Seattle was established during an economic boom fueled by the timber
industry, the city's early years were characterized by hasty expansion
and development, under which residential areas were loosely defined by
widely scattered plats. This arrangement was further solidified by the
establishment of locally-initiated community clubs, public libraries,
public schools, and public parks, which created a sense of community and
the beginning of the 20th century, Seattle’s community clubs became
influential in the organization of public improvements. These had a
significant effect upon the character of their neighborhoods and allowed
them to remain distinct from the surrounding areas. Some community
clubs used covenants to restrict the ethnicity of residents.
public library branches can define districts as well as neighborhoods.
Public libraries are among the most heavily used buildings. Seattle has
elected its city council at large since 1910, and community clubs lobby
councilors for the interests of local residents – such as for a library
branch. The community organizations build a voting constituency, and in
so doing define a neighborhood. In the absence of ward politics, this
and campaign finance legislation are seen as more open alternatives. The
Greenwood-Phinney Commercial Club was particularly active in organizing
toward the Greenwood branch that opened in 1928. The Lake City Branch
Library opened in 1935 as a few shelves of books in part of a room in
Lake City School, shared with the Works Progress Administration (WPA),
sponsored by the Pacific Improvement Club community group. The library
moved into a new building in1955.
public schools effectively defined many neighborhoods, which are often
synonymous with the name of the elementary school when the neighborhood
and school were established. Many of the neighborhoods contain a few
smaller neighborhoods. Mann and Minor neighborhoods in the Central
District, were built around their schools. The University Heights school
(1903) in the north of the University District was named for the
neighborhood, as was the Latona School (1906) in Wallingford.
similarly define some neighborhoods. Madrona Beach and Cowen and
Ravenna Parks were privately established to encourage residential
development upon otherwise unusable land. The plan for Olmsted Parks
fulfilled its goal and significantly influenced the character of
neighborhoods around parks and playgrounds. East Phinney and West
Meridian neighborhoods are sometimes called Woodland Park, as well as
South Green Lake or North Wallingford for Meridian.
Come explore the neighborhoods of Seattle.