Urban reclamation has no greater monument in Seattle than Gas Works Park. The former power station here produced gas for heating and lighting from 1906 to 1956. The gas works was thereafter understandably considered an eyesore and an environmental menace. But the beautiful location of the works, with stellar views of downtown over Lake Union, sailboats and yachts sliding to and from the shipping canal, induced the city government to convert the former industrial site into a public park in 1975.
However, rather than tear down the factory, landscape architects preserved it. Painted black and now highlighted with rather joyful graffiti, it looks like some odd remnant from a former civilization. It also makes a great location for shooting rock album covers and music videos. The park's small hill with its sundial is a favorite spot for flying kites.