City Installs Gate And Fence At Jacob Ambaum Park

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When Jacob Ambaum Park (located on Ambaum near SW 128th) opened up last May, we received numerous emails and comments from concerned parents about the lack of a gate or fence to protect little ones from running out into the busy street.

Well, just this last week, a brand new fence and gate was installed by the City of Burien, possibly due to Reader comments like:

Not my personal ideal children’s playground location, nestled in between gas stations there, and right along the busy road, but I hope it can stay kind of nice for a while.Seashell

Well, it looks like a really fun park for my boys of 4 and 9 months. Unfortunately I won’t be going there until it’s completely fenced in. Ambaum is too busy for an ornamental fence with two exits facing the busy street. Turn your back for a 1/2 second and the kids are in the street. I’m not the only one who feels this way. The Moms group I belong to has also boycotted this park until it’s safer. burienmom

…we also will not be visiting this park until it is completely fenced in.  No gates + small children + busy street = really bad!  Too bad, we live so close.jenamarie

Attempting to play a role as neighborhood watchblog, we forwarded all emails and comments onto Michael LaFraniere, Director of Burien Parks, who promised us action.

It took a little while, but at least something happened!

For you local history buffs out there, here some background on Jacon Ambaum Park:

The history of Jacob Ambaum Park includes not only details of Jacob Ambaum’s life and times, but also the story of the roads and streetcar line he helped build – both of which played a vital role in opening up Burien to settlement and development.

In 1870, the Soloman family purchased 319 acres in North Burien from the U.S. Government. The Solomans settled near SW 128th and Ambaum Blvd, an area known as Mayfair and Hermes Depression. Soloman hoped that draining this swamp would yield rich bottomland for farming. After failing to do so, however, he sold off the land. Some of the early buyers included the Jacob Ambaum family.

A skilled jack-of-all-trades, Jacob Ambaum, a German immigrant via Ohio, was a road-builder, realtor, investor, and chicken rancher. In 1902, he brought his wife, Mary, to homestead in Hazel Valley. Ambaum’s thickly timbered property extended from 126th to 128th SW, and from Ambaum Blvd. to 8th Ave. SW, including the present site of St. Bernadette’s School. An existing house, dating to the 1880s, sat on the property. A new house was built in 1916. The Ambaums’ homestead was bordered in the front by a large gate flanked by imported Norway spruce.

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