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Guide to the Archives of the City of Seattle
Record Group 9300
The Commission was a jointly funded Seattle-King County body established in 1975 to provide guidance to communities, organizations, and individuals in planning bicentennial activities. The records, located at the University of Washington, are from the Commission Chair, Robb Weller.
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, and planning files relating to coordination of American Bicentennial activities in Seattle and King County.
The Board of Appeals was established by a City Charter amendment in 1908. The three-member Board heard appeals from decisions of the Superintendent of Buildings, considered matters relating to construction methods and equipment, and made recommendations to City Council regarding new building ordinances and revisions to old ordinances. The 1946 City Charter restricted Board functions to hearing decision appeals. In 1973 the Board was abolished by a City Charter Amendment and the hearings function was assumed by the Hearing Examiner.
Minutes of three member board established to hear appeals to decisions of the Superintendent of Buildings. Includes appeals of rejected permit applications and required alterations or revisions to plans. The Board also heard appeals for use of new building materials and building methods. The bulk of the minutes are from 1909 to 1931, with minimal records from 1946 and 1971.
The Commission was created in 1985 to oversee the annual Bumbershoot Festival. The festival began in 1971 and was named Bumbershoot in 1973. It was administered by different City departments over the years, including Seattle Arts Commission and the Seattle Center. Following three straight years of financial losses, a restructuring plan was adopted in 1994 that consolidated the management of the festival with production. The BFC, as constituted since 1985, was abolished. One Reel Vaudeville Productions, the producer of the festival over the previous 14 years, and the BFC members formed a new nonprofit entity that, beginning in 1995, is responsible for the management, cash flow, and financial risk of the festival.
Correspondence, reports, budget materials, audits, contracts, and business plans related to the Bumbershoot Festival and the activities of the Bumbershoot Festival Commission. Includes Commission minutes, appointments of members, reorganization studies, and records related to One Reel Vaudeville Show, the contractor that operates Bumbershoot. The Commission office was closed at the end of 1994 and management of the festival was turned over to a private organization.
Promotional posters for the Bumbershoot Festival. Not all inclusive years are represented. Duplicates exist for 1984, 1987, and 1992, with triplicates for 1988.
The State of Washington World’s Fair Commission first met August 19, 1955; initially the Commission studied the feasibility of a fair. By December 1955, the Commission decided that with the proper support a fair was possible. The World’s Fair Commission was enlarged in 1957 to fifteen members and included City Council member J. D. Braman. The fair was named the Century 21 Exposition in 1957. Seattle voters approved a $7,500,000 bond issue in 1956 for buildings and acquisition of land. The Seattle Civic Center Advisory Commission was created in December 1956 by Seattle City Council. In 1957, the State matched the 1956 bond issue approved by Seattle voters, approving an additional $7,500,000 for the fair.
World’s Fair Corporation of Washington incorporated on October 9, 1957, created with members of the World’s Fair Commission established in 1955 by the Washington State Legislature. Its purpose was to plan and operate the Exposition; its name was amended to Century 21 Exposition, Inc. on November 20, 1958. The Articles of Incorporation stated that the purpose of Century 21 Exposition, Inc was “to plan and present a World Fair at Seattle which will provide a spectacular vehicle for dramatizing, on behalf of and in cooperation with all such nations, their common hopes and aspirations, their historic, cultural and scientific achievements, the readiness for world leadership and their earnest desire to live in peace.” A subcommittee of the World’s Fair Commission was formed to pick a site; by 1956 the site of the Civic Auditorium was chosen. A Joint Executive Committee was formed representing Civic Center Advisory Commission and the World Fair Commission to expedite the development of preliminary plans for approval by the respective Commissions, and also address land acquisition.
The Seattle Civic Center Advisory Commission was responsible for choosing architects, building public support, exhibits, and overall design. The Washington State World Fair Commission was responsible for financial issues and land acquisition. There were advisory boards for cultural arts and design standards with committees for artists and sculptors, engineers, landscape and performing arts. Federal funds, as well as generous contributions from Seattle business people, contributed to the success of the fair. The Fair opened on April 21, 1962 and closed on October 21. The City took control of the fairgrounds in 1965 when the Seattle Center Department was created to administer, manage and control the facilities on the site of the 1962 World's Fair. The Center's purpose is to be an active civic center providing facilities and programs supporting the arts, education, s ports and entertainment. In addition, there are four facilities on the grounds that are not owned by the City: the Space Needle, Memorial Stadium, the Pacific Science Center, and the Experience Music Project.
