about kirke park
The Story Behind the park
Kirke Park has a rich and unusual history. Before becoming a park, the site was home to a millennial sect known as the Church of Seventh Elect in Spiritual Israel — led by a charismatic, itinerant preacher — for more than 90 years. Read more here….
Kirke Park Design
Nestled in a dense residential neighborhood, Ballard’s Kirke Park was designed by local landscape design firm Site Workshop; the design reflects both the site’s past and the neighborhood’s future.
The design is loosely patterned after the rooms of a home, playing homage to the community that was once housed on the site. At the center of the park, a “front porch” invites visitors to gather at a suite of picnic tables sheltered by a stately wooden pergola. Two large lawns spill out on either side of the central plaza, providing “family room” open space for community events, lounging, and informal play. A variety of playground structures and an adventure trail continue the playroom motif on one end of the park. A p-patch community garden and an orchard on the other end reference the way the former occupants grew their own food. Tucked into a nook between ruined walls of the old church is an ornamental garden, offering a quiet space for reflection.
The park design mixes together creative and physical play, exploration, discovery, and community — and celebrates the beauty of the natural world.
- Design Excellence, Seattle Design Commission, 2014 (scroll down to see Kirke Park’s information).
- Award of Honor for General Design/Public Ownership from the Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (WASLA), 2019. Read the full project description (and see lots of great photos!).
- Two-star SITES rating, recognized as a compact site that promotes human health and well-being, as well as environmental health through stormwater management, native plantings, and healthy soil.