Seattle. The former Fort Lawton became Discovery Park. Primarily a natural open space but also home to Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, Environmental Learning and Visitor Center, Historic West Point Lighthouse, West Point Treatment Plant, Fort Lawton Military Cemetery and Fort Lawton Historic District that was established in 1978.

The historic district includes 25 privately owned residential buildings and 8 City-owned buildings. in 1988 the City issued an ordinance that restricted the use of the historic buildings. The boarded-up historic buildings have been left to decay and unused for almost half a century.    



Fort Lawton Historic District



Post Chapel (1941)

Stables (1902, 1908)

Post Gymnasium (1905)

Band Barracks (1904)

Administration (1902)

Jail/Guardhouse (1902)

Civilian Quarters (1908)

Officers houses

Montana circle

Bus station

Parade ground 




The National Park Service’s Guiding Principles for Sustainable Design recognizes human civilization and nature as critically integral.


“Historic preservation is intrinsically a form of sustainable conservation. The built environment represents the embodied energy of past civilizations... Historic preservation is conservation in every sense of the word...” 

(Guiding Principles for Sustainable Design, August, 1993; NPS Denver Service Center)


To perpetuate human civilization, we must sustain the earth. Sustainability, then, demands all human communities embrace our present, through an informed past toward a more fulfilling and conscientious future.


Dynamic and evolving human decisions and actions today shape that which generations who follow will inherit. Thus, we, today, are nothing less than stewards. Simply, environmental stewardship requires, at the very least:

1. consuming less; 

2. reducing all pollutants in any form; and 

3. reusing used and renewable materials, including existing buildings.

5 military forts in Washington

 5 examples for adaptive re-use of historic sites in 5 thriving parks

Fort Worden

Historical State Park

Port Townsend


Fort Casey

Historical State Park


Whidbey Island, WA

Fort Flagler

Historical State Park

Marrowstone Island