It may seem hard to believe but Alki Beach wasn’t always the long and empty beach that it is today. In fact, the northern tip of Alki Point once had a 12-acre amusement park which was once regarded as the greatest amusement park on the west coast. Surprising right? Let’s get into some history.
West Seattle’s Luna Park was notable for a few reasons. Firstly it was designed by famed carousel carver Charles I. D. Looff, who also installed Coney Island’s first carousel. Secondly, it was only open from 1907 until 1913. But during its short-lived run, it provided Seattleites and visitors hours of unique entertainment, rides, and views.
The park’s most noticeable rides included its Zeum Carousel which still exists to this day as well as the Great Figure Eight Roller Coaster, the Giant Whirl, Shoot the Chutes, the Canals of Venice, and the Cave of Mystery. Beyond rides, visitors also got to see acts like the clown Uncle Hiram, Don Carlo’s Trained Monkey and Dog Circus, and the Original Human Ostrich. The entertainment didn’t end there as the park also had games of chance, live animals, and a Natatorium.
Now you’re probably wondering if this place was a cool as it sounds, why did it close? Well, frankly the park had some issues. The nightlife at the park was raucous and multiple accidents happened on rides. These issues lead park owner Charles I. D. Looff to grow frustrated and sell his shares in the park and from there, things went downhill.
In 1913 the park was disassembled and all that remained was the park’s Natatorium which suspiciously burnt down in 1931. The pier that Luna Park once stood on was declared a total loss and the pools were filled in later in the 1940s to avoid lawsuits. So now all that remains of the park are a few pilings and the site of the pools which is now Anchor Park.
Might just be time to visit Alki Beach and piece together Luna Park’s past. Who knows, you might just find a piece of the past as it also happens to be a great place to beach comb. You can learn more about the park’s history here.