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Guide to the Archives of the City of Seattle

Record Group 2600
Engineering Department

The Engineering Department (SED) maintained the City's streets and bridges, designed and oversaw construction of public works projects, provided traffic and transportation planning, and operated the sewer and solid waste utility. The position of City Surveyor was created in 1873 to survey the City, establish boundaries and street grades, and administer condemnation processes. This position was renamed City Engineer in 1890. In 1931 the Engineering Department absorbed part of the Department of Public Utilities and in 1936 it assumed the responsibilities of the Department of Streets and Sewers and the Traffic Department. In 1997, the water, solid waste, drainage, and wastewater utilities from the Engineering and Water departments were merged with the Engineering Services Division of SED and the Customer Service Call Center and Construction Engineering Sections of City Light to form Seattle Public Utilities. The traffic and transportation functions of the Engineering Department were consolidated in the Seattle Transportation Department.


2600-01
Annual Reports

1900-1976
3.0 cubic feet

Annual report of department activities including statistical reports on construction projects and financial recapitulations.

RA


2600-02
City Engineer's Correspondence

1890-1898
4 volumes

Correspondence, estimates of expenses, payroll statements, and various reports by the City Engineer. Includes correspondence of Albro Gardner and Reginald H. Thomson.

SMA


2600-03
Interdepartmental Memoranda

1911-1912
1 volume

Memoranda to and from the City Engineer relating to department policy and projects.

SMA


2600-04
Reports of the City Engineer

1894-1910
5 volumes

Correspondence, reports of work completed, bid tabulations, payroll distributions, local improvement summaries, and other reports relating to department activities.

SMA


2600-05
Director's Records

1984-1994
14.0 cubic feet

Correspondence, memoranda, reports, budget materials, and notes related to administration of the Seattle Engineering Department. The records document SED projects and activities and its relationship with other City agencies. These records cover the period after SED stopped use of a central filing system.

SMA
Folder List


2600-06
Miscellaneous Publications

1960-2000
0.2 cubic foot

Brochures and newsletters from Seattle Engineering Department.

SMA
Folder List


2600-07
Digest (Newsletter)

1955-1996
0.4 cubic foot

Engineering Department employee newsletter containing personnel updates, notices of award winners, well wishes for ill coworkers, personal news such as weddings and new babies, and announcements of social activities like the department's fishing derby and bowling league. The newsletter was published weekly until the mid-1970s, when it went to biweekly. By the 1990s it was a monthly publication. The collection has a gap between 1976 and 1994.

SMA


2600-08
Strategic Action Plan Task Force Records

1995-1996
0.2 cubic foot

Records of a major planning effort undertaken by an intradepartmental team from the Engineering Department. The team worked on a strategic business plan to cope with the loss of Street Utility revenue and reorganization issues.

SMA
Finding Aid


2602-01
Civil Service Department Correspondence

1906-1924
10 volumes

Correspondence, notices of appointment, requests for classification, employment and separation reports, and other personnel actions. Letterpress books arranged chronologically.

SMA


2602-02
Unrecorded Subject Files

1890-1990
15.2 cubic feet and 13,000 microfiche

Records include correspondence, memoranda, reports, specifications and standards, permits, deeds, drawings, and other materials related to public works, capital improvements, and public utilities, as well as routine affairs of the Seattle Engineering Department. A majority of the documents have been reformatted to microfiche, but 38 boxes (15.2 cubic feet) of original paper documents are also included in the collection. Important subjects relating to public works and engineering functions include traffic planning and control, transportation, garbage and solid waste management, sewers, street maintenance and design, and water supply. Other topics include: bicycles, bridges, carpools, pollution, and landslides. Principal internal operations are also covered substantially, such as budgeting, contract agreements, permit control, and status reporting for both internal and external audiences. An important subset of these documents is correspondence received from the public, such as petitions, permits, complaints, and claims, as well as the departmental response.. Significant inter-departmental communication between the Engineering Department and the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Seattle Housing Authority, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Community Development, and the Mayor's Office, are present in substantial amounts, as well as with the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (Metro). Notable engineering projects covered included the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Monorail, public transit, the Forward Thrust Initiative Series, and the 1962 Century 21 Exposition. The Unrecorded Subject Files comprises the Seattle Engineering Department's central filing system up to 1988. Almost all records were microfilmed by the Department's Administrative Records Center until its dissolution in the late 1980s. Records date from 1890 to 1990. Early correspondence includes topics such as paving materials; 1917 correspondence with the Minneapolis Engineer regarding their use of wood blocks as experimental paving material is an example. Records are arranged alphabetically.

Related records include: Ordinances (1801-02), Engineering Local Improvements District records (2615-03) and Engineering Condemnation records (2608-02).