Records of Seattle’s 1962 World’s Fair commissions including: commission, committee and board minutes, authorizing legislation, promotional materials and reports. Issues addressed included: land acquisition, building design and landscaping, transportation, exhibits, and financial issues. The records date primarily from 1957 to 1959.
The Civilian War Commission was established in 1941 to coordinate all municipal and private agency defense activities. In 1942, these activities were divided into civilian protection and civilian services units. The latter was a civilian participation program to meet homefront social, economic, and morale needs. The former was set up to protect the civilian population and property. Commission records described below are from the Civilian Protection Division.
Correspondence, minutes, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, publicity materials, and flyers relating to civilian defense activities during World War II. Haggen was Chief Air Raid Warden with the Civilian Protection Division, Seattle Civilian War Commission.
Lists of supplies and equipment purchased by the City for the Civilian War Commission and register of materials issued to various agencies by the Commission. Includes fire fighting equipment, medical supplies and defense materials such as gas masks and helmets.
Payroll register for the Civilian Protection Division including employee name, occupation, pay rate, amount paid, deductions, balance, and warrant number.
Register of warrants issued by the Civilian Protection Division of the Commission. Includes date, authorizing ordinance, voucher number, payee, and warrant amount.
The Seattle Design Commission (SDC) was established in 1968 to ensure that public facilities and projects incorporate high standards of design quality. The SDC reviews public projects and makes recommendations in the areas of urban design context, public access, open space planning, integration of public art, and streetscape design. SDC review is a required element of the public design review process. The Commission is comprised of ten citizens, including artists, architects, urban planners, engineers, environmental planners, and landscape architects. Commissioners are appointed to two-year terms by the Mayor and are confirmed by City Council.
Proceedings of the Seattle Design Commission including actions taken on project designs submitted for consideration. The Commission was created in 1968 as an outgrowth of the Forward Thrust program to consult with the Mayor and City Council regarding environmental and design aspects of City capital projects. Minutes after 1991 have many gaps.
Correspondence, excerpts from minutes, proposals, maps, plans, photographs, memoranda, clippings, reports, and other material relating to projects of the Design Commission. Contains files for projects begun from 1968 through 1977, including the Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo expansions, and Pike Place Market rehabilitations and improvements.
The Board of Eminent Domain Commissioners was created in 1907 to establish the assessed value of real property condemned for public use. The three commissioners were appointed by the Superior Court and were officials of the Court. However, the Board also represented the City in condemnation matters. The Board was abolished in the mid-1950s.
Correspondence, certificates, deeds, petitions, and newspaper clippings relating to the Board of Eminent Domain Commissioners work in condemnation cases. Arranged alphabetically with case correspondence at the front.
Correspondence, statements of cost, petitions, ordinances, maps, and judgements on verdicts relating to property condemned by the City for municipal use. Also includes list of assessment roles filed 1908-1927. Files are arranged numerically from 1-377 and chronologically thereafter.
Property title abstracts for parcels condemned by City for municipal use. Includes ownership histories. Arranged numerically. Numbers assigned to abstracts do not correspond to case file numbers.
The Board of Freeholders was elected in 1974 to prepare a new City Carter for Seattle. The proposed charter was submitted to the electorate on November 4, 1975 and defeated by a 55-45 percent margin. The Board of Freeholders Records are located at the University of Washington and are identified as Accession No. 2408.
Correspondence, minutes, seminar and workshop materials, press clippings, draft charters, discussion papers, questionnaires, and administrative records relating to the Board's preparation of a new proposed City Charter. Also included are audiotapes of public hearings, discussion groups, and workshops and seminars.
Minutes of meetings documenting the Board's preparation of a new proposed City Charter.
The Commission was created by City Charter amendment in 1910 to produce a plan for the growth and development of the City. The Commission hired engineer Virgil Bogue who designed a comprehensive plan, based on city planning in several European cities, with an elaborate civic center and system of parks and boulevards. The plan failed to receive voter approval in 1912.
Comprehensive plan for the City prepared by Virgil C. Bogue, an engineering consultant from Chicago. Also known as the Bogue Plan, it recommended replanning along European boulevard lines, improved transportation system, adoption of the Olmsted Brothers parks plan, relocation of the Civic Center, and development of the Port of Seattle. Approved 18-3 by the Commission, the plan was rejected by Seattle voters in 1912.
