Guide to SMA Resources for Council District 4

district map highlighting District 4 Listed here is a small selection of records in the Seattle Municipal Archives relating to neighborhoods in District 4, including Eastlake, Fremont, Laurelhurst, Magnuson Park, Ravenna, Sand Point, the University District, Wallingford, and Wedgwood. Many more historical resources are available; please contact an archivist for assistance.

The current District 4 Councilmember is Alex Pedersen.

Early Records

Annexation petition, 1890
Annexation petition, 1890
General File 990444

Annexation records held at SMA, such as petitions, maps, and correspondence, include areas of North Seattle annexed to the city during the 1940s and 50s such as Sand Point and a portion of Maple Leaf.

The Town of Ravenna was incorporated in 1906, apparently for the purpose of petitioning Seattle for annexation. It became part of Seattle on January 15, 1907. Records relating to that annexation can be found in SMA's Annexed Cities Annexation Documents. Read more about annexations to the City of Seattle in our online Annexed Cities 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 4 neighborhoods may be found here.

Parks and Recreation

Magnuson Park beach, 2015
Magnuson Park beach, 2015
Image 178164

The Don Sherwood Parks History Collection includes records about Ravenna Park and Boulevard, View Ridge Playground, Laurelhurst Community Center, Bryant Playground, View Ridge Playground, and more. Planning, Construction and Maintenance Records from the Parks Department document the development of and improvements to Seattle parks, including Washington Park Arboretum, Laurelhurst and Wallingford playfields, and more.

Seattle Design Commission Project Files include materials relating to the development and improvement of District 4 parks between 1968 and 1977, including the Wallingford Playfield, the View Ridge Playfield Wading Pool, and Magnuson Park (formerly Sand Point Park). The transformation of Sand Point Naval Base to a city park in the 1970s is reflected primarily in Parks Department and mayoral records.

Infrastructure and Public Works

View from Maple Leaf Tank, 1927
View from Maple Leaf Tank, 1927
Image 6850

Projects in District 4 are represented in Engineering Department Miscellaneous Improvements Records, including files on public works projects such as widening the University Bridge, installing safety fluorescent lighting on Wallingford Avenue, installing sewer drains in Ravenna Park, and landscaping View Ridge Reservoir.

The Published Documents Collection contains reports and studies covering District 4 neighborhoods, including transportation planning for the University District and Wallingford, land use planning in Eastlake, and parking studies for Fremont. District 4 maps include zoning and land use study maps, plat maps, and more. 

R.H. Thomson Freeway Records include reports, surveys, correspondence, meeting minutes, and presentation material concerning the freeway's construction and eventual cancellation. Audio of public testimony protesting the freeway is featured in this Seattle Voices exhibit.

SMA's Seattle Segments feature on Houseboats in Seattle combines photos, audio, and film footage of houseboats on Lake Union to highlight how the City and houseboaters have negotiated topics like dock improvements, access to sewer service, and shoreline protections. A Digital Document Library exploring the planning, construction, and maintenance of the NE 45th Street Viaduct includes digitized documents and photos from the archives.

Neighborhood Development and Community Services

Seafair Queen at 45th St Viaduct Widening ribbon cutting, 1957
Seafair Queen at NE 45th St Viaduct
ribbon cutting, 1957
Image 54348

Neighborhood Matching Fund Project Records document community-driven neighborhood development projects between 1988 and 2010. Included are files on the Wallingford Steps public art project, street tree planting in Roosevelt, revitalization of the University Heights Community Center, and neighborhood planning efforts for Ravenna-Bryant, View Ridge, and Eastlake.

Fremont Neighborhood Improvement Project Records document efforts to beautify and improve the Fremont area during the 1970s, such as landscaping and tree placement. Sand Point Community Housing Project Records document plans for the City to acquire a portion of the Naval Station at Sand Point in the 1990s to provide transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness.

Planning Commission Reports and Studies include a 1949 recreation study on Laurelhurst and Windermere areas. Northlake Urban Renewal Project Records reflect changes to this neighborhood in the 1960s and 1970s. The City's relationship with the University of Washington is reflected in a variety of records, including records from the Office of Long Range Planning, legislation, and Council and mayoral records.

The Northlake Urban Renewal Scrapbook contains news clippings about the University Addition - Northlake Urban Renewal project between 1962 and 1967, covering topics like city proposals for development, the relocation of residents, University of Washington plans for the area, and two civil suits filed against the City by property owners.

Photographs in SMA's holdings reflect all neighborhoods in District 4. Ravenna images include the NE 45th Street bridge and viaduct, Ravenna Park, and a 1958 sewer cave-in. Fremont images include the Fremont Solstice Parade and construction of the Fremont Avenue Bridge. Sand Point images include Magnuson Park and sewer construction on Sand Point Way. District 4 is also covered, in part, in the Life on The Cut online exhibit, and more than 2,600 University District photos from 1914-2018 are cataloged and available online.

Legislative History

University Way, 1927
University Way, 1927
Image 2845

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 4 Councilmember Rob Johnson are in Record Group 4641-00.

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.