43 Vintage Photos Show the Building of Seattle-Area Landmarks and Infrastructure during the 20th Century

Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With a 2020 population of 737,015, it is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The Seattle metropolitan area’s population is 4.02 million, making it the 15th-largest in the United States. Its growth rate of 21.1% between 2010 and 2020 makes it one of the nation’s fastest-growing large cities.

Seattle is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington. It is the northernmost major city in the United States, located about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canadian border. A major gateway for trade with East Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015.

The Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers. Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived from Illinois via Portland, Oregon, on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. The settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named “Seattle” in 1852, in honor of Chief Si’ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Today, Seattle has high populations of Native, Scandinavian, Asian American and African American people, as well as a thriving LGBT community that ranks sixth in the United States by population.

Logging was Seattle’s first major industry, but by the late 19th century, the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. Growth after World War II was partially due to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing. The Seattle area developed into a technology center from the 1980s onwards with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region; Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a Seattleite by birth. Internet retailer Amazon was founded in Seattle in 1994, and major airline Alaska Airlines is based in SeaTac, Washington, serving Seattle’s international airport, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city’s population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Seattle also has a significant musical history. Between 1918 and 1951, nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs existed along Jackson Street, from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District. The jazz scene nurtured the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix, as well as the origin of the bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, and the alternative rock movement grunge. (Wikipedia)

Here is a historical photo collection that shows the infrastructure of Seattle being constructed in the first half of the 20th century.

Cedar River Pipeline under construction, 1900
Yesler Building under construction, 1909
Ballard Locks under construction, 1913
Smith Tower under construction, 1913
Lake Washington Ship Canal under construction, 1914
Second Avenue repaving, 1914
Ballard Bridge under construction, 1916
Crowd on half-built Fremont Bridge, circa 1916
Fremont Bridge under construction, 1916
Dearborn Street Bridge under construction, 1917
Husky Stadium under construction, 1920
Paving the Fairview Avenue trestle, 1924
Second Avenue south extension under construction, 1928
Spokane Street Bridge under construction, 1929
Garfield Street Bridge under construction, 1930
Aurora Bridge under construction, 1931
Aurora Bridge under construction, 1931
Aurora Bridge under construction, 1931
Albro Place Viaduct under construction, 1931
University Bridge under construction, 1932
First slab of seawall being placed, 1934
Central Waterfront seawall construction, 1934
Diablo Powerhouse under construction, 1935
45th Street Viaduct under construction, 1939
Ballard Bridge south approach under construction, 1939
Highway 10 under construction, 1939
Mount Baker Tunnel under construction, 1939
Construction of bulkhead on Yesler, 1946
Myrtle Street Reservoir under construction, 1947
Aqua Theatre under construction, 1950
Alaskan Way Viaduct under construction, 1951
Battery Street tunnel under construction, 1953
Battery Street tunnel under construction, 1953
Aurora Avenue under construction, 1954
First Avenue South Bridge under construction, 1955
Monorail under construction, 1961
Municipal building under construction, 1961
Space Needle under construction, 1961
Lake Forest Park Reservoir under construction, 1962
Interstate 5 under construction, 1963
James Street freeway overpass under construction, 1963
Montlake Interchange under construction, 1963
SR 520 under construction, 1963

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: