Guide to SMA Resources for Council District 6

district map highlighting District 6 Listed here is a small selection of records in the Seattle Municipal Archives relating to neighborhoods in District 6, including Ballard, Crown Hill, Green Lake, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge, and Shilshole. Many more historical resources are available; please contact an archivist for assistance.

The current District 6 Councilmember is Dan Strauss.

Early Records

Ballard liquor license, 1906
Ballard liquor license, 1906
Box 4, Folder 27, 9106-03

Records of the City of Ballard before it was annexed to the City of Seattle in 1907 are described here. The illustrated story of Ballard's annexation is told in an online exhibit.

The General Files collection contains City of Seattle records from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, documenting the activities of City officials and Seattle residents during a time of enormous growth and change. Topics include the aftermath of the Great Fire, the development of the water supply and sewer systems, grading and street improvements, housing, public health, and many other issues. General Files related to District 6 neighborhoods may be found here.

Parks and Recreation

Camels at Woodland Park Zoo, 1911
Camels at Woodland Park Zoo, 1911
Image 30856

Parks and public works projects are well documented with Engineering and Parks records. For example, Olmsted drawings and correspondence about Green Lake can be found here.  The Don Sherwood Parks History Collection includes records about the Ballard Pool, Golden Gardens, Green Lake, and more. Parks Construction and Maintenance Records include details on Fremont Ship Canal Park, Bergen Place, Fremont Peak Park, and others.

The Archives holds many records from the Woodland Park Zoo, including annual reports, films, photographs, docent manuals, master plan records, publications, and records relating to animal management and special events. A film from the Woodland Park Zoo features the Pony Club picnic from about 1935.

About 3,000 photographs from 1914 to the present are available online depicting city activities in Ballard, Green Lake, and Fremont, including parks and playgrounds, the Ballard Locks, streetcars, Aurora Avenue, buildings, and much more.

Infrastructure and Public Works

Ballard sewer map, 1903
Ballard sewer map, 1903
Map 1588

Engineering Department Maps and Drawings and Engineering Department Negatives include drawings and images of the Ballard Bridge and Fremont Bridge, both opening in 1917 and constructed in conjunction with the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Records documenting the bridges' construction, including specifications and estimates, can be found in the Engineering Department's Bridge Records.

SMA's online exhibit on the Lake Washington Ship Canal includes information on how Ballard and Salmon Bay were shaped by the construction of the canal. Engineering Department footage of the reconstruction and reopening of the Ballard Bridge in 1939 is available to view and download online in our Digital Collections.

Traffic Engineering Records reflect major street and bridge construction projects from 1930 to 1952, including Aurora Avenue and the Aurora Bridge. Maps of the district include zoning maps for 1923, 1947, 1961, and 1973, as well as bicycling maps, park maps, waterfront maps, and others.

Neighborhood Development and Community Services

Green Lake beach, 1936
Green Lake beach, 1936
Image 10562

Records from the Fremont Neighborhood Service Center and the Greenwood Neighborhood Service Center document issues and concerns for those communities from the 1950s to the 2000s. The Fremont Neighborhood Improvement Project Records contain information about efforts towards community betterment in the 1970s, especially relating to landscaping and tree placement.

The Department of Community Development Neighborhood Planning Records date from the 1970s to 1980s and document issues like business development, traffic, and land use relating to a number of Seattle neighborhoods, including Greenwood. Mid-century photos of commercial buildings and homes in Ballard are included in the Historic Building Survey Photograph Collection.  

SMA's Published Documents Collection includes neighborhood plans for Green Lake, Greenwood and Phinney Ridge, Ballard and Crown Hill, and many more. Records for the Ballard Avenue Landmark District include subject files, digital photographs, and minutes of the board.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund provides funding for community-driven neighborhood development projects. The Project Records and the Small and Simple Project Records document many neighborhood improvements planned and carried out by citizen volunteers.

Legislative History

Municipal Street Railway formal opening on Ballard Bridge, 1918
Street railway opening on Ballard Bridge, 1918
Image 12506

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 former District 6 Councilmember Mike O'Brien are in Record Group 4665-00.

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.