Guide to SMA Resources for Council District 1

map of District 1

Listed here is a small selection of records in the Seattle Municipal Archives relating to neighborhoods in District 1, including West Seattle, Delridge, Sodo, Pioneer Square, Georgetown, South Park, and White Center. Many more historical resources are available; please contact an archivist for assistance.

The current District 1 Councilmember is Rob Saka.

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. SMA holds records of the two towns pre-annexation. You can read about the annexation of West Seattle, Georgetown, and South Park in an online exhibit and learn more by exploring our interactive annexation map.

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. General Files related to Pioneer Square cover a variety of topics.

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 - for example, Olmsted drawings of Hiawatha Playfield and Schmitz Park. 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. The city's most popular saltwater boat ramp, the Don Armeni Boat Ramp, is documented in photos.

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

Georgetown Powerhouse, 1916
Georgetown Powerhouse, 1916
Image 990

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.

City Light Facility Maintenance and Operations Records include maintenance logs, equipment instructions and catalogs, photographs, and drawings related to the Georgetown Steam Plant. Georgetown Steam Plant Logbooks contain notes and data about the maintenance of the plant between 1907 and 1973. Additional images of the steam plant from a variety of time periods can be found in the Digital Collections.

Stadium Parking and Access Committee (SPARC) Records date from 1975-1977 and include correspondence, minutes, and reports from the three member committee established to oversee implementation of the approved parking and access plan for the Kingdome. 

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 6,000 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. Images from SPU include repair work at California Ave SW and SW Cambridge and work on the reservoirs at SW Myrtle, among many other projects both recent and historic. Substations and City Light facilities are included in Seattle City Light images.

Maps for District 1 include zoning maps for 1923, 1947, 1961, and 1973, as well as annexation maps, parks from various years, maps of the Duwamish Waterway, and municipal street railway power distribution system maps from 1918.

Published documents relating to District 1 date from 1950 to 2010 and include items such as an Alki Beach development study (1950), a report on an Admiral Way slide (1951), environmental impact statements documenting the rehabilitation of the Georgetown Steam Plant, and West Seattle Freeway studies (1971-1984). Some are digitized and viewable online, while the others can be viewed in our research room.

Neighborhood Development and Community Services

First and Yesler, circa 1975
First and Yesler, circa 1975
Image 206277

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. More context on the City's urban renewal efforts can be found in our online exhibit.

City Light images from the 1950s feature businesses using electric appliances, showing building interiors as well as exteriors. Photos include popular restaurants like Vann Brothers Cafe and Chuck & Terry’s Fish and Chips. Moving image footage from the Fire Department depicts the groundbreaking for Sanislo Elementary School. The archives holds a set of drawings of the Duwamish Bend War Housing Project.

A city plan to raze the historic Pioneer Square district in the 1960s generated a grass roots preservation movement, and in 1970 the neighborhood was designated as a national historic district as well as Seattle's first preservation district. The Pioneer Square Preservation District Subject Files contain correspondence, memos, reports, clippings, and other materials relating to issues affecting the District. Photographs of the neighborhood in several collections are available in Digital Collections. For example, mid-20th century buildings, parks, and street scenes are abundant in the Historic Building Survey Photograph Collection.

The Greater Duwamish Neighborhood Service Center Records date from 1980 to 2011 and document the activities of service center staff and Greater Duwamish community issues and concerns. Noteworthy topics include the Duwamish Superfund site; Boeing Field; area traffic concerns; Georgetown Old City Hall; crime reduction; neighborhood safety; neighborhood improvement, and industrial land use. Areas covered include Beacon Hill, South Park, Georgetown, Duwamish, and SODO.

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.

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

Georgetown planning map
Georgetown Planning Area, 1986
Map 332

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.

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.