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Collin’s Playfield (#39)

Also known as: Collins Fieldhouse

The Collins Playfield and its nearby Fieldhouse used to be a place where Seattle kids from different communities would come to play. Developed in 1907 (with the Fieldhouse run from 1913-1971), the entire play area took up three acres across Washington and Main Streets and 14th and 16th Avenues.

Picture the sights and sounds that once filled the area. The lower level was dedicated to field athletics such as baseball. The upper level focused on basketball, tennis, handball and gymnastics. The middle had a wading pool, swings, teeter-totters and sand boxes.

And overseeing it all in its heyday? Back in the 1930s and 1940s, Gene Boyd was a mentor to many Asian kids who played sports there. He volunteered a lot of his time teaching basketball to youth. Many of Gene Boyd’s kids went on to become legendary athletes, coaches and organizers in the Asian Pacific American community – like Frank Fujii, Al Mar and Bob Santos. Gene Boyd and the Collins Playfield are now gone, but their legacy lives on through many local Asian Pacific American athletes today.

Images

Collins Playfield, 1937. Gene Boyd pictured back row, far right.

Wing Luke Museum Collection.

Photo of Gene Boyd (far right) with young athletes at Collins Fieldhouse, 1939.

Wing Luke Museum Collection.

Artist Ryu Wilke imagines kids playing outdoors at Collins Playfield.

By artist Ryu Wilke. YouthCAN, Wing Luke Museum.