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2602-03
Local Improvement District Records for Annexed Cities

1897-1912
0.4 cubic foot

Specifications, estimates of work completed, correspondence, notices, certificates of completion, ordinances, contracts, and sketches relating to local improvement districts in Ballard, Georgetown, Columbia, West Seattle, and South Park. These are LID projects that were completed under the administration of the Engineering Department after the communities were annexed by the City of Seattle.

SMA


2603-01
Ranch Produce Account Registers

1917-1921
2 volumes

Register of amount and cost of fruits, vegetables, and hay purchased by the department. Also includes register of purchases by the City Hospital, stockade, and City Stables with the purpose of identifying rancid produce.

SMA


2606-01
Monthly Meteorological Summaries

1908-1951
0.4 cubic foot

One page monthly summary of weather conditions in Seattle including daily high, low, and means for temperature, precipitation, and barometric pressure; average wind velocity; comparative data for previous years; and other weather phenomena. Also included are annual summaries with comparative data. Summaries were produced by the United States Weather Bureau.

SMA
Finding Aid


2606-02
Monthly Climatological Data

1914-1976
2.4 cubic feet

Compilation of temperature and precipitation data for cities and towns in the State of Washington. Includes averages, highs and lows, daily records, and other pertinent weather information. Also includes average temperature and precipitation maps. Reports were produced by the United States Weather Bureau.

SMA


2606-03
Local Climatological Data Monthly Summary

1951-1983
0.6 cubic foot

Monthly summary of weather data for Seattle. Includes maximum, minimum, and average temperatures and precipitation; average barometric pressure; average and fastest wind speed; amount of sunshine; amount of sky cover; and annual summary and graph of cumulative rainfall. Summaries were produced by the National Climatic Data Center.

Copies of this publication are also in City Light Weather Data, series 1206-17..

SMA
Finding Aid


2606-04
Duwamish and Green Rivers Flood Control Studies

1922-1956
0.8 cubic feet

These files relate to flood control in the basin of the Duwamish and Green Rivers. Most of the material is on flood studies and plans to eliminate the flooding. Once flooding was eliminated the land was to become industrial. Material gathered for planning this future land use includes information on local employment, utility usage, tax values, and tidelands. The files include correspondence, memoranda, reports, booklets, maps, charts, newspaper clippings, and notes. Key groups in the planning were the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Seattle City Engineer.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2606-05
Weather Data

1892-1983
1.0 cubic foot

Data on precipitation and other weather factors in the Seattle area, together with statistical and graphic analysis of contemporary and historical data. Includes daily rainfall data gathered in 1966-1967 at 12 gauging stations throughout Seattle.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2607-01
Business Survey

1938
0.4 cubic foot

These spreadsheets show the numbers and locations of various types of businesses throughout Seattle in 1938. Also includes recapitulations comparing information from 1909 and 1938.

SMA


2608-01
Local Improvement District Letterpress Books

1900-1931
10.0 cubic feet

Correspondence, bid sheets, reports on majority petitions, notices to commence work, and completion notices relating to local improvements. Arranged chronologically.

SMA
Container List


2608-02
Condemnation Records

1888-1978
49.0 cubic feet

Project plans, property descriptions, condemnation ordinances, judgements and awards of compensation documenting the condemnation of private property by the City for public works projects. Includes drawings of improvements and some files include photographs. Arranged by condemnation ordinance. This series has been microfilmed.

SMA
Folder List


2608-03
Damage Cases

1891-2003
9.4 cubic feet

Files from the Court Section of the Engineering Department, including correspondence, reports, ordinances, claims, court documents, patents, deeds, contracts, blueprints, maps, and photographs relating to court cases brought either against or by the City of Seattle concerning property damage due to natural causes, street grading, or construction projects. Case topics include railroads, waterways, bridges, parks, libraries, sewers, drainage, and streets. Files on the Cedar River watershed and dam include engineers’ reports, field notebooks, maps, data and photographs regarding Cedar River projects and flooding from the Cedar River masonry dam. A few files concern property acquisitions and condemnations. Files for the period of the late 1950s through early 1970s are missing.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2608-04
Street Vacation Records

1925-1990
0.8 cubic foot

Correspondence, petitions, reports, and maps related to the vacating of streets and alleys for various purposes. The files include cross references to the Clerk File, the official filing of the vacation. These records are arranged alphabetically and numerically by street, avenue, and alley. Included with the microfiche are log cards for each vacation. The cards include descriptions of the vacated streets, related Clerk Files, vacation ordinance numbers, and dates.

