Urban Renewal in Seattle

Urban renewal programs in the U.S. during the 1950s-1970s attempted to revitalize American cities by eliminating so-called "blighted areas" and redeveloping the land. Through federally-supported projects, cities were enabled to acquire and demolish private property in such areas in order to create affordable housing, public parks, and new facilities. Proponents of the projects saw urban renewal as an opportunity to improve housing and sanitation, upgrade aging infrastructure, and restore economic vitality to neighborhoods in need. Opponents felt that the forced acquisition and demolition of homes and historic structures destroyed long-established communities in predominately low-income and minority neighborhoods. In Seattle, as in cities across the U.S., urban renewal projects changed the physical and cultural landscapes of the city in ways that still reverberate today.

Aerial Photo showing portion of Yesler-Atlantic Project "Blighted Area"
Aerial photo showing portion of Yesler-Atlantic Project "Blighted Area"
Image 66208, Seattle Municipal Archives

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Municipal Archives, City Clerk

Anne Frantilla, City Archivist
Address: 600 Fourth Avenue, Third Floor, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94728, Seattle, WA, 98124-4728
Phone: (206) 684-8353

The Office of the City Clerk maintains the City's official records, provides support for the City Council, and manages the City's historical records through the Seattle Municipal Archives. The Clerk's Office provides information services to the public and to City staff.