Guide to SMA Resources for Council District 1

district map highlighting District 2Listed here is a small selection of records in the Seattle Municipal Archives relating to neighborhoods in District 1, including West Seattle, Alki, Delridge, Pigeon Point, and White Center, among others. Many more historical resources are available; please contact an archivist for assistance.

The current District 1 Councilmember is Lisa Herbold.

Early Records

West Seattle annexation ballot, 1906
West Seattle annexation ballot, 1906
Box 3, folder 3, 9190-03

Some portions of West Seattle and South Park were towns in their own right before they were annexed to the City of Seattle in 1907. Records of the two towns pre-annexation are described here.

The story of the annexation of West Seattle and South Park along with other towns is on SMA's online exhibit site and includes photographs and scanned documents.

The General Files contain some of the earliest records in the Archives for the City of Seattle and also include records from the Town of West Seattle before it was annexed, all of which are digitized and available online. Included are oaths for Councilmembers, the City Attorney, the Census Taker and the Poundmaster, petitions for the grading of specific streets, and a 1906 inventory of supplies for the Town of West Seattle which listed two .38 Colt revolvers, two pairs of handcuffs, and three wheelbarrows.

Parks and Recreation

Planting Plan for Hiawatha Park, 1911
Planting plan for Hiawatha Park, 1911
Map 2385

Parks and public works projects in District 1 are well documented with Parks records.  Olmsted drawings of Hiawatha Playfield and Schmitz Park, for example, can be found here. Parks records chronicle the discussion regarding the purchase of West Seattle Golf Course in the 1930s and its expansion in the 1970s. Textual records and photographs relating to many West Seattle parks, including Delridge Playfield, Camp Long, and West Seattle Stadium, are located in the Don Sherwood Parks History Collection.

An investigation into the fire that destroyed West Seattle's Luna Park in 1931 is documented in the Fire Department Central Files.

Work on upgrading playgrounds including Delridge and Highland Park as part of the Model Cities Program in the early 1970s is captured in records for the Southwest Model Neighborhood. A recent park, Cesar Chavez Park, is chronicled in part through Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund Project Records.

Infrastructure and Public Works

Laying sewer pipe at 53rd Ave SW outfall, 1934
53rd Avenue SW sewer outfall, 1934
Image 38623

Engineering records in the Municipal Archives include Local Improvement District Records, Condemnation Records, and Street Vacation Records, as well as many others. Installation of water mains and sewers, grading and paving of streets, and construction of the Alki seawall and the West Seattle Bridge are all well documented in these records. Information on grading and improvements to California Avenue, Admiral Way, Delridge, and many other streets in West Seattle can be found in Engineering records.

A Seattle Segments exhibit on the West Seattle bridge and freeway in the 1970s contains councilmember discussions during Transportation Committee meetings. Engineering, legislative, and mayoral records also record this discussion.

Over 5,000 photographs from 1915 to the present are available online for West Seattle and include negatives, prints, and born-digital images. Seattle Engineering Department images of West Seattle from 1914 to the early 1960s are online, depicting public works projects such as grading and street paving, treatment plants, bridges, traffic, and construction of the West Seattle Reservoir. Descriptions of unscanned images from the early 1960s through the mid-1980s are in Finding Aids. Recent images from SPU include repair work at California Ave SW and SW Cambridge and work on the reservoirs at SW Myrtle. Substations and City Light facilities are included in Seattle City Light images.

Maps for West Seattle and Delridge include zoning maps for 1923, 1947, 1961, and 1973, as well as annexation maps, parks from various years, and municipal street railway power distribution system maps from 1918.

Published documents on West Seattle and Delridge date from 1950 to 2010 and include items such as an Alki Beach development study (1950), a report on an Admiral Way slide (1951), and West Seattle Freeway studies (1971-1984).

Neighborhood Development and Community Services

Careful Barber Shop (4432 California Ave.), 1977
Careful Barber Shop, 1977
Image 179085

Urban renewal records are held in the Seattle Municipal Archives, including South Park Neighborhood Development Project Records, which document an urban renewal project financed with a HUD grant and dating from 1966-1976.

City Light images from the 1950s feature businesses using electric appliances, showing building interiors as well as exteriors. Moving image footage from the Fire Department depicts the groundbreaking for Sanislo Elementary School.

In the 1970s, the Department of Community Development undertook comprehensive architecture surveys of Seattle neighborhoods, describing residential buildings and businesses. Scanned photos of individual buildings in South Park and West Seattle are available online, and related survey sheets can be viewed on site at the Archives.

Neighborhood planning efforts, including topics such as business development, traffic, and land use for Delridge and South Park in the mid-1970s and early 1980s can be found in the Department of Community Development Neighborhood Planning Records. Urban Village plans from the 1990s are included in the Neighborhood Plans series of the Neighborhood Planning Office. The records of the West Seattle Neighborhood Service Center document the activities of service center staff and West Seattle community issues and concerns; Service Centers existed from the 1990s through 2010s.

Legislative History

California Avenue paving, 1914
California Avenue paving, 1914
Image 6665

City Council committee records and records from elected officials held by SMA are useful in researching intent behind proposed and passed city legislation. In addition, beginning in the late 1950s, SMA holds audio recordings of council and committee meetings, and some public hearings. Many, though not all, of these audio recordings are cataloged in the Digital Collections. If you don't find a meeting you're looking for, please ask an archivist for assistance.

Find more information and tips for searching the background to legislation in our Guide to Researching Legislative History.

Archived records from the office of District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold are in Record Group 4635-00.

Please see the Neighborhood Map used by the Office of the City Clerk that defines how all neighborhoods are indexed in records in the Seattle Municipal Archives.