SMA


2608-05
Court Engineering Records

1890-1982
13.1 cubic feet

Records related to condemnations for regrades, street widening, sewers, and street extensions; damage suits; appeals from assessment rolls; land surveys in the Cedar River Watershed and the area around Newcastle for a water reservoir; and court work related to bridges, city facilities, and arterial highways. Records include annual reports, maps, drawings, reports, and correspondence. Documentation of legal proceedings and legislative history is also included in some cases. Also included are photographs of University Way, Lake Union, Cedar River watershed and other scenes. Of note are records documenting the proposal to building a bridge from Seward Park to Mercer Island in the 1920s, Railroad Avenue seawall plans, a report on the South Sewer Tunnel from 1925, maps pertaining to the dredging of the Duwamish River dating from 1917 to 1927 and negotiations between the City and railroad companies in several parts of the City. Legal issues associated with several bridges and viaducts are well documented, including: the West Spokane Street Bridge Number 1, the Spokane Street Drawbridge, the University Bridge and the Albro Place Viaduct. Other subjects include bridge construction, extension of the sewer system, the Cedar River watershed and pipelines, Tolt River water system project, street and highway construction, and railroad right-of-way negotiations.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2608-06
Property Ownership Lists and Abstracts

1891-1904
0.2 cubic foot

This series contains lists of property owners and descriptions of tracts of land supplied to the City Engineer by local title companies. The information apparently was requisitioned in connection with assessment for local improvements and other miscellaneous public works. The ownership lists are simple tables that include name of the owner, addition or plat, block, and lot. Descriptions of tracts are narrative descriptions of the legal boundaries of the property in question.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid



2609-00: Traffic Engineering

Seattle traffic issues fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Streets and Sewers during the first three decades of the 20th Century. With the recognition of growing traffic engineering needs, the Office of Traffic Engineer was established within the Department in 1930. The Department of Streets and Sewers was abolished by City Charter Amendment in 1936 and most of its functions absorbed by the Engineering Department. The Office of the Traffic Engineer became a division within the Department. When the functions of the Engineering Department were reorganized in 1997, the traffic engineering and transportation functions were consolidated in the newly formed Seattle Transportation Department.


2609-01
Traffic Engineering Subject Files

1926-1988
5.0 cubic feet

Memoranda, correspondence, meeting minutes, maps, blueprints, newspaper clippings and presentational material concerning various traffic control topics and traffic and transportation planning. General topics include traffic planning, street closures, civil defense, traffic safety, and traffic control; specific subjects include Central Business District Exclusive Bus Lanes, METRO, the Seattle Transit System, New Deal traffic projects, and World War II traffic routing. The bulk of the material dates from the New Deal and World War II periods. The records reflect major street and bridge construction projects including Alaskan Way, Aurora Avenue, the Aurora Bridge, and traffic issues related to the Lake Washington Floating Bridge and Boeing Company expansion. Traffic safety became a major concern as more and more automobiles were introduced to Seattle. Records include discussions of school crossing issues, activities of the Seattle Traffic and Safety Council, and local and national safety contests.

The largest body of records relate to Civil Defense, particularly to the location of air raid sirens and whistles, lighting regulations during blackouts, traffic and danger signals used during blackouts, and the creation of traffic routes during wartime. The latter included identifying routes through the city that would be used by the military in an emergency as well as the routing of normal traffic.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2609-03
Central Business District Transportation Study

1961-1967
2.0 cubic feet

Reports, surveys and studies concerning traffic and transportation in CBD. Subjects include district traffic circulation, reversible roadway, freeways, and the comprehensive traffic plan for the Central Business District.

SMA
Folder List


2609-04
Traffic Engineering Annual Reports

1920-1969
0.4 cubic foot

Annual reports from Traffic Engineering, arranged chronologically.

RA


2609-05
Traffic Control Board Minutes

1946-1952
0.4 cubic foot

Minutes, correspondence, and reports of Commission established to coordinate activities of departments with jurisdiction over traffic problems. Issues include parking, congestion, street lighting, speed limits, and traffic flows.

SMA


2609-06
Traffic Tally and Timely Tips (Newsletter)

1955-1996
0.6 cubic foot

Newsletter produced by the Traffic Engineering Division reporting accident statistics as well as related news items. Later issues were yearly and titled "Traffic Accident Summary."

SMA


2613-01
Maps and Drawings

1888-1976
Approximately 950 sheets

Maps, plans, and profiles. Map subjects include topography, plats, annexations, precincts and wards, and various types of districts. Plans include architectural drawings for municipally owned buildings and structures such as bridges, viaducts and pipelines, and site plans for construction and improvement projects. Profiles are generally of water and sewer pipelines and street grades.

SMA
Inventory


2613-02
Bridge Design Calculations

1917-1938
0.4 cubic foot

Drawings and engineering calculations relating to construction of the Ballard and Twelfth Avenue South (over Dearborn) bridges.