The fifteen member Seattle Center Advisory Commission was established in 1962 following the Seattle World's Fair to advise the Center administration, the Mayor, and the City Council on policy and operations issues related to the Seattle Center. The Commission provides independent assessment of operations, performance, plans, and policies affecting the regional cultural and recreational facility. The Commission plays an active role in developing and monitoring master planning, fundraising, and public programming. A predecessor body, the Civic Center Commission, was established in 1956 to oversee establishment of a civic center in Seattle based around several facilities that were later incorporated into the World's Fair grounds and ultimately the Seattle Center.
Agendas and proceedings of meetings of the Seattle Center Advisory Commission.
The Seattle-King County Drug Commission was established in 1973. Operating under an agreement between the City and the County, the commission was charged with advising the Mayor and County Executive on issues relating to drug education and treatment, as well as enforcement of drug laws. It also coordinated between public and private drug abuse programs. Half of its fourteen members were appointed by the Mayor, and the other half by the County Executive.
Agendas and minutes from Drug Commission meetings. Topics covered include prescription drug abuse, public information programs, funding for drug treatment, methadone, coordination with criminal justice agencies, and medical marijuana.
The Seattle-King County Economic Opportunity Board was established in 1965. Its purpose was to mobilize and coordinate public and private resources to eliminate poverty and its causes through rehabilitation, education, training, and work experience. The Board's 24 members include the mayor, the chair of the Board of King County Commissioners, and the Seattle Schools superintendent, along with other ex-officio and appointed members.
Minutes of Board meetings, covering issues including Head Start, health insurance, day care, the Central Area Co-op, youth programs, and job training.
The Seattle 2000 Commission was established in 1972 to draft and present to the Mayor and City Council goals for the City in the year 2000. The Commission created task forces in the issue areas of downtown development, the economy, education, the environment, government and citizen participation, law and justice, recreation, social and health services, social justice and human resources, transportation and utilities, and housing. The Commission's final report was issued in May 1973.
Correspondence, reports and studies, staff summaries, minutes, and conference materials relating to the Commission's work in establishing City goals for the year 2000.
Meeting summaries for each of the various task forces, arranged by date. Generally more informal than official minutes, the summaries detail what was discussed at the meetings and often include results of brainstorming sessions.
Minutes, reports and statements of the Seattle 2000 Executive Board.
The five-member Transit Commission was established in 1952 to replace the Seattle Transportation Commission as the administrator of the Seattle Transit System. The Transit Commission was abolished in 1971 when the Transit System was taken over by the newly formed Seattle Department of Transportation. Two years later, jurisdiction was transferred to Metro.
Proceedings of Transit Commission meetings.
Resolutions relating to creation and compensation of positions in the Seattle transit system; to fares, passes, and promotions; to grant applications; and to policies and procedures.
A monthly publication for employees of the Seattle Transit System. In newspaper format, it includes information on employees and transit routes, safety issues, and transportation topics. The publication includes many photographs. Also held at the Seattle Public Library.
The Seattle Transportation Commission was established in 1939 to oversee the operation of the Seattle Transit System. The three-member Commission was appointed by the Mayor. The Commission appointed the manager of the Transit System. It was also responsible for establishing policies and procedures and administering the finances of the System. It was abolished in 1952 and replaced by the Seattle Transit Commission (9379).
Proceedings of commission meetings.
Resolutions relating to the operation of Seattle Transit.
Bids for various work projects relating to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation funded rehabilitation of the City's transit system.
Correspondence and contracts let for rehabilitation of the city's transit system.
Financial and narrative reports to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation regarding progress on the rehabilitation of the transit system in Seattle.
Appraisals of the value and usability of equipment and facilities following the 1939 rehabilitation of the City's Municipal Street Railway System and subsequent organization of Seattle Transit.
A monthly publication with photographs and news of Transit System employees and events. Includes news of employees serving in World War II and of war-related efforts in the Transit System. Some issues are missing; there are no issues for 1946.
The Suggestion Award Board was established in 1951 to encourage employee suggestions for efficiencies and safety devices that would result in monetary savings for the City. Submitted suggestions were forwarded to the appropriate department for review and then reported back to the Board. If a suggestion was adopted and implemented, the responsible employee would receive ten percent of the projected annual savings. The Board was comprised of representatives from various City departments and was staffed by the Personnel Department.
Proceedings of Board established in 1951 to encourage employee suggestions that benefit the City. The minutes include a brief description of the suggestion, who submitted it, the department responsible for reporting on its feasibility, whether the suggestion was adopted, the estimated savings involved if adopted, and the award amount for the employee.