Regardless of a persistent city delusion, John Charles Olmsted, nephew and stepson of famed panorama architect Frederick Regulation Olmsted, was not concerned within the design of the Central Washington State Fairgrounds.
However it’s simple to see the place the parable might have come from. Olmsted and the Olmsted Bros. panorama design agency oversaw greater than 60 public and 150 non-public initiatives all through the Northwest, together with parks in Seattle and Spokane.
Olmsted first arrived in Seattle in 1903; his final go to was to Victoria, British Columbia, in 1911, in line with Laurence Cotton, a author and historian who has lectured extensively on North American panorama historical past.
(Be taught extra about John Charles Olmstead at http://to.pbs.org/2wtKe4D.)
So whereas we’ve debunked that delusion, there’s nonetheless loads to rejoice in regards to the fairgrounds, with its grassy central plazas and enticing historic buildings. Right here’s slightly details about probably the most noteworthy structures.
■ Pioneer Corridor (1927): Initially known as the Girl’s Constructing, this white wooden-body construction with spectacular pillars was designed by architect F.H. Palmer. It initially featured a fountain in the midst of the constructing, which has been eliminated, and was used as an exhibit corridor for quilts, residence arts, meals preservation and floriculture, in line with an indication close to the doorway.
Throughout World Conflict II, the Kenworth Truck Co. moved its truck operation from Seattle to the fairgrounds to maintain its authorities contract, and the constructing housed Kenworth’s places of work upstairs. On the principle degree, staff utilized a waxy substance known as cosmoline to truck elements to guard them from moisture; the odor persevered for decades.
“We use this constructing about each week,” stated Greg Stewart, State Truthful Park president and common supervisor; it’s a well-liked rental possibility for neighborhood organizations and personal gatherings.
■ Trendy Residing Constructing (1938): Constructed because the Washington State four-H Constructing, this construction features a small, two-bed room house that served as residence to the state superintendent for the fairgrounds. It additionally housed on its second ground four-H exhibitors from around the state who competed in livestock and common competitions within the constructing.
Throughout World Conflict II, 90 males from the U.S. Navy V-5 Aviation Unit who had been coaching at McAllister Subject lived within the constructing, its signal notes.
■ Agriculture Constructing (1908): Initially referred to as the Horticulture Constructing and designed by architect Julius Zittel of Spokane, this construction showcases the Yakima Valley’s agricultural bounty.
Its home windows had been lined throughout World Conflict II and servicemen used the constructing for recreation; the black paint borders for the basketball courtroom, whereas pale, are nonetheless seen on the unique wooden ground. Actor John Payne, who starred in “A Miracle on 34th Road,” broke his leg right here whereas enjoying basketball.
A $750,000 exterior renovation passed off in 1988-89, in line with the signal exterior the constructing.
■ Different structures value noting: The Washington Dairy Constructing, with a crisscross sample in its cream-coloured brickwork; the lamb-burgers concession stand, which Stewart stated is without doubt one of the oldest concession stands on the fairgrounds; the older livestock barns which can be distinguished by extra elaborate rooflines; and two thriller fireplaces close to the Ag Constructing that look like fabricated from petrified wooden chunks: “No one is aware of something about them,” Stewart stated.
■ A little bit of non-constructing trivia: Although horse racing hasn’t taken place on the fairgrounds since 1998, for decades Yakima Meadows was identified for its mile observe. You may nonetheless see the observe’s path exterior the present auto observe.