SMA


2613-03
Sanitary Survey Land Use Project Records

1938
0.4 cubic foot

Original tracings of land use and zoning district maps and mile square charts including types of occupancies, occupancy and street acreage, and zone distributions of acreage. Also includes Kroll Map sections of zoning districts. The Sanitary Survey was a Works Progress Administration project (#5638) to collect data on the "health, welfare and comfort of citizens" to assist in planning for "the proper, orderly and economic development of this region." This series represents only the land use data of the survey.

SMA
Container List


2613-04
Field Survey Time Books

1932-1961
4.4 cubic feet

Daily time books for survey crews. Includes date, weather conditions, names of crew and job, work order and ordinance numbers, resolution and LID numbers, name and nature of job, survey book used, page, time on survey, name of street or avenue, and nature of work (levels, cross sections, footings, etc). Also notes whether job is a WPA project.

SMA
Volume List


2613-05
Grade Sheets

1904-1954
1.0 cubic foot

Building, sewer, water main, curb, and intersection grades including address or location, a drawing with grade, calculations and dimensions, and remarks. Also includes ordinances and LID numbers where applicable.

SMA
Volume List


2613-06
Glass Lantern Slides

1910-1960
1041 images

Slides related to public works projects, designs and reports. Includes paving, bridge maintenance, landslides, water supply, and Public Utility Department materials. Also includes images from the Municipal Plans Commission "Bogue Plan" and a tour of Egypt to study irrigation.

SMA


2613-07
Negatives

1910-1994
1.5 million images

Photographic negatives shot by the Seattle Engineering Department photographers documenting public works, municipal facilities, damage to streets and buildings by earthquakes and slides, and natural features. Includes images of the Cedar River Watershed, Skagit River power development, bridge construction, sanitary landfills, Seattle's waterfront, and pipeline construction, among others. Of particular interest are images of the Smith Tower construction and general shots of the Firland Sanitarium.

SMA
Indexes
Finding Aid


2613-08
Slides

1888-1990
7000 images

Slides of various Engineering Department projects and miscellaneous slides produced from historical photographs. Includes 5000 images of construction of the West Seattle Freeway Bridge, and a large body of images of the Tolt River Project construction and damage and repair work on the Ravenna water pipeline break. Historical slides include images of downtown streets, the waterfront, damage after the Great Fire of 1889, Pike Place Market, the old public library building, Seattle Hotel, and Cedar Falls Municipal Light Plant.

SMA


2613-09
Motion Picture Film

1905-1978
247 reels

Motion picture film primarily of various engineering and public works projects. Includes footage from construction of Ross and Diablo Dams, the Tolt River Watershed, the first and second Denny Regrades, and many traffic control and streets projects. Also included are films of community celebrations.

SMA


2613-10
Videotapes

1986-1994
407 tapes

Videotapes of Engineering Department projects and events, and training films. Includes tape transfers made of historical film footage taken from as early as the 1910s.

SMA
Item List


2613-11
Lake Washington Floating Bridge Construction Album

1939-1940
0.4 cubic feet

114 prints showing the progression of construction at the west end of the Lake Washington Floating Bridge, from March 1939 (pre-construction) to December 1940 (completion). Most of the photographs consist of surface construction of Highway 10 in the area from 22nd Ave So. to the Lake, including construction of various overpasses. There are many photographs of the creation of the west and east tunnel entrances (portals) and a number of photographs inside the tunnel. A small number of photographs show the west approach of the bridge and transition span. Workers, construction equipment, and neighboring houses can be seen in many photographs. There are four group portraits of the Engineering Force, the Washington State Toll Bridge Authority and the "Shovel Crew." All of the photographs were taken by A.G. Simmer and are numbered 1-999, not-inclusive. 100 of the photographs have been scanned and appear online in the Seattle Municipal Archives Photograph Database.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2613-12
Aerial Photographs

1954-1975
3.4 cubic feet

Aerial photography of the Seattle area, taken by commercial aerial surveyors. Includes images from 22 separate flights. Photos appear complete for flights in 1968, 1969, and 1973, for a 1969 survey of the University of Washington neighborhood.

SMA
Container List


2613-13
Index to Negatives

1914-1996
3.0 cubic feet

Index to Engineering Department negatives. Includes a card index organized alphabetically by subject and proper name covering primarily the mid-1950s to 1996. Two volumes of Kroll Maps serve as a geographical index covering 1914 to 1968 (with large gaps). Negative numbers are entered on the maps at the site the photographs were taken.

