Hat ‘n’ Boots

Seattle

As a nationally recognized roadside icon, Hat ‘n’ Boots has been considered a local landmark since it was erected in 1954. It is the last surviving structure of its kind in Seattle. Hat ‘n’ Boots holds considerable sentimental and associative value within the Georgetown community and the residents of the city. By virtue of its character, design, and scale, it is an easily identifiable visual feature of the urban landscape. Hat ‘n’ Boots operated as a gas station from 1954 until 1988. Originally located on East Marginal Marginal Way (US 99) and Corson Avenue, Hat ‘n’ Boots served the many travelers along the US 99 as well as the local community. Designed by Lewis Nasymth, a commercial artist, the Hat served as the office for the gas station and the Boots housed restrooms.

Since the gas station closed in 1988, the structures sat vacant for many years and their condition deteriorated. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources owned the land upon which Hat ‘n’ Boots sat. The State had plans to sell the parcel (part of an 11-acre State-owned site) and offered the structures to the Georgetown Community Council for a nominal price of one dollar. The neighborhood had fought to keep Hat ‘n’ Boots in the neighborhood and embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise money to relocate the structures and restore them to their original glory. The Georgetown Community Council wanted to preserve Hat ‘n’ Boots and make certain they would be protected from demolition or insensitive alterations in the future. Designating the structures as a City landmark was the best approach to preserve Hat ‘n’ Boots. Docomomo WEWA prepared a City of Seattle Landmark nomination for Hat ‘n’ Boots in April 2002 and the structures were designated as an official City landmark later that year.

The dedicated residents of Georgetown and the Georgetown Community Council worked with the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods and Parks and Recreation Department to relocate Hat ‘n’ Boots to a new City park (Oxbow Park) four blocks northeast at 6430 Corson Avenue South. The park opened in August 2005 with the Boots restored. Funding to restore the Hat came later. Restoration of the Hat was completed in late 2009. For more information on Hat ‘n’ Boots, go to the Hat ‘n’ Boots website. »