Seattle, Washington
Overview
Seattle is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of King County
King County, Washington
King County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. The population in the 2010 census was 1,931,249. King is the most populous county in Washington, and the 14th most populous in the United States....

, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States
Northwestern United States
The Northwestern United States comprise the northwestern states up to the western Great Plains regions of the United States, and consistently include the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, to which part of southeast Alaska is also sometimes included...

. The Seattle metropolitan area
Seattle metropolitan area
The Seattle metropolitan area in the US state of Washington includes the city of Seattle, King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County within the Puget Sound region. The U.S...

 of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area
Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas
thumb|An enlargeable map of the 942 [[Core Based Statistical Area]]s of the [[United States]]. The 367 [[Metropolitan Statistical Area]]s are shown in red....

 in the country. The city is a major seaport situated on a narrow isthmus
Isthmus
An isthmus is a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas usually with waterforms on either side.Canals are often built through isthmuses where they may be particularly advantageous to create a shortcut for marine transportation...

 between Puget Sound
Puget Sound
Puget Sound is a sound in the U.S. state of Washington. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean — Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and...

 (an arm of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

) and Lake Washington
Lake Washington
Lake Washington is a large freshwater lake adjacent to the city of Seattle. It is the largest lake in King County and the second largest in the state of Washington, after Lake Chelan. It is bordered by the cities of Seattle on the west, Bellevue and Kirkland on the east, Renton on the south and...

, about 114 miles (183.5 km) south of the Canada–United States border.

The Seattle area had been inhabited by Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent white settlers.
Timeline

1851    The Denny Party lands at Alki Point, the first settlers in what would become Seattle, Washington.

1861    The University of Washington opens in Seattle, Washington as the Territorial University.

1889    The Great Seattle Fire destroys the entirety of downtown Seattle, Washington.

1916    In Seattle, Washington, William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporate Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).

1934    1934 West Coast waterfront strike: In Seattle, police fire tear gas on and club 2,000 striking longshoremen. The governor of Oregon calls out the National Guard to break a strike on the Portland docks.

1970    Protests erupt in Seattle, Washington, following the announcement by U.S. President Richard Nixon that U.S. Forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country.

1983    Thirteen people die and one is seriously injured in the Wah Mee Massacre in Seattle, Washington. It is said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in U.S. history.

1999    In Seattle, Washington, United States, protests against the WTO meeting by anti-globalization protesters catch police unprepared and force the cancellation of opening ceremonies.

Encyclopedia
Seattle is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of King County
King County, Washington
King County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. The population in the 2010 census was 1,931,249. King is the most populous county in Washington, and the 14th most populous in the United States....

, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States
Northwestern United States
The Northwestern United States comprise the northwestern states up to the western Great Plains regions of the United States, and consistently include the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, to which part of southeast Alaska is also sometimes included...

. The Seattle metropolitan area
Seattle metropolitan area
The Seattle metropolitan area in the US state of Washington includes the city of Seattle, King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County within the Puget Sound region. The U.S...

 of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area
Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas
thumb|An enlargeable map of the 942 [[Core Based Statistical Area]]s of the [[United States]]. The 367 [[Metropolitan Statistical Area]]s are shown in red....

 in the country. The city is a major seaport situated on a narrow isthmus
Isthmus
An isthmus is a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas usually with waterforms on either side.Canals are often built through isthmuses where they may be particularly advantageous to create a shortcut for marine transportation...

 between Puget Sound
Puget Sound
Puget Sound is a sound in the U.S. state of Washington. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean — Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and...

 (an arm of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

) and Lake Washington
Lake Washington
Lake Washington is a large freshwater lake adjacent to the city of Seattle. It is the largest lake in King County and the second largest in the state of Washington, after Lake Chelan. It is bordered by the cities of Seattle on the west, Bellevue and Kirkland on the east, Renton on the south and...

, about 114 miles (183.5 km) south of the Canada–United States border.

The Seattle area had been inhabited by Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent white settlers. Arthur A. Denny
Arthur A. Denny
Arthur Armstrong Denny was present at the founding of Seattle, Washington, the acknowledged leader of the pioneer Denny Party, and later the city's wealthiest citizen and a 9-term member of the territorial legislature...

 and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party
Denny Party
The Denny Party is a group of white pioneers credited with founding Seattle, Washington because they settled at Alki Point on November 13, 1851.A wagon party headed by Arthur A. Denny left Cherry Grove, Illinois on April 10, 1851...