SMA


2613-20
Vehicles and Equipment Photograph Albums

1920-1952
1.0 cubic foot

Photograph album containing images of vehicles and equipment used by the Engineering Department. There are approximately 350 prints of more than 200 different vehicles including dump trucks, pickups, sedans, and other equipment such as trailers and air compressors. Also included is information about purchase date, cost, and vehicle description. The photo album can be viewed in the research room although images of all the photographs (without the captions) can be viewed in the Photograph Index.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2613-21
Third Avenue Repaving Photograph Album

1926-1929
0.2 cubic foot

Album compiled by the Engineering Department chronicling the repavement of Third Avenue in 1928 and 1929. The album contains approximately 140 4x6 inch prints. There are good views of Third Avenue and downtown businesses, men working, the demolition of the street and railway tracks, and the paving. Also included are images of machinery, automobiles, pedestrians, and men laying brick. Several photographs were taken of snow on the streets. A fourteen page narrative description of the project is included in the front of the album. Approximately one-third of the images appear online in the Seattle Municipal Archives Photograph Database.

SMA
Finding Aid


2613-22
Denny Hill Regrade Photograph Album

1904-1929
0.2 cubic foot

Album compiled by the Engineering Department of the various stages of the Denny Hill Regrade, containing 120 6x8 inch prints dating 1904-1929. Seven photographs were taken by Webster and Stevens. The images depict the hill being sluiced away by high powered water cannons, and various views of the city from several buildings. Includes photographs of barges being loaded with dirt and dumping their loads in Elliott Bay. Also illustrated are horse-drawn wagons, earth moving machinery, automobiles, billboards, and the Washington Hotel. Photographs are of First Second, Third, and Fourth Avenues, and Pine, Battery, Blanchard, Virginia, and Bell Streets.

SMA
Finding Aid


2613-23
Seattle Bridges Photograph Album

1914-1958
0.5 cubic foot

Images of bridges, overpasses, and viaducts in Seattle before, during and after construction by the Engineering Department. Includes depiction of structural materials, signs, neighboring businesses, city engineering department employees, streetcars, and waterways. Neighborhoods include the Downtown, the University District, Fremont, Interbay, West Seattle, and Industrial District. The bulk of the photographs are dated 1928-1932, although there are some earlier and later photographs. All of the images appear online in the Seattle Municipal Archives Photograph Database.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2613-24
Seattle Mayors' Portraits

1869-2002
0.8 cubic foot

Portraits of all of Seattle's Mayors from 1869 to the present. Many of the photographs were printed from negatives produced from the Robert T. McDonald Collection at the Seattle Public Library. Other images were taken by the City Photographer.

SMA
Item List
Finding Aid


2613-25
West Seattle Freeway Bridge Construction Photographs and Slides

1980-1983
3.0 cubic feet

This series includes pre-construction and construction photographs and slides of the West Seattle Freeway Bridge. The images document the freeway bridge right-of-way and each step in construction. Construction of the bridge began in 1981 and was completed in 1984. The slides and photographs are organized separately and are chronological. Accompanying the series are descriptive logs for approximately half of the images.

SMA
Container List
Finding Aid


2613-26
Safety Photographs

1947-1987
0.4 cubic foot

Photographs depicting groups and individuals receiving or posed with Engineering Department Safety Awards for various years comprise the bulk of the collection. Also included are photographs depicting vehicular accidents and damage, Engineering Department construction and repair projects, cleaning operations, Engineering Department vehicles and equipment, and the monorail terminal. Many images are undated.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2613-27
Creek Photographs and Slides

1987-1999
2 cubic feet

During the 1990s, biologists at the Seattle Water Department, now Seattle Public Utilities, undertook the photo-documentation of Seattle's Creeks. Represented in this collection of 10 binders are North Seattle Creeks such as Thornton Creek located in the Lake City neighborhood, and Venema and Piper's creeks located in Carkeek Park. South End and Central Seattle creeks such as Taylor, Fauntleroy, and Lowman's creeks are also represented. This collection is an in depth look at subjects concerning Seattle's numerous watersheds such as erosion, water quality, drainage, construction, the state of tributaries and detention ponds, dams, bridges, and culverts. Also, this collection offers a look at creek maintenance, slide damage, equipment, soil testing, and other activities undertaken by the utility department to keep Seattle's watershed functioning and serving the citizens of the city.

SMA
Box List
Finding Aid


2614-01
First Avenue South Bascule Bridge Records

1944-1958
1.0 cubic foot

Reports, correspondence, and surveys concerning construction and maintenance of the First Avenue South Bridge. Subjects include approaches, surface work, lighting and testing. Material arranged alphabetically by subject.

SMA
Folder List


2614-02
West Seattle Freeway Records

1971-1976
0.6 cubic foot

Correspondence and reports on the West Seattle Freeway. Material covers condemnations, landscaping, construction and roadway maintenance. Arranged alphabetically by type.

