A Hike through History on the Cheshiahud Loop

The audio tour focuses on four sites along the Cheshiahud Loop: Lake Union Park, Fairview Park, Gas Works Park, and Lake Washington Ship Canal viewing spot under the Aurora Bridge.

Lake Union has a fascinating history. The lake has served as home to Native American villages, lumber mills, airplanes, boat-building, the military, and recreation. The six-mile “Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop” trail around Lake Union is named in honor of the Duwamish chief who led a village located on Lake Union.

You can take an audio tour and get a slice of the captivating history of the lake via Field Notes: Observing Lake Union.  The audio tour focuses on four sites along the Cheshiahud Loop: Lake Union Park, Fairview Park, Gas Works Park, and Lake Washington Ship Canal viewing spot under the Aurora Bridge on the Burke Gilman Trail. This unique artwork explores the underlying ecology of Lake Union and its dramatic transformation through eras of geologic change, Native American stewardship, European settlement, commercial industry and large-scale infra structural development, as well as urban planning and park design.

Field Notes is created in collaboration with audio engineer Tim Halbur. The artwork was a multi-department “1 Percent for Art “ funded commission by the Seattle Department of Transportation,  Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Each site incorporates an introductory piece narrated by the Studio for Urban Projects, indicated with a sign and call-in number on the trail. Within each site, printed flags mark observation points and provide additional call-in numbers. Call in and listen to a collage of voices gathered from interviews with local scholars, ecologists, historians, plant experts, foragers, residents and designers, among others. The observations focus on the specifics of the site and collectively speak to the lake’s layered history.

You can also call the project hotline at 206-395-2311, ext. 50, and offer you own observations about the site. The artists will edit and publish these contributions periodically for the duration of the project which runs through October 31 of this year.

At the park, you can use your cell phone to hear the audio; to begin the tour call (206) 395-2311 and follow prompts from there.   Preloaded MP3 players are also available at the Northwest Outdoor Center and Dutch Bike Co., Seattle. Download MP3 files of Field Notes at www.fieldnoteslakeunion.net.