In the 1980s, several of us on the Olympia Planning Commission rediscovered the historic 1911 Wilder and White and 1912 Olmsted Brothers plans for the state Capitol Campus with the Capitol Group of buildings on the bluff reflected in Capitol Lake and connected to Puget Sound with a promenade down the hill along the reflecting lake out to Budd Inlet and connected to the Olympic Mountains by an unobstructed view corridor to the northwest from the Temple of Justice.
With the help of all former governors from Rosellini to Gregoire, the Legislature, Olympia officials and private philanthropy, we have successfully redeveloped a railroad yard, warehouses and parking lots into the North Capitol Campus Heritage Park.
This year, with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee, the Legislature, local officials and citizens we will be able to further preserve and perfect the design of the campus with appropriations and donations to buy the derelict buildings on the isthmus and to dredge the lake and manage the Deschutes River watershed.
By taking down the “Mistake by the Lake” we will be able to reopen the Capitol-Olympic Vista element of the historic design, and by dredging the lake we will be able to manage the sediment, improve water quality, and protect the human-made salmon run above Tumwater Falls.
It is our responsibility to preserve and perfect the design of our greatest visitor attraction, the state Capitol Campus, for future generations.