Guide to SMA Resources for Council District 2

district map highlighting District 2Listed here is a small selection of records in the Seattle Municipal Archives relating to neighborhoods in District 2, including Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Georgetown, Mount Baker, Rainier Valley, and Rainier Beach. Many more historical resources are available; please contact an archivist for assistance.

The current District 2 Councilmember is Tammy J. Morales.

Early Records

Rainier Beach [Bird's Eye view from south], 1895
Rainier Beach [bird's eye view from south], 1895
Map 1941

SMA holds records for Columbia City, Georgetown, and Southeast Seattle prior to their respective annexations to the City of Seattle. Read about pre-annexation Columbia City, originally incorporated in 1892 as the Town of Columbia, in SMA's 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 2 neighborhoods may be found here.

Parks and Recreation

Hat and Boots Service Station, circa 1980
Hat and Boots Service Station, circa 1980
Image 193638

The history, development, and maintenance of parks in District 2 are well documented in Parks Department records. For example, Olmsted drawings and correspondence about Seward Park can be found here. The Don Sherwood Parks History Collection includes records on Mount Baker Park and Boulevard, Beacon Hill Playground, Hing Hay Park, Rainier Beach Playfield, and many more.

Parks Construction and Maintenance Records include details on the Rainier Beach Recreation Center, Othello Playground, International District Children's Park, Dunlap Heights Playground, Rizal Park, and many others. The Department of Parks and Recreation Open Space Program Records document property acquisition for open space parks in Seattle, including the Duwamish River Greenbelts.

The Department of Parks and Recreation Golf Records include materials relating to the management and operations of programs and courses at Jefferson Park, and drawings for Jefferson Park Golf course are held in Municipal Golf Course Plans and Drawings. SMA's Published Documents Collection contains Environmental Impact Statements for Kubota Gardens.

Infrastructure and Public Works

12th Avenue South Bridge [Dearborn], 1917
12th Avenue South Bridge [Dearborn], 1917
Image 1452

Records from departments like Engineering, the Board of Public Works, and Seattle City Light document the growth and maintenance of city infrastructure. Planning and construction of City roads, from small streets and alleys to major thoroughfares like Beacon Avenue and Rainier Avenue South, are documented in the Engineering Department's Miscellaneous Improvement Records.

Engineering Local Improvement District records span the years 1894-1985 and include bids, specifications, and correspondence documenting projects such as street and sidewalk paving, sanitary and storm sewer repairs and installation, and other work that benefits property within a defined improvement district. Records relating to the grading and paving of streets, including Rainier Avenue, Genesee, and Mt. Baker Boulevard, can be found here. Many of the projects carried out by City departments are documented with photographs and are available in the Digital Collections, including work on various bridges in Beacon Hill and paving projects in Georgetown.

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

You'll find Environmental Impact Statements documenting the rehabilitation of the Georgetown Steam Plant, the Central Link light rail transit project, and the redevelopment of Holly Park, among many other projects, in the Published Documents collection. Maps of District 2 are also available in the Digital Collections, including zoning maps from 1923, 1947, 1961 and 1973, as well as planning maps, maps of the Duwamish waterway, and more.

Neighborhood Development and Community Services

Hing Hay Park, 1975
Hing Hay Park, 1975
Image 29299

Seattle's participation in the national Model Cities program during the 1970s helped to fund many new community initiatives throughout the city, including those that took place in District 2 neighborhoods. Model City records, especially the Southeast Branch Model Neighborhood Office Records, include materials related to the establishment of El Centro de la Raza as well as other social services and recreational facilities in District 2. The South Seattle Redevelopment Project is part of an online exhibit about urban renewal in Seattle. Neighborhood Matching Fund Project Records include support for workshops and other projects at El Centro de la Raza.

Information about Sick's Stadium can be found in Baseball Litigation Records and Task Force Records, as well as in mayoral records. Central Neighborhood Service Center Records and the Central Area Neighborhood District Coordinator Records document issues and concerns for those communities. Columbia City Landmark District Records contain materials relating to the creation and management of the district and its efforts to preserve Columbia City's built environment during the 1970s and 1980s.

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. International Special District Review records include board minutes and subject files, many covering METRO transit projects such as bus shelters and stations.

The Department of Community Development's architectural surveys from the 1970s include images of residences, businesses, and many other structures in Columbia City. the Chinatown/International District, and Georgetown. The Published Documents collection includes neighborhood plans from the 1990s.

Neighborhood News, produced by the Seattle Channel for the Department of Neighborhoods, focused on different neighborhoods around the city. This episode on the Southeast Sector, produced in 2002, highlights changes as a result of the neighborhood planning process in the 1990s throughout District 2. Improvements in parks and green spaces as well as art projects and pedestrian safety improvements are featured.

Legislative History

Georgetown Planning Area, 1986
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 former District 2 Councilmember Bruce Harrell are in Record Group 4632-00.

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.