Sturgus Avenue S.
Daejeon Park is named for Seattle’s sister city in South Korea. There’s not much of anything to do here, but it’s pretty.
The centerpiece of the park is a Korean pavilion and a small, nicely landscaped garden. The pavilion was installed in 1998 to celebrate the sister city relationship, and the dedication plaque implies that the pavilion was a gift from the city of Daejeon. The plaque says the pavilion is named Taejonjeong, which means Pavilion of Greatness.
The naming is a bit confusing. The plaque says the name of the Korean city is Taejon, and that was the original name of the park as well. The English spelling of the city was updated at some point after that, not just for the park, but also on world maps, etc., to better reflect actual pronunciation. So that’s how Taejon Park became Daejeon Park.
Next to the street is a wide paved path that is the I-90 trail, which wraps around the entire north end of Beacon Hill. Bicyclists, joggers, and dog walkers all make good use of the path. Beautiful trees line the path, and they were hitting their peak of fall color in mid-October. Many other trees in the park had barely started to turn.
An extensive lawn stretches out from both sides of the pavilion. There is plenty of room to play catch or kick a ball around. More trees line the edge of the hill. Before going, I thought the park might have interesting views of I-90, which runs right below the park, but a sound barrier wall mostly prevents that. You can see I-90 entering the tunnels under Mt. Baker Ridge from a spot near the pavilion though. The sound barrier is good at its job. Noise from the freeway isn’t very intrusive.
A very odd thing about the park is that it doesn’t have a single bench anywhere. I had assumed there would at least be a wood ledge to sit on around the inside of the pavilion, but nope. It’s truly a shame because it’s such a pleasant spot. I can imagine living in the neighborhood and wanting to go read a book while enjoying some spring or fall sunshine.
There are no tables either, which is also a shame. I can also imagine living in the neighborhood and wanting to bring a summer weekend picnic here, or drop by after work with some takeout. You have to not mind sitting on the ground for that.
Along the path from the street to the pavilion are two large rocks that are suitable for sitting. You can admire the plantings and ornate painted details of the pavilion from there.
Daejeon Park is a lovely open space that is attractive at any time of year. But it’s at its best when things are flowering in the spring and leaves are turning color in the fall. It would also be a very pretty spot when it snows.
This isn’t a park to go out of your way to visit unless you specifically want to photograph the pavilion or seasonal color. But if you find yourself on Beacon Hill you might want to stop by for a few minutes.
Things to Know
4 am – 11:30 pm
None, except two rocks along the path.
Public restrooms are available at nearby Jose Rizal Park.
Street parking is available along the length of the park. It’s heavily used by people living across the street, but finding a convenient spot shouldn’t be too difficult most of the time.
The I-90 Trail gets quite a bit of use, so people pass by fairly often. But because the park isn’t designed to encourage people to linger, Daejeon Park itself only gets light usage, mostly from locals. In the summer the large lawn areas may attract people who want to lay out on a blanket and soak up the sun. After a snow I’d guess this is a popular spot for snowball fights and building snowmen.
I was there briefly on a gorgeous Sunday in mid-October and saw two dog walkers and a group of cyclists on the path, but no one else in the park itself. A shopping cart full of personal possessions was parked inside the pavilion, but I saw no sign of its owner.
Korean pavilion, spring flowers, autumn leaves.
Best light: morning or afternoon.