SMA
Container List


2614-03
16th Avenue Southwest Bridge Records

1969-1977
0.4 cubic foot

Correspondence and specifications on the 16th Avenue Southwest Bridge. Arranged alphabetically by type.

SMA
Container List


2614-04
R. H. Thomson Freeway Records

1958-1977
5.8 cubic feet

Reports, surveys, correspondence, meeting minutes, presentational material, photographs, maps court papers, and property appraisals relating to R. H. Thomson Freeway planning. Subjects addressed include earthquake studies, routes, a tunnel under Union Bay, property acquisition and management, the Arboretum and City Council hearings. The freeway was begun but never finished.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2614-05
Tolt River Dam Construction Records

1956-1970
2.0 cubic feet

Correspondence, memoranda, engineering notes, reports, logs, photographs, blueprints, maps, and accounting notes relating to the construction of the Tolt River Dam. Construction correspondence is arranged chronologically and includes a rudimentary index.

SMA
Folder List


2614-06
Bridge Records

1902-1964
2.2 cubic feet

Correspondence, reports, estimates, specifications, permits, drawings and testing data concerning bridge construction, planking, and grading. Also included is correspondence with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding permits for bridge construction. Records relate primarily to the bridges spanning the Lake Washington Ship Canal and to the first Lake Washington bridge.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2614-07
Municipal Building (Yesler) Construction Correspondence

1905-1909
1 volume

Bid proposals, correspondence, and monthly estimates of work completed relating to excavations and construction of Municipal Building (Yesler Building). Building housed the city jail, municipal court, and emergency hospital.

SMA


2614-08
Parks Department Distribution of Labor and Materials Register

1899-1904
1 volume

Register of labor and materials used to complete construction and improvement projects for the Parks Department.

SMA


2614-09
Cedar River Watershed Construction and Replacement Records

1890-1941
2.0 cubic feet

Records of the construction of the Cedar River Watershed facilities and subsequent repair and replacement of pipelines. Materials also relate to the West Seattle, Beacon Hill, and Volunteer Park pipelines. Includes correspondence, agreements and contracts, specifications, maps, test results, grade sheets, and work estimates.

SMA


2614-10
Lake Youngs Construction Projects Records

1916-1946
1.0 cubic foot

Correspondence, specifications, estimates, and drawings relating to the construction of the aqueduct, pipelines, chlorinating plant, and dam at Lake Youngs.

SMA
Folder List


2614-11
Landsburg Dam Construction Records

1934-1936
0.2 cubic foot

Correspondence, contracts, work estimates, drawings, and notes relating to construction of Landsburg Dam. The project was financed by Water Bonds purchased by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.

SMA


2614-12
Cedar Falls Power Plant Construction Records

1898-1932
0.8 cubic foot

Records relating to the development and construction of the Cedar Falls Power Plant. Includes correspondence, specifications, contracts, reports, estimates of work completed, maps and drawings, and test results.

SMA


2614-13
Tolt River Watershed Construction Records

1954-1967
2.4 cubic feet

Construction records for the Tolt River Watershed including correspondence, reports, test results, specifications, contracts, and work estimates relating to dams, pipelines, and reservoirs.

SMA


2615-01
Private Contracts Project Records

1918-1972
5.0 cubic feet

Drawings, correspondence, copies of legislation, certificates of completion, estimates, and agreements relating to private agencies granted contracts to develop areas at their own expense. Arranged by street or plat description.

SMA


2615-02
Miscellaneous Improvements Records

1895-1980
35.0 cubic feet

Correspondence, memoranda, cost estimates, specifications, agreements and contracts, and maps for non-local improvement district public works projects.

SMA


2615-03
Local Improvement District Records

1894-1985
2.4 cubic feet

Correspondence, petitions, specifications, bids, estimates of work completed, bond rate tables, drawings, and photographs of improvement projects funded through local property owner assessments. Projects include street and sidewalk paving, sanitary and storm sewers, water mains, and other improvements that benefit property within a specific district. Arranged numerically by LID number. This series is comprised of microfiche.

SMA
Folder List


2616-01
Monthly and Final Estimates of Work Completed

1894-1926
4.2 cubic feet

Estimates of work completed on local and miscellaneous improvements. Includes date, contractor, improvement project, progress to date, progress required to date by contract, contractors estimate of expenses, previous estimates, amount paid. Arranged chronologically.

SMA
Container List


2616-02
Rock Quarries Bids and Correspondence

n.d.
1 volume

Bids to supply rock crushers and screens to the City.

SMA


2618-01
Street and District Inspectors Correspondence

1909-1924
1.0 cubic foot

Inspectors' reports to either City Engineer or Board of Public Works. Includes recommendations on construction and improvement permits, and inspections of work. Four Volumes contain indexes to streets.