, arrived at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. The settlement was renamed "Seattle" in 1853, after Chief Seattle
Chief Seattle
Chief Seattle , was a Dkhw’Duw’Absh chief, also known as Sealth, Seathle, Seathl, or See-ahth. A prominent figure among his people, he pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers, forming a personal relationship with David Swinson "Doc" Maynard. Seattle, Washington was named after him...

 of the local Duwamish and Squamish tribes.

Logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

 was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late 19th century the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 during the Klondike Gold Rush
Klondike Gold Rush
The Klondike Gold Rush, also called the Yukon Gold Rush, the Alaska Gold Rush and the Last Great Gold Rush, was an attempt by an estimated 100,000 people to travel to the Klondike region the Yukon in north-western Canada between 1897 and 1899 in the hope of successfully prospecting for gold...

. By 1910, Seattle was one of the 25 largest cities in the country. However, a combination of strikes and the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 severely damaged the city's economy. Growth returned during and after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 when the local Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 company established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing. Seattle developed as a technology center in the 1980s. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and internet companies lead to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. More recently, Seattle has become a hub for "green" industry and a model for sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

.

Seattle has an impressive musical history. From 1918 to 1951, there were nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs along Jackson Street in the current Chinatown/International District. The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock legend Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

 and the rock music style known as "grunge
Grunge
Grunge is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song...

," which was made famous by local groups Nirvana
Nirvana (band)
Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987...

, Soundgarden
Soundgarden
Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984 by singer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto...

, Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley. The initial lineup was rounded out by drummer Sean Kinney, and bassist Mike Starr...

, and Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included Eddie Vedder , Jeff Ament , Stone Gossard , and Mike McCready...

. In more recent years, Seattle has been known for indie rock
Indie rock
Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include lo-fi, post-rock, math rock, indie pop, dream pop, noise rock, space rock, sadcore, riot grrrl and emo, among others...

 music.

Founding

Archaeological excavations confirm that the Seattle area has been inhabited by humans for at least 4,000 years. By the time the first European settlers arrived in the area, the people (now called the Duwamish Tribe) occupied at least seventeen villages in the areas around Elliott Bay
Elliott Bay
Elliott Bay is the body of water on which Seattle, Washington, is located. A line drawn from Alki Point in the south to West Point in the north serves to mark the generally accepted division between the bay and the open sound...

.

The first European to visit the Seattle area was George Vancouver
George Vancouver
Captain George Vancouver RN was an English officer of the British Royal Navy, best known for his 1791-95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of contemporary Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon...

, in May 1792 during his 1791–95 expedition
Vancouver Expedition
The Vancouver Expedition was a four-and-a-half-year voyage of exploration and diplomacy, commanded by Captain George Vancouver. The expedition circumnavigated the globe, touched five continents and changed the course of history for the indigenous nations and several European empires and their...

 to chart the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

.

In 1851, a large party led by Luther Collins made a location on land at the mouth of the Duwamish River; they formally claimed it on September 14, 1851. Thirteen days later, members of the Collins Party on the way to their claim passed three scouts of the Denny Party. Members of the Denny Party claimed land on Alki Point on September 28, 1851. The rest of the Denny Party set sail from Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Oregon and landed on Alki point during a rainstorm on November 13, 1851.
After a difficult winter, most of the Denny Party relocated across Elliott Bay and founded the village of "Dewamps" or "Duwamps" on the site of present day Pioneer Square. Charles Terry and John Low remained at the original landing location and established a village they initially called "New York", but renamed "New York Alki" in April 1853, from a Chinook
Chinook Jargon
Chinook Jargon originated as a pidgin trade language of the Pacific Northwest, and spread during the 19th century from the lower Columbia River, first to other areas in modern Oregon and Washington, then British Columbia and as far as Alaska, sometimes taking on characteristics of a creole language...

 word meaning, roughly, "by and by" or "someday". For the next few years, New York Alki and Duwamps competed for dominance, but in time Alki was abandoned and its residents moved across the bay to join the rest of the settlers.

