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Seattle, Washington

UPS Waterfall Garden Park

This secluded, man-made waterfall marks the birthplace of the United Parcel Service. 

In 1907, a young entrepreneur borrowed $100 from a friend and started the American Messenger Company in Seattle, Washington. Today you know that messenger service as the United Parcel Service (UPS), but a tiny waterfall park on the site of the company’s original location in Seattle remembers the shipping giant’s roots.

UPS operated out of Seattle until the 1930s before expanding to other parts of the country, changing their name to United Parcel Service and starting on the road to becoming one of the world’s foremost shipping providers. In 1975, UPS moved their headquarters to Connecticut and the original Seattle space was eventually closed.

A public space known as Pioneer Square sprung up on the site, and specifically a pocket park in the square called the Waterfall Garden, which is said to cover the footprint of the American Messenger Company business. The often overlooked park features a 22-foot, man-made waterfall, overlooking a dual level patio with tables and chairs. The park was built and is still maintained by a foundation started by one of UPS founders.  A plaque on the park grounds was installed in 2007, on the 100th anniversary of the company.

The park offers a quiet-ish place in the middle of a hectic city to relax and enjoy lunch, coffee or read a book. Stop by the park if you are in the neighborhood for some quiet contemplation, or to appreciate a bit of off-the-beaten-path business history.

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