Respite from the city
For those who want to hike, bike, play, or swim, St. Edward State Park is a welcome respite from the traffic of the city. There is still plenty of bustle, however, with families playing hide-and-go-seek at the playground, happy dogs pulling their people up and down trails, or community groups competing in a game of cricket.
Kenmore is truly fortunate to host such a park, though the public did not always have access to this beautiful place. The site was originally purchased in the 1920s by Bishop Edward O’Dea, who donated it to the Archdiocese of Seattle. The St. Edward building was designed as a seminary by the notable Seattle architect John Graham Sr. and was completed in 1931. It was used for over 40 years until decreased enrollment led to its closure in 1976. With the vision of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen and support of local residents who were alarmed at the prospect of a real estate development on the priceless acreage, the 316-acre St. Edward portion of the land was eventually purchased by the State of Washington and turned into a state park that can now be enjoyed by everyone.
National Register of Historic Places
Although the land surrounding the St. Edward seminary building has had plenty of visitors, the building itself had little use since its closure and many of its interior rooms had fallen into disrepair. In April of 2007 the seminary was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Still, for many years many people wondered what was to be done about the beautiful, but deteriorating, building.
Restore and Repurpose
Efforts to restore and repurpose the seminary were revived in 2014, and State Parks considered several different options. The proposal put forward by Kevin Daniels of Daniels Real Estate emerged as the most viable. Over a couple of years, Daniels and State Parks negotiated an arrangement where the building would be restored and become a hotel with a spa and a restaurant. After a public process that included an environmental impact statement, State Parks agreed to lease the building to Daniels for 62 years.
Daniels Real Estate agreed to renovate the building while preserving its historic feel and maintaining its stunning architecture. With three National Preservation Awards as well as many local and state honors for its work in historic preservation, Daniels Real Estate has a unique development model.
Looking both to the past and to the future, Daniels has transformed this historic building into a beautiful lodge with 84 spacious guest-rooms and suites, a large restaurant, two bars, a spa, a fitness center, 9,000 feet of meeting and event space, and more, all still located in its gorgeous natural setting. With its grand opening set for May 7, 2021, the development of the Lodge at St. Edward Park brings the history of the park fully to the public.