David Swinson ("Doc") Maynard
David Swinson Maynard
David Swinson "Doc" Maynard was an American pioneer and doctor, and one of Seattle's primary founders. He was an effective civic booster and, compared to other white settlers, a relative advocate of Native American rights...

, one of Duwamps's founders, was the primary advocate to rename the village "Seattle" after Chief Sealth ("Seattle")
Chief Seattle
Chief Seattle , was a Dkhw’Duw’Absh chief, also known as Sealth, Seathle, Seathl, or See-ahth. A prominent figure among his people, he pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers, forming a personal relationship with David Swinson "Doc" Maynard. Seattle, Washington was named after him...

 of the Duwamish and Suquamish
Suquamish
The Suquamish are a Lushootseed-speaking Native American Tribe, located in present-day Washington in the United States.The Suquamish are a southern Coast Salish people; they spoke a dialect of Lushootseed, which belongs to the Salishan language family. Like many Northwest Coast natives, the...

 tribes.Includes bibliography.
(2)
(3) Morgan (1951, 1982), p.20 The term, "Seattle", appears on official Washington Territory
Washington Territory
The Territory of Washington was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 8, 1853, until November 11, 1889, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Washington....

 papers dated May 23, 1853, when the first plat
Plat
A plat in the U.S. is a map, drawn to scale, showing the divisions of a piece of land. Other English-speaking countries generally call such documents a cadastral map or plan....

s for the village were filed. In 1855, nominal land settlements were established. On January 14, 1865, the Legislature of Territorial Washington incorporated the Town of Seattle with a board of trustees
Trustee model of representation
The trustee model of representation is a model of a representative democracy. Constituents elect their representatives as 'trustees' for their constituency. These 'trustees' have sufficient autonomy to deliberate and act in favor of the greater common good and national interest, even if it means...

 managing the city. Two years later, after a petition was filed by most of the leading citizens, the Legislature disincorporated the town. In 1867, a young French Canadian Catholic priest named Francis X. Prefontaine
Francis X. Prefontaine
Monsignor Francis Xavier Prefontaine was a French Canadian priest and missionary, an early resident in the pioneer days of Seattle, Washington, and a figure in the history of Seattle and the Puget Sound region of Washington State...

 arrived in Seattle and decided to establish a parish there. During 1868–69 he built the church by raising the money at fairs in the Puget Sound area and doing much of the work himself, and in 1869 he opened Seattle’s first Catholic church at Third Avenue and Washington Street, on the site where the present-day Prefontaine Building stands. The town of Seattle remained a mere precinct of King County until late 1869 when a new petition was filed and the city was re-incorporated with a Mayor-council government
Mayor-council government
The mayor–council government system, sometimes called the mayor–commission government system, is one of the two most common forms of local government for municipalities...

. The corporate seal of the City of Seattle carries the date "1869."

Timber town

Seattle has a history of boom and bust cycles, as is common to cities near areas of extensive natural and mineral resources. Seattle has risen several times economically, then gone into precipitous decline, but it has typically used those periods to rebuild solid infrastructure.

The first such boom, covering the early years of the city, was fueled by the lumber industry. (During this period the road now known as Yesler Way was nicknamed "Skid Road", after the timber skidding down the hill to Henry Yesler
Henry Yesler
Henry L. Yesler was an entrepreneur considered to be Seattle, Washington's first economic father and first millionaire. He arrived in Seattle in 1852 and built a steam-powered sawmill, which provided numerous jobs for those early settlers and Duwamish tribe members...

's sawmill. This is considered a possible origin for the term which later entered the wider American lexicon as Skid Row
Skid row
A skid row or skid road is a run-down or dilapidated urban area with a large, impoverished population. The term originally referred literally to a path along which working men skidded logs. Its current sense appears to have originated in the Pacific Northwest...

.) Like much of the American West, Seattle saw numerous conflicts between labor and management, as well as ethnic tensions that culminated in the anti-Chinese riots of 1885–1886. This violence was caused by unemployed whites who determined to drive the Chinese from Seattle (anti-Chinese riots also occurred in Tacoma). Martial law was declared, and federal troops were brought in to put down the disorder. Nevertheless, the economic success in the Seattle area was so great that when the Great Seattle fire
Great Seattle Fire
The Great Seattle Fire was a fire that destroyed the entire central business district of Seattle, Washington, USA, on June 6, 1889.-Early Seattle:In the fall of 1851, the Denny Party arrived at Alki Point in what is now the state of Washington...

 of 1889 destroyed the central business district, a far grander city center rapidly emerged in its place. Finance company Washington Mutual
Washington Mutual
Washington Mutual, Inc. , abbreviated to WaMu, was a savings bank holding company and the former owner of Washington Mutual Bank, which was the United States' largest savings and loan association until its collapse in 2008....

