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Best park you’ve never heard of

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Bhy Kracke Park is Seattle’s most vertical park, a lush Queen Anne hillclimb from a tiny playground on Fifth Avenue N up through terraced meadows to a viewpoint overlooking downtown Seattle. The park is named after its former owner, Werner H. “Bhy” Kracke, who tended his gardens on the property for many years. In 1969, with Kracke’s one-acre plot the largest piece of undeveloped view property on Queen Anne Hill, he began discussions with the Seattle Parks Department about building a park on the site. Although Kracke had planned to donate at least $20,000 to the park’s development, he died suddenly in 1971 before his will had been updated to include the bequest. However, the idea for the park (then known simply as “Queen Anne Hill Viewpoint”) lived on in the hearts of parks planners. Using funds from the Forward Thrust bond issue, Kracke’s property and three adjacent homes were purchased; the park was constructed in 1974 and promptly named for the former landowner. A matchless urban oasis in the heart of the city, this 1.3-acre park should be included on any planned run or walk in the Queen Anne area.

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