Boating at Lake Union Park All of the fun at Lake Union Park is just a short trip away! Kids of all ages can find moments of delight year round at Lake Union Park. Come down and fly a kite, row a boat, get a tan...

George Pocock

In 1912 there was one boat shop on the lake, in the Tokyo Tea House on the University of Washington campus shoreline. Built in one day by Japanese carpenters for the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the Tea House was a delicate post and beam structure with rice paper sliding screen walls perched over the water. In 1912, the University wanted a varsity rowing team and recruited the best rowing shell builder in the Northwest, George Pocock, to build eight-oared shells in the Teahouse. When business for shells was slow, Pocock was hired to build Boeing seaplane pontoons.

Naval Reserve Base

Southern Lake Union once extended to what is today Mercer Street. Industry’s waste filled in the lakeshore over time, including the byproducts of a coal landing, sawmill, garbage incinerator, and asphalt plant. The first industry to begin filling the lakeshore was the Western Mill steam sawmill built in 1880 by one of Seattle’s founders, David Denny. The mill gradually filled its pier with yard scrap creating the small peninsula where the Naval Reserve Base stands.

Electric Streetcar

Along the southern shore between the Aurora and Freemont Bridges, close observation reveals an old trestle overgrown with bramble and ivy. These are the remains of an electric streetcar line built in 1880 along the lake.

City Light Plant

An evening on the lake reveals a sparkling city skyline. One hundred years ago, most of the shoreline was dark. You may have seen flames shooting from the gas plant burners at the north end of the lake or spied glowing brick ovens along the western shore. At the southeastern corner of the lake, golden light bulbs spelled out “CITY LIGHT” below the six smokestacks on the City Light Plant, built in 1913 (now ZymoGenetics).

Ship Canal

The entrance to today’s Ship Canal was once the outlet of a small stream that flowed from Lake Union to Puget Sound. The creek was dredged and channelized with the creation of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, providing passage between Lake Union, Lake Washington, and the Puget Sound via the Chittenden Locks.


Need Subhead


  • Black Crappie
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Squawfish
  • Yellow Perch


  • Donaldson Trout
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Steelhead Trout


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