, for example, was founded in the immediate wake of the fire. This boom was followed by the construction of a park system, designed by the Olmsted brothers
Frederick Law Olmsted
Frederick Law Olmsted was an American journalist, social critic, public administrator, and landscape designer. He is popularly considered to be the father of American landscape architecture, although many scholars have bestowed that title upon Andrew Jackson Downing...

' landscape architecture firm. However, the Panic of 1893
Panic of 1893
The Panic of 1893 was a serious economic depression in the United States that began in 1893. Similar to the Panic of 1873, this panic was marked by the collapse of railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing which set off a series of bank failures...

 hit Seattle hard.

Gold Rush, World War I, and the Great Depression

The second and most dramatic boom and bust resulted from the Klondike Gold Rush, which ended the depression that had begun with the Panic of 1893; in a short time, Seattle became a major transportation center. On July 14, 1897, the S.S. Portland docked with its famed "ton of gold", and Seattle became the main transport and supply point for the miners in Alaska and the Yukon. Few of those working men found lasting wealth, however; it was Seattle's business of clothing the miners and feeding them salmon that panned out in the long run. Along with Seattle, other cities like Everett
Everett, Washington
Everett is the county seat of and the largest city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. Named for Everett Colby, son of founder Charles L. Colby, it lies north of Seattle. The city had a total population of 103,019 at the 2010 census, making it the 6th largest in the state and...

, Tacoma
Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, southwest of Seattle, northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to...

, Port Townsend
Port Townsend, Washington
Port Townsend is a city in Jefferson County, Washington, United States, approximately north-northwest of Seattle . The population was 9,113 at the 2010 census an increase of 9.3% over the 2000 census. It is the county seat and only incorporated city of Jefferson County...

, Bremerton
Bremerton, Washington
Bremerton is a city in Kitsap County, Washington, United States. The population was 38,790 at the 2011 State Estimate, making it the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula. Bremerton is home to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Bremerton Annex of Naval Base Kitsap...

, and Olympia
Olympia, Washington
Olympia is the capital city of the U.S. state of Washington and the county seat of Thurston County. It was incorporated on January 28, 1859. The population was 46,478 at the 2010 census...

, all in the Puget Sound region, became competitors for exchange, rather than mother-lodes for extraction, of precious metals. The boom lasted well into the early part of the 20th century and funded many new Seattle companies and products. In 1907, 19-year-old James E. Casey
James E. Casey
James E. Casey , American businessman, was born in Pick Handle Gulch near Candelaria, Nevada.In 1907, 19-year-old James Casey founded the American Messenger Company in Seattle, Washington with $100 borrowed from a friend. He served as president, CEO and chairman...

 borrowed $100 from a friend and founded the American Messenger Company (later UPS
United Parcel Service
United Parcel Service, Inc. , typically referred to by the acronym UPS, is a package delivery company. Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States, UPS delivers more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the...

). Other Seattle companies founded during this period include Nordstrom
Nordstrom
Nordstrom, Inc. is an upscale department store chain in the United States, founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin. Initially a shoe retailer, the company today also sells clothing, accessories, handbags, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, and in some locations, home furnishings...

 and Eddie Bauer
Eddie Bauer
Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. is a holding company that operates the Eddie Bauer clothing store chain, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, United States. EBH was formed after Eddie Bauer's former parent company, Spiegel, Inc., went bankrupt in 2003...

. The Gold Rush era culminated in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
The Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition was a world's fair held in Seattle in 1909, publicizing the development of the Pacific Northwest.It was originally planned for 1907, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, but the organizers found out about the Jamestown Exposition being held...

 of 1909, which is largely responsible for the layout of today's University of Washington
University of Washington
University of Washington is a public research university, founded in 1861 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The UW is the largest university in the Northwest and the oldest public university on the West Coast. The university has three campuses, with its largest campus in the University...

 campus.

