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Army Reserve says ‘goodbye’ to Fort Lawton

February 20th, 2012 · 10 Comments

Picture courtesy of Annie Rocks

The public is invited to join in honoring 111 years of Fort Lawton’s military history, February 25th  from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.at the 2nd Lt. Robert R. Leisy U.S. Army Reserve Center. Starting with an outdoor flag ceremony and ending with a reception at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center,  the U.S. Army Reserve will hold ceremonies officially closing Fort Lawton and will ceremonially  return the property to the city of Seattle.

Picture courtesy of Annie Rocks

Guest speakers include Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Congressman Jim McDermott, Maj. Gen. William D. Frink, Jr., the Commander of the 79th Sustainment Support Command, and special guest speaker Maj. Gen. (Retired) James Collins, the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for the state of Washington.  Public affairs officer Capt. Michael N. Meyer adds:

Fort Lawton has a long and storied history, as described in several books and newspaper articles over the past century. According to the official Seattle website, Fort Lawton was established on Feb. 9th, 1900 on 2.8 square kilometers of land to honor Major General Henry Ware Lawton, a veteran of the Civil War, Indian, and Spanish-American campaigns who died in the Philippines.  During World War II, Fort Lawton was the second-largest deployment site on the West Coast, training and deploying nearly one million troops overseas. Fort Lawton also held more than 1,100 German prisoners of war, and sent more than 5,000 Italian POWs to Hawaii. In 1964 the Secretary of Defense announced that at least 85 percent of Fort Lawton land would be declared surplus, and should be given back to the community at no cost to state and local agencies. In 1972, and several times afterward, parcels of Fort Lawton land were returned to the Seattle community to become Discovery Park.

Picture courtesy of Annie Rocks

Over the years, numerous major Army Reserve headquarters have called Fort Lawton home.  In 1968, the 124th Army Reserve Command was activated with a headquarters on Fort Lawton and was assigned the mission of preparing its subordinate units to mobilize and perform wartime tasks. The 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, a component of the 79th SSC, is the last Army Reserve unit to leave Fort Lawton and is now based in Marysville, WA.

Details:

10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 25, 2012
Leisy Hall Fort Lawton, 4570 West Texas Way

Reception follows at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center
Discovery Park, 3801 West Government Way

Historical bus tours of Fort Lawton and Discovery Park start at Daybreak Star at noon.  Events are free and open to the public. Attendees are advised that military cannons will fire blanks during the ceremony, and to dress warmly as the majority of the ceremony will take place outdoors

For additional information, please contact the public affairs office at Michael.N.Meyer@nullUSAR.Army.mil and (360) 403-2547.

 

Tags: Uncategorized

  • Priscilla

    Great photos to accompany this posting!

  • billybibbet

    Sweet, CANNONS!  Probably the last time that will ever happen, everyone should come out for that. 

  • James Betzer

    Should be a great event. Looking forward to it!

  • Everyonestravelclub

    What does turning it over to the city mean…exactly? Will they add or take anything away? Maintain the buildings (which we love taking pictures of!)?

  • Anonymous

    let’s not forget Fort Lawton was the location of the infameous Fort Lawton riots which produced one of the biggest cases of injustice in local history.  Buh Bye!!

  • DrJNA

    The City of Seattle is NOT taking ownership of the Fort Lawton Army Property – this is the property at the NE corner of Discovery Park that was designated for Base Realignment and Closure several years ago.  No idea what a “ceremonial return” means, because the Army is maintaining ownership and control until the BRAC process is completed.  Currently, the VA has ownership of the “FLARC” Building which is under renovation for their use, and the Army has mothballed Leisy Hall and Harvey Hall as well as the various garages.

  • Michael N Meyer, CPT

    I wanted to address some concerns of the community about the future of Fort Lawton.  As of Sept. 16, 2011, the Army has vacated the Fort Lawton Army Reserve Base, leaving it in caretaker status until a decision is made on transfer of the property. Under “caretaker” status, the Army still owns and maintains the facility (graffiti removal, grounds upkeep, etc.). In addition they are responsible for securing the property. They have secured the buildings against entry and will secure the gates, but will keep the road open (used as access to the neighborhood and by Metro.
     
    Any decision about the sale of land at Fort Lawton remains in the Army’s hands, as Congress intended. City officials will continue to consult with Army officials about the future of this important area. 

    -CPT Michael Meyer, 364th ESC

  • Elixabeth Campbell

    The City is still under court order, Magnolia Neighborhood Planning Council v. City of Seattle, to do a full environmental impact review before it can pursue any acquisition of the Army Reserve property.

  • Elixabeth Campbell

    The City is still under court order, Magnolia Neighborhood Planning Council v. City of Seattle, to do a full environmental impact review before it can pursue any acquisition of the Army Reserve property.

  • Jcornutt

    Fort Lawton holds wonderful memories for our family.  In the late 60’s and early 70’s we enjoyed the magnificent view from the parade grounds.  Every day the cannon would go off at 7am and 5pm.  The officers’ club and the post chaple were reminders of the earlier days of Fort Lawton.  All in all, we met so many wonderful and interesting people.  Jackie Cornutt