Document Type

Case Study

Publication Date



Dave Hastings; Elisabeth Pershing; Bob Gribas


Susan Kunimatsu


Since 2000, the Seattle Public Theater (SPT) has occupied space in the Green Lake Bathhouse on the shores of Green Lake in Seattle, WA. This space was converted for shared use as a theater and seasonal public restrooms in 1970 after serving solely as a public bathhouse since its construction in 1927. In addition to Green Lake, bathhouses at Madrona Park and Seward Park were also converted to shared arts and bathhouse spaces in 1970 and today house Spectrum Dance Theater and Seward Park Clay Studio respectively. All three buildings share significant architectural design elements and have many overlapping renovation needs. While the low-cost lease partnerships with the City of Seattle and the Parks Department have contributed significantly to these companies’ ability to exist for many years in a volatile and expensive real estate market, the ownership of the buildings by the City government has made repairs and updates complex and challenging. This case study provides an overview of some of the limitations and opportunities inherent in this arrangement and examines specific renovation and improvement projects at all three spaces. Through interviews with staff at Spectrum Dance, SPT, and Seward Park Clay Studio, as well as historical research and site visits, the intent is to provide a document of the history of the bathhouse arts facilities and a more specific look at the current state of the Green Lake Bathhouse and future plans for expansion and improvement within the context of the shared history of the three organizations.

Organization or Event

Bathhouse Theater; Spectrum Dance Theater; Seward Clay Studio; Seattle Public Theater

Form of Entity

Governmental, Nonprofit

Area of Activity

Producer, Presenter, Venue/Facility

Artistic Discipline