View of Puget Sound, Olympics, Elliott Bay Marina, and Magnolia.
West end of Highland Drive
Marshall Park is a west-facing viewpoint located just a few blocks down the street from the famous Kerry Park.
The full name is the Betty Bowen Viewpoint at Marshall Park. Betty Bowen was born in Kent in 1918, was briefly a reporter for the Seattle Times, and became an important supporter of the arts and historic preservation in Seattle. Among other things she was an assistant director of the Seattle Art Museum, helped organize one of the successful efforts to preserve Pike Place Market, and served on the board of Friends of the Market.
Ms. Bowen died of a brain tumor in 1977 at the age of 58. After her death local architect and preservationist Victor Steinbrueck (the park at Pike Place Market is named for him) designed the viewpoint at Marshall Park in Betty Bowen’s honor. The viewpoint includes a memorial plaque and the pavement contains unsigned work from prominent Northwest artists like Morris Graves, Margaret Tompkins, Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, and Charles Stokes.
The viewpoint is small, with a bit of grass, three long benches, and a low cement semicircle near a tree that can also be used for sitting.
The view is to the southwest and west. It’s not among the greatest views in the city, but it’s a nice enough one. The view is best on sunny winter mornings so the sun is at your back, leaves are off the trees, and snow is on the Olympic peaks. This is also a good spot for watching sunsets, especially fall through spring when the sun isn’t setting farther north.
If you’re in the mood for a scenic stroll through a neighborhood of grand homes you can walk north from here on 8th Place following the Willcox Walls. The walls and steps were designed by Walter R. B. Willcox and were constructed between 1913 and 1916. They were designated a historic Seattle landmark in 1976 and were renovated in 1989, including replacing the old-fashioned light fixtures. The walk is best in winter when leaves on the trees don’t obstruct the view.
For most people the view from Marshall Park isn’t worth making a special trip to see by itself. But if you’re already in the area to visit the more impressive view at Kerry Park you might as well drop by here also. As a bonus, the entrance to Parsons Garden is kitty corner across the street so you get a two-for-one park stop.
Things to Know
4 am to 11:30 pm
Three benches and a low cement wall.
No picnic tables.
Street parking in front of the viewpoint and on other streets around the wide intersection. Most of the time it’s easy to find a close parking spot.
Parking can be difficult at sunset on nice days and on summer weekends when weddings are held in Parsons Garden.
Marshall Park is primarily used by locals and people who wander down from Kerry Park.
A lot of the time you’ll have the viewpoint to yourself, with occasional walkers, cyclists, and sightseers passing through. Sunset can attract a crowd on nice days, especially in warmer weather.
Puget Sound and Olympics, cruise ships, Elliott Bay Marina, Magnolia Bridge, Willcox Walls and steps.
Best light: morning, sunset.