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Looking Back:
A History of the Washington Park Arboretum

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Celebrate the long history of the Washington Park Arboretum by taking a stroll down memory lane. Learn about turn of the twentieth century movers and shakers at UW who created the living museum we love today.

Each of the 13 images below link to pages with photographs and text revealing the story of the Arboretum.

In October 2011, Audio Clips from an Oral History of the Washington Park Arboretum and the Center for Urban Horticulture. Additional historic documents are linked from the UW Botanic Gardens' Master Plans and History page.




A System of Botanical Sequences
Taxonomy in the Arboretum


Prophet, Agitator, Statesman
Edmond S. Meany


False Starts
Early Development of an Arboretum


Humble Roots
The Arboretum's Shaky Beginnings


Why Not the Arboretum?
The Works Progress Administration


Your Gain Would Be Our Loss
Brian O. Mulligan


A Legacy of Learning
The Elisabeth C. Miller Library


The Ditch and the Cut
History of Washington Park


Horses, Cars, & Guns
Sport in the Arboretum


City, State, & Community
The Arboretum Agreement


The Arboretum a Century Hence
Herbert Gowen's Vision


Ordered Urban Wilderness
The Olmsted Brothers


New Directions
Recent Developments

Researched, designed and written by Taylor Felt, MA Museology candidate
Images from the UW Special Collections, Museum of History and Industry and City of Seattle Municipal Archives

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