The city council, family members and community members gathered on Oct. 13 to officially name the pavilion in honor of Kirkland’s first city manager, Al Locke.
Locke served as the city’s manager for 20 years. Before Locke arrived, the Marina Park site was a dumping ground for raw sewage and was not fit for swimming or boating.
“A talented city manager has a vision for the city, and works with the council and community to affect investments that make life better for our residents,” Mayor Amy Walen said in a press release. “Mr. Locke’s vision, creativity and drive resulted in the extensive community park system that we enjoy today.”
Locke visualized parks, activity centers with play areas and a pavilion. He saw Lake Washington as Kirkland’s front door and his efforts as city manger made this a reality. The pavilion at Marina Park ultimately became the logo of Kirkland.
In 1970, Locke crafted Kirkland’s first master plan for parks, setting the stage for the city to receive a federal grant that funded the development of Kirkland’s downtown waterfront park. During his time as city manager, Locke expanded Kirkland’s park system from less than 30 acres in 1968 to more than 70 acres in 1980, including 12 acres of waterfront parks, as well as overseeing the merger of Houghton and Kirkland in 1968.
Locke also played a key role in convincing Costco to locate its corporate headquarters in Kirkland. He also worked behind the scenes to convince the Seahawks to locate their original practice facility in Kirkland. Locke retired from the city of Kirkland on July 1, 1985.
The dedication plaque reads, “Residents of Kirkland owe a debt of gratitude to the city’s first City Manager. Mr. Locke was known as a champion of waterfront parks and watchful steward of city finances. By naming the pavilion after Locke, his legacy will forever be remembered by future generations.”