SMA


2618-03
Bridge Foreman's Reports

1916-1919
1 volume

Reports on condition of bridges with recommendations of maintenance and repair work needed. Includes correspondence to the Mayor, superintendents of Utilities and Streets and Sewers, franchise operators and contractors.

SMA


2620-01
Street Trees and Landscaping Records

1957-2001
9.0 cubic feet

Records of the City Arborist and Engineering Department staff concerning tree planting and landscaping projects. Project files include correspondence, reports, plant lists, photographs and drawings. Projects document street tree planting and maintenance, landscaping associated with construction projects, traffic triangles, traffic circles, and community tree planting projects. Subject files concern tree and street use ordinances, tree pruning practices and guidelines, educational outreach activities and urban forestry issues.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2623-01
Franchise Correspondence

1900-1903
0.4 cubic foot

Correspondence and reports of the City Engineer or Franchise Inspector relating to the extension and operation of franchises in Seattle.

SMA


2623-02
Utility Franchise Records

1896-1983
8.2 cubic feet

Utility franchises grant permission to grantees to use sidewalks, streets, underground or air space owned by the City. Utility franchises are granted for tunnels, underground fuel tanks, overhead bridges, pipes, overhead wires, and bridges. The records in the Utility Franchise Records date from 1896 to 1983 and relate to the granting and maintenance of utility franchises. The bulk of the records date from 1908 to 1973 and consist of correspondence between the Seattle Engineering Department and the recipient of the franchise. The files also include maps. Grantees are most often businesses, such as the Bon Marche, Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, and Seattle Gas Company. Franchise records also relate to large capital projects, such as the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the original Monorail, and the Interstate-5 freeway. The folders relating to railroads contain information pertaining to World War I, the relationship between the City and the railroad companies, and the condition and construction of Railroad Avenue. The Monorail records contain detailed drawings of columns, tracks, and other parts of its structure.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


2624-01
Solid Waste Ammonia Project

1973-1977
3.0 cubic feet

Correspondence, working papers, reports, environmental impact statements, studies, testimony, conference presentations, and recommendations relating to research on converting solid waste to methanol or ammonia. Included is material concerning siting of a conversion plant. Correspondence includes input from government agencies and officials, community organizations, and the scientific community.

SMA
Folder List



2625-00: Department of Streets and Sewers

The Department of Streets and Sewers was responsible for planning, construction, repair, and cleaning of the City's streets, sidewalks, and sewers. City Council appointed the first Street Commissioner in 1875. The position came under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Works in 1890. The position of Superintendent of Streets, Sewers and Parks was established in 1896; authority over parks was removed in 1904. The Department was abolished in 1936 and became the Maintenance Division of the Engineering Department.


2625-01
Superintendent's Correspondence

1904-1926
4.0 cubic feet

Correspondence and memoranda to and from the Superintendent of Streets and Sewers relating to improvement, street and sewer conditions, construction projects, personnel issues, and other department matters. Letterpress books arranged chronologically.

SMA


2625-02
Street and Sewer Inspection Reports

1912-1919
4 volumes

Reports of Chief Inspector and District Foreman concerning street and sewer conditions, construction and improvement project work, and accidents. Each volume contains a subject index.

SMA


2625-03
Monthly Vehicle Use Summaries

1911-1919
3 volumes

Monthly summaries of operating costs for vehicles in department fleet. Includes daily account of gasoline and oil used, miles and hours driven, size and type of loads, location of use, and cost per mile for operation.

SMA


2625-04
Street and Sewer Improvements Summary

1912-1914
2 volumes

Summary of materials and labor costs for improvement projects. Includes project location and type of improvement.

SMA


2625-05
Payrolls

1911-1912
1 volume

Name, job title, and monthly pay for Street and Sewers Department employees.

SMA


2625-06
Annual Reports

1920-1934
0.2 cubic foot

Annual report of departmental finances and activities.

SMA


2625-07
Pavement Maintenance Correspondence

1910-1912
1 volume

Correspondence, memoranda, and reports from the Superintendent of Streets to paving contractors, businesses, and individuals regarding maintenance and repair of streets and sidewalks. Mostly routine orders to repair. Also includes lists of Independent Asphalt Paving Company contracts, report of construction and operation of the Municipal Asphalt Plant, and information regarding City assumption of paving contracts.

SMA


2625-08
Daily Account Book

1895-1897
1 volume

Daily balance book showing appropriation for various accounts, balance available each day, amounts paid to vendors, and daily and monthly recapitulations. Includes summaries of labor, materials, and miscellaneous expenses for cleaning and repairing water troughs, drains, sand boxes, sewers, streets, sidewalks, and crossings. Also notes expenditures and labor hours by ward.

