A hearty “Thank You!” to the Rotary Club of Kirkland for its nearly-completed Cross Kirkland Corridor pavilion (CKC) project – an undertaking nearly four years in the making. As of December 2020, the new pavilion stands on the east side of the CKC on Railroad Avenue, immediately south of Kirkland Way. Working with the City of Kirkland, the Rotarians chose to locate the new structure about where the Northern Pacific Railway’s Kirkland depot stood on the Lake Washington Belt Line. The original depot, built in 1912, was demolished and replaced by a much smaller structure in 1968 that was removed in 1974 by the Burlington Northern. The new pavilion stands on the concrete pad of the second depot. While not a replica of either depot, the new pavilion’s design pays homage to the depots and it boasts a period semaphore signal, Northern Pacific signage, and other items from Kirkland’s railroad era, as well as historic markers sharing the depot’s story.
The Rotary Club of Kirkland provided most of the project’s funding and purchased picnic tables with the assistance of a Rotary District 5030 grant. The site’s history signage was funded by a grant from 4Culture, King County’s cultural funding agency, with assistance from the Kirkland Heritage Society.
Rotarians and other volunteers cleared the site two years ago, including removing two large cottonwood trees and installing split rail fencing and native plants purchased by the Kirkland Parks Foundation. The display of rails from the Belt Line and history signs were funded by 4Culture. Volunteer labor, grant money, and technical services, contributed by Kirkland’s Apex Steel, allowed the Rotary Club to complete the installation of the rail. The classic railroad semaphore, or train signal, was donated by former Kirkland attorney Robert Tjossem and installed by Rotary volunteers, again with assistance from Apex Steel.
Rotary Club member Dave Aubrey, the project’s prime mover, said the group is very thankful for the support of many volunteers, the City of Kirkland, the Kirkland Parks & Community Foundation, the Kirkland Heritage Society, King County 4Culture, Apex Steel, Robert Tjossem, and to Rotary District 5030 for their support and collaboration in accomplishing this historic Kirkland Rotary project.