A shipbuilding boom in the early part of the 20th century became massive during World War I, making Seattle somewhat of a company town; the subsequent retrenchment led to the Seattle General Strike of 1919, the first general strike
General strike
A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

 in the country. A 1912 city development plan by Virgil Bogue
Virgil Bogue
Virgil Gay Bogue was born in Norfolk, New York, on July 20, 1846. He received a degree in civil engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in 1868. Bogue worked consecutively on Oroya Railway in Peru to 1879, the Northern Pacific Railway to 1886...

 went largely unused. Seattle was mildly prosperous in the 1920s but was particularly hard hit in the Great Depression, experiencing some of the country's harshest labor strife in that era. Violence during the Maritime Strike of 1934 cost Seattle much of its maritime traffic, which was rerouted to the Port of Los Angeles
Port of Los Angeles
The Port of Los Angeles, also called Los Angeles Harbor and WORLDPORT L.A, is a port complex that occupies of land and water along of waterfront. The port is located on San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, approximately south of downtown...

.

Seattle was also the home base of impresario Alexander Pantages
Alexander Pantages
Alexander Pantages was an American vaudeville and early motion picture producer and impresario who created a large and powerful circuit of theatres across the western United States and Canada.-Early life:...

 who, starting in 1902, opened a number of theaters in the city exhibiting vaudeville
Vaudeville
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill...

 acts and silent movies. His activities soon expanded, and the thrifty Greek went on and became one of America's greatest theater and movie tycoons. Between Pantages and his rival John Considine
John Considine (Seattle)
John Considine was an American impresario, a pioneer of vaudeville.-Youth and arrival on the scene:Born in Chicago, Considine grew up attending Roman Catholic parochial schools, and eventually briefly attended St. Mary's College, Kansas. Briefly a Chicago policeman, he was involved in the raid...

, Seattle was for a while the western United States' vaudeville mecca. B. Marcus Priteca
B. Marcus Priteca
Benjamin Marcus Priteca was born in Glasgow, Scotland. A theater architect, he is best-known for his work for Alexander Pantages. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1907 and later attended the Royal College of Art...

, the Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

-born and Seattle-based architect, built several theaters for Pantages, including some in Seattle. The theaters he built for Pantages in Seattle have been either demolished or converted to other uses, but many other theaters survive in other cities of the USA, often retaining the Pantages name; Seattle's surviving Paramount Theatre
Paramount Theatre (Seattle, Washington)
The Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Washington is a 2,807-seat performing arts venue at 9th Avenue and Pine Street in Downtown Seattle in the United States of America. The theater originally opened March 1, 1928 as the Seattle Theatre with 3,000 seats, the theater was placed on the National Register...

, on which he collaborated, was not a Pantages theater.

Post-war years: aircraft and software

War work again brought local prosperity during World War II, this time centered on Boeing aircraft. The war dispersed the city's numerous Japanese-American businessmen due to the Japanese American internment
Japanese American internment
Japanese-American internment was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on...

. After war, the local economy dipped. It rose again with Boeing's growing dominance in the commercial airliner
Airliner
An airliner is a large fixed-wing aircraft for transporting passengers and cargo. Such aircraft are operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an aircraft intended for carrying multiple passengers in commercial...

 market. Seattle celebrated its restored prosperity and made a bid for world recognition with the Century 21 Exposition
Century 21 Exposition
The Century 21 Exposition was a World's Fair held April 21, 1962, to October 21, 1962 in Seattle, Washington.Nearly 10 million people attended the fair...

, the 1962 World's Fair. Another major local economic downturn was in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Many people left the area to look for work elsewhere, and two local real estate agents put up a billboard reading "Will the last person leaving Seattle – Turn out the lights."
Seattle remained the corporate headquarters of Boeing until 2001, when the company separated its headquarters from its major production facilities; the headquarters were moved to Chicago. The Seattle area is still home to Boeing's Renton narrow-body plant
Boeing Renton Factory
The Boeing Company's Renton, Washington Factory is a facility where Next-Generation Boeing 737 airliners are built. Current production includes the 737-600, 737-700, 737-800, and 737-900 models.The factory lies adjacent to Renton Municipal Airport....