SMA


2625-09
Superintendent's Incoming Correspondence

1903-1912
0.8 cubic foot

Primarily incoming correspondence relating to streets and sewers improvements and construction. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

SMA
Container List


2625-10
Photograph Collection

1916-1936
1.5 cubic feet

More than 2800 negatives include images of the work of the Department of Streets and Sewers from 1916 through 1936. Predominent subjects include damage caused by landslides; streets; maintenance vehicles; sewers and outfalls; bridges; trestles; railways; and intersections.

SMA
Finding Aid



2626-00: Streets and Sewers Committee

The Streets and Sewers Committee was a committee of the City Council. It studied and deliberated on issues relating to maintenance of streets and sidewalks and the sewer system. The Department of Streets and Sewers maintained a record of Committee proceedings and actions.


2626-01
Minutes

1916-1925
2 volumes

Record maintained by the department of proceedings of City Council's Streets and Sewers Committee. Lists actions on assessment roles, resolutions, and Council Bills; petitions filed; and claims and awards of jury.

SMA


2626-02
Petition Log

1917-1929
1 volume

Log of petitions filed with the City Council's Streets and Sewers Committee. Includes petition number (Comptroller File), date, and subject.

SMA



2627-00: Water and Electric Projects


2627-01
Cedar Falls Electric Plant Correspondence

1904-1913
2 volumes

Correspondence, estimates of work completed, notices of laying pipelines and power lines, notice of final payment, etc. relating to construction of electric power plant. Primarily correspondence of the City Engineer.

SMA


2627-02
Cedar River Water System Correspondence

1901
1 volume

Correspondence and contracts relating to construction, maintenance, and specifications for water mains, pipelines, standpipe, and reservoirs in the Cedar River Water System.

SMA


2627-03
Skagit River Power Supply Correspondence

1918-1931
2 volumes

Correspondence of City Engineer and Water Supply Engineer relating to construction, stress tests, claims against trespassing, and maintenance in the Skagit River Power System.

SMA


2627-04
Water System Correspondence

1890-1931
3 volumes

Correspondence of City Engineer regarding construction, extension, and maintenance of the City's water system. Includes information on reservoirs, water mains, and pipelines. Volume one contains correspondence and calculations of Benezette Williams who conducted the first survey of the Cedar River Watershed and issued the first plan for a City water system.

SMA


2627-05
Water Works Distribution System Letterpress Book

1902-1908
1 volume

Correspondence, bids and specifications, and grade sheets relating to Seattle's water distribution system. Correspondence deals with extension of fire service, laying of water mains, and general extension of water to the City. Grade sheets provide elevations, grade, fill amounts, and remarks for various station points along distribution routes.

SMA


2627-06
Tolt River Water Supply Studies

1936-1966
1.0 cubic foot

Reports and studies concerning Seattle's water supply, especially relating to the Tolt River Watershed. Includes geologic reports, foundation condition, design studies, and a history of the Tolt River. Also included is correspondence related to various studies.

SMA
Folder List



2630-00: Lake City Sewer District

The Lake City Sewer District served the community north of 85th Street. Seattle annexed 60 percent of the District area in 1953. The City assumed maintenance for the system while the District continued to provide service in the annexed area. In 1974-1975, the City purchased the remaining District assets.


2630-01
Minutes

1953-1971
1.0 cubic foot

Agendas, meeting minutes, notes and financial statements of Lake City Sewer District. Subjects include sewer district expansion, sewer maintenance, and accounts management.

SMA
Container List
Finding Aid


2630-02
Financial Records

1949-1975
1.0 cubic foot

Financial records of the Lake City Sewer District (LCSD), consisting of State audits, general ledgers and ledgers on construction (involving roads, sewers, and sewage treatment plants), customer accounts, LCSD funds, and sewer utility-pump station cost distribution for Seattle and Lake City.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid



2631-00: North Beach Sewer District

The North Beach Sewer District served the sewer needs of north end residents until 1953 when the area it covered was annexed by the City of Seattle. The City's sewer utility assumed control of the District property and system, and connected it to the Seattle sewer system.


2631-01
Minutes

1944-1954
0.2 cubic foot

Minutes of the meetings of the District's Board of Commissioners. This outlying system was taken over by the City when the northend annexations occurred in the 1950s.

SMA


2631-02
Subject Files

1930-1957
1.0 cubic foot

Administrative and subject files relating to construction, financing, maintenance, and policy in the district. Specific topics include waste treatment, railroads, schools, fire protection, and district elections.

SMA


2631-03
Resolutions

1944-1951
0.2 cubic foot

Official decisions, opinions, policies, and directives by the North Beach Sewer District Board of Commissioners. The resolutions expressed the Board's decisions related to fiscal, administrative, and legal matters relating to the operation of the Sewer District.

SMA