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Miller Park is harbored in Capital Hill a neighborhood that has a rich history. Located on 19th, it sees visitors from all around the world and celebrates all different cultures. This park has been a hallmark of the community, having been one of the first parks built on Capital Hill almost over a century ago. Today Miller prominently stands having added a turf field, tennis courts, a larger playground, gym, and community center. Today the park housed a wide range of activities seeing tens of thousands of visitors annually. As time has progressed Miller park has only grown and began to prosper.


  • Aerial of Capital Hill, 1970
  • Miller Community Center, 2020
  • Miller Playfeild, 2020

Miller Park, previously known as Pendleton Miller playfield, was established in 1910 between 19th and 20th avenue. The park’s original design was organized and designed by the Olmsted Brothers. The Olmsted brothers owned the largest landscape and architecture business in the nation, they had inherited the company after the loss of their father. The company worked on projects all across the United States and would go onto to help create the National Parks Service. Some of there most notable projects were Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the grounds of the White House and Capital as well as many more. This was after the generous donation of 1.8 acres being donated to the city. by Mary M. Miller. She donated this land to the city in honor of her young son who passed away. After the deed was given to the city improving and constructing the land cost 7639.95 dollars and in 1916 the measured annual price of maintenance was 883.26 dollars. With the 1.8 acres, the city built an open-air gymnasium, playfield, and a small playground. The park was built for small children as the playground had swings, sandboxes, and teeter-totters. The park was built next to Longfellow school were Meanie Middle School stands today. This was and still is convenient because of its nearby location to the school doubling as a large playground for the students. Around the park during the early 1900s Capital Hill was cheap, making it a diverse neighborhood. Despite the racial restriction, the park continued throughout its history to be all-inclusive to all cultures and races.

 

Although the park was an icon of Capital Hill, between the years 1920 and 1998 Miller went through little change. This was all until Miller Park received funding to build an additional building on the campus known as Miller Community Center. This building was a two-story building with wheelchair accessibility. On the entrance level floor, there are communal showers, offices, and even a small lounge/ waiting room. On the bottom floor, there are multiple conference rooms and also a full-size gym. These spaces can regularly be seen in use by a wide variety of groups such as Korean senior club or wheelchair basketball. They also sculpted plenty of art and sculptures all around the park all made by artists from the city of Seattle. These art projects include a fountain with metallic sculptures or floor tile designs.

 

Today the park is 7.9 acres and is between 19th and 21 avenues having grown exponentially. Recently in 2013 the park previously had a dirt field witch was replaced with turf and its playground remodeled. Due to this turf remodel more organizations have been interested in renting out miller providing more opportunities for the community.  Not only has a new turf field been added but other opportunities are for all ages like senior pickle ball on the tennis courts or toddler time in the community center. In addition the park is now home to a community center, tennis, basketball courts both indoor and outdoor as well as a large playground and regulation size turf field. With these changes, the community around Miller has grown as three new Apartment buildings have opened in the last three years within two blocks of Miller. Unfortunately, due to Seattle’s big growth and gentrification occurring in Capital Hill, many of the minority groups who benefited from the park no longer can afford to live as closely to the park. The latest development to happen to Miller park is the creation of pickleball lines on the tennis court.

Miller Playfield. Parks | Seattle.Gov. Accessed June 5, 2020. https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/miller-playfield.

Park History. Parks | Seattle.Gov. Accessed June 5, 2020. https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/park-history.

Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project. Accessed June 5, 2020. https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/index.htm.

Seattle Municipal Archives. CityArchives | Seattle.Gov. Accessed June 5, 2020. http://www.seattle.gov/cityarchives.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project. Accessed June 5, 2020. https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/index.htm.

Miller Playfield. Parks | Seattle.Gov. Accessed June 5, 2020. https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/miller-playfield.

Miller Playfield. Parks | Seattle.Gov. Accessed June 5, 2020. https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/miller-playfield.