clock menu more-arrow no yes

Seattle history

Historic photos show Seattle’s waterfront before the Alaskan Way Viaduct

A peek at a highway-free neighborhood

Historic photos show a brand-new Alaskan Way Viaduct

The viaduct wasn’t always old and crumbling

Paul Thiry and Ray Eckmann: Two unusual men behind an unusual building at 45th and the Ave

You might know it as the American Apparel building—or vacant space

The Seattle Center Armory started as an actual military armory—and evolved

It’s not just a cute name: The building formerly known as the Center House even still has a secret shooting range in the basement

Lake Union hides a graveyard of historic shipwrecks

Beneath the urban lake’s surface are a multitude of reminders of a different era

Pike Place’s Butterworth Building has pretty much been creepy since day one

The Beaux Arts building started its life as a massive mortuary

The historic, palatial bathroom that no one wanted

You know the pergola in Pioneer Square? It has a defunct potty underneath.

Saint Nicholas School for Girls has led many artsy lives

From a posh prep school to Lakeside to Cornish to Gage Academy

Beacon Hill’s historic Victorian ‘Garden House’ listed for $1.75M

The Turner-Koepf House is on the National Register of Historic Places

The eight-decade history of the Showbox

A look back at the long history of the music venue that’s fueling a campaign to save it

The College Inn is the last off-campus relic of the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition

The Tudor Revival building is, according to legend, inhabited by ghosts

The unassuming Exchange Building holds a shimmering gilt-and-bronze lobby

Designed by John Graham and Associates in 1929, the Exchange Building was kicked off just in time for the U.S. stock market to crash.

Fred Hutch is moving into the historic Lake Union Steam Plant

The historic Lake Union Steam Plant—recognizable from I-5 as the building with the Zymogenetics smoke stacks—is getting a new tenant.

Mt Zion Baptist Church becomes a Seattle landmark

The historic church is officially recognized by the city

The Seattle Tower is a gorgeous exercise in Art Deco flamboyance

Formerly known as the Northern Life Tower, this building was a big deal when it was constructed in the 1920s.

A tour of locals’ Pike Place Market memories

As the city changes, Seattleites remember their history with the landmark.

This Laurelhurst home is a big part of neighborhood history

This former farmhouse and golf club is listed for $3.1 million

The Panama Hotel is both a working hotel and a living museum

Designed by Sabro Ozasa, the Panama Hotel houses the last surviving American sento—and belongings left behind after the internment of Japanese Americans.

The Seattle Center Monorail turns 56: Photos from its first year

The Seattle Center Monorail was "christened" on April 19, 1962.

The Edith Macefield House set to become a permanent part of Ballard Blocks

Rumor had it that the little house was finally coming down—but the developer says it’s sticking around long-term

Classic Ellsworth Storey home listed for $1.9 million

Featuring five bedrooms and a bar

Belltown’s Rendezvous building is full of tales

And ghosts, maybe, if you believe in those

This historic Tudor revival was designed by a woman in 1928

Complete with a turret—and a few upgrades

The many lives of the Ballard Carnegie Library

It may not be vast, but it contains multitudes

The resilient history of Washington Hall

From the Danes to jazz to today

Enumclaw’s historic first church listed for $399K

The century-old former house of worship could be your actual house

The grim history of INS Building

When you’re there, it may be difficult to remember that this dreamy, colorful space was a prison for decades.

Smith Tower’s elevators are going automatic

After 103 years, the elevators will no longer need their operators

Half of a Love Family mansion listed for $1.4 million

Now a townhouse, it preserves a sliver of the free love era

The many phases and faces of the Fremont Trolley Barn

From streetcars to chocolatiers.

The many-storied history of the Mutual Life Building

Pioneer Square’s Mutual Life Building is probably best known today as the home of Magic Mouse Toys, but it’s got a multifarious, compelling past.

The last total eclipse visible from Seattle was in 1860

Here’s what people observed the last time Seattle saw totality.

Looking back on the 1979 solar eclipse in Goldendale, Washington

Archive photos show the Central Washington town during the last Northwest eclipse.

The hidden history of the Arctic Building

With its colorful terra cotta façade and walrus cartouches, the Arctic Club Hotel at the northeastern corner of Third Avenue and Cherry Street is hard to miss. It’s also got a colorful history that spans a century.

Olive Tower clings to life—and affordable housing

Like the building itself, its modern role serving households earning less than 50 percent of the area median income merges Seattle's past and present.

Filed under:

  • Map

Washington State’s bummer place names

As much as we love it here, we all know it can be dreary sometimes in the Pacific Northwest—and as it turns out, many of our towns and geographical features have names to match.

The Space Needle turns 55: Photos of the skyline staple’s construction

It’s now arguably the most distinct part of our skyline, but there used to be a Seattle without a Space Needle—and we have the photos to prove it.

The Ramps to Nowhere: Going, but not quite gone

The popular ramps from an unpopular freeway are coming down—slowly.

Central District anti-gentrification art project annotates Martin Luther King, Jr. mural

The project targets "Seattle’s silent racism and gentrification."