See the World in Southeast Seattle
Over the past two years, Southeast Seattle’s rich cultural heritage has been documented through a series of posters, essays and reports prepared by community historians. The Southeast Seattle Community History Project focuses on the area south of I-90 and east of I-5, including the neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, Rainier Valley, Seward Park and Rainier Beach. These neighborhoods are home to several City of Seattle Landmarks, but much of the community’s history has not previously been documented. The Seattle Historic Preservation Program invites you to explore our city’s history, and learn about the people and places that make it unique.
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The Most Diverse Neighborhood in the Universe?
News reports have claimed that Rainier Valley's 98118 zip code is the "most diverse in the country," but what does this really mean? Throughout Southeast Seattle, languages and cultural traditions intersect at community landmarks.
Transportation has shaped Southeast Seattle from its early days – streetcar service started in the 1890s, influencing development for many years before cars came on the scene.
Home Sweet Home
Architectural styles come and go – and many different styles of homes are found in Southeast Seattle. Economics often determine the places we call home, but so do other factors – including religion and politics.
We All Belong
The many clubs, associations, and organizations formed by Southeast Seattle residents over the past century reflect the community's diverse social interests.
What's for Dinner?
A culinary tour of Southeast Seattle's farms, gardens, markets and restaurants reflects the community's diverse cultural heritage.
When I was Your Age
What's it like to be a kid growing up in Southeast Seattle today? A glimpse of childhood, from toy hydros to historic schools.
Ethnic Heritage - Reports by Community Organizations
Several books document the history of Seattle’s immigrant communities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in neighborhoods now known as the Central District and the International District, but little has been written about recent history. Over the last 60 years, demographic shifts have made Southeast Seattle more diverse. Reports prepared by four community researchers document the experiences of ethnic communities in Southeast Seattle since World War II.
- African and African American Community in Southeast Seattle (pdf) - [Northwest African American Museum]
- Asian Pacific Islander Americans in Southeast Seattle (pdf) - [Wing Luke Asian Museum]
- Jewish Heritage in Southeast Seattle (pdf) - [Washington State Jewish Historical Society]
- Latino Heritage in Southeast Seattle (pdf) - [El Centro de la Raza]
Southeast Seattle History – Essays & Reference Materials
Essays on geographic and social themes
- Overview of Southeast Seattle Community History Project
- Rainier Valley's Public Housing Projects: 1940 – Present
- South Beacon Hill
- Southeast Seattle Schools, WWII – Present
- The Diversity Myth
- Whatever Happened to “Garlic Gulch?” SE Seattle’s Italian Community Since WWII
- Decade by Decade Summary, 1940s – Present
- Southeast Seattle Timeline
- Neighborhood Place Names
- Bibliography of general sources (see reports by community organizations for more info.)
HistoryLink – New Essays and Seattle-Map app
HistoryLink.org, the free online encyclopedia of Washington State history, has created or updated more than 45 essays and timeline entries about people, places and events related to the history of Southeast Seattle which are posted at www.historylink.org.
Also available is the new Seattle-Map app, a pilot project to bring location-specific historical information to mobile technology as an aid to students, visitors, and anyone interested in Seattle neighborhoods. The app locates the user on the map and shows relevant city history near the user's location. Selected content for Southeast Seattle has been translated into Chinese, Spanish, Somali, and Vietnamese, and the translated content is also available through the Seattle-Map app.
Existing SE Seattle History Info.
In recent years, the Seattle Historic Preservation Program has documented Southeast Seattle history in a variety of ways. Several historic context statements, or neighborhood history overviews, have been prepared, and a series of historic site surveys have been completed. All of this information is available to the public.
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