Fort Lawton - Seattle, WA
Posted by: Martin 5
N 47° 39.662 W 122° 24.888
10T E 543938 N 5278792
Quick Description: Fort Lawton is a United States Army Reserve fort located in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 2/11/2009 10:42:08 PM
Waymark Code: WM5TNT
In 1896, the Secretary of War selected what would later be Fort Lawton for construction of an artillery battery intended to defend Seattle and the south Puget Sound from naval attack. Local citizens and governments donated 703 acres (2.84 km2) land to the United States Army for the installation the next year.
Fort Lawton was named after Major General Henry Ware Lawton (1843-1899), a veteran of the American Civil War, the Indian Wars, and Spanish-American War campaigns who was killed in action in the Philippines. The fort opened on February 9, 1900 on a 1,100 acre (4.5 km²) site, which was redesigned in 1902 for infantry use. In 1910 a design overhaul, to include housing for officers and enlisted men, was prepared by landscape architect John C. Olmsted. Then in 1938 the Army offered to sell Fort Lawton back to the city of Seattle for the cost of one dollar, but the city declined, citing maintenance concerns.
At least 20,000 troops were stationed at Fort Lawton at a time during World War II, with over 1 million troops passing through both before and after the war. The base was also used as a Prisoner of War (POW) camp, with over 1000 Germans imprisoned there and approximately 5,000 Italians passing through en route to Hawaii for imprisonment. On August 15, 1944 an Italian POW, Guglielmo Olivotto, was found murdered at Fort Lawton after a night of rioting between Italian POWs and American soldiers. Twenty-eight African-American soldiers were later court-martialed, convicted of the crime, and sent to prison. The convictions were set aside in 2007. An formal army apology ceremony was held on July 26, 2008 to formally present to the relatives of former soldiers and the two remaining survivors years of backpay following the overturn of their dishonorable discharges.
In the 1950s, anti-aircraft missiles and radar were in use at Fort Lawton, but in 1968 the site was rejected for proposed defense upgrades. The Army surplussed 534 acres (2.16 km2) in 1971, which was given back to the city in 1972, and dedicated as Discovery Park in 1973. Fort Lawton still exists within the park as headquarters of the U.S. Army Reserve's 70th Regional Readiness Command and a military housing site. However, this may also soon be closed due to the 2005 Base realignment and closure act.
Era: Napoleonic - WW I
Fort Lawton does not have a manned gate or even a gate shack. At night the two steel gates are closed and padlocked.
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