 (where the 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

, 720
Boeing 720
The Boeing 720 is a four-engine narrow-body short- to medium-range passenger jet airliner. Developed by Boeing in the late 1950s from the Boeing 707, the 720 has a shorter fuselage and less range...

, 727
Boeing 727
The Boeing 727 is a mid-size, narrow-body, three-engine, T-tailed commercial jet airliner, manufactured by Boeing. The Boeing 727 first flew in 1963, and for over a decade more were built per year than any other jet airliner. When production ended in 1984 a total of 1,832 aircraft had been produced...

, and 757
Boeing 757
The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the twinjet have a capacity of 186 to 289 persons and a maximum range of , depending on variant and cabin configuration...

 were assembled, and the 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

 is assembled today) and Everett wide-body plant
Boeing Everett Factory
The Boeing Everett Factory, in Everett, Washington, is an airplane assembly building owned by Boeing. Located on the northeast corner of Paine Field, it is the largest building in the world by volume at 13,385,378 m3 and covers 399,480 m2...

 (assembly plant for the 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

, 767
Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

, 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

, and 787
Boeing 787
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It seats 210 to 290 passengers, depending on the variant. Boeing states that it is the company's most fuel-efficient airliner and the world's first major airliner to use...

). The company's credit union
Credit union
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members...

 for employees, BECU
BECU
BECU is a credit union originally established to serve employees of The Boeing Company. BECU was founded as Fellowship Credit Union in 1935 by 18 Boeing employees, and was named Boeing Employees' Credit Union for much of its history...

, remains based in the Seattle area, though it is now open to all residents of Washington.

As prosperity began to return in the 1980s, the city was stunned by the Wah Mee massacre
Wah Mee massacre
The Wah Mee massacre was a mulitiple homicide on February 18, 1983, in which Kwan Fai "Willie" Mak, Wai-Chiu "Tony" Ng, and Benjamin Ng gunned down 14 people in the Wah Mee gambling club. Thirteen of their victims lost their lives, but one survived to testify against the three in the high-profile...

 in 1983, when 13 people were killed in an illegal gambling club in the International District, Seattle's Chinatown
Chinatown
A Chinatown is an ethnic enclave of overseas Chinese people, although it is often generalized to include various Southeast Asian people. Chinatowns exist throughout the world, including East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Americas, Australasia, and Europe. Binondo's Chinatown located in Manila,...

. Beginning with Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

's 1979 move from Albuquerque
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As...

, New Mexico to nearby Bellevue
Bellevue, Washington
Bellevue is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. Long known as a suburb or satellite city of Seattle, it is now categorized as an edge city or a boomburb. The population was 122,363 at the 2010 census.Downtown Bellevue is...

, Washington, Seattle and its suburbs became home to a number of technology companies including Amazon.com
Amazon.com
Amazon.com, Inc. is a multinational electronic commerce company headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the world's largest online retailer. Amazon has separate websites for the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and...

, RealNetworks
RealNetworks
RealNetworks, Inc. is a provider of Internet media delivery software and services based in Downtown Seattle, Washington, United States. The company is the creator of RealAudio, a compressed audio format; RealVideo, a compressed video format; RealPlayer, a media player; RealDownloader, a download...

, McCaw Cellular (now part of AT&T Mobility), VoiceStream (now T-Mobile USA
T-Mobile
T-Mobile International AG is a German-based holding company for Deutsche Telekom AG's various mobile communications subsidiaries outside Germany. Based in Bonn, Germany, its subsidiaries operate GSM and UMTS-based cellular networks in Europe, the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands...

), and biomedical corporations such as HeartStream (later purchased by Philips
Philips
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. , more commonly known as Philips, is a multinational Dutch electronics company....

), Heart Technologies (later purchased by Boston Scientific
Boston Scientific
The Boston Scientific Corporation , is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a range of interventional medical specialties, including interventional cardiology, peripheral interventions, neuromodulation, neurovascular intervention,...

), Physio-Control (later purchased by Medtronic
Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc. , based in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the world's largest medical technology company and is a Fortune 500 company.- History :...

), ZymoGenetics
ZymoGenetics
ZymoGenetics is a biotechnology/pharmaceutical company based in Seattle, Washington, involved in the development of therapeutic proteins.The company was founded in 1981 by Professors Earl W. Davie and Benjamin D. Hall of the University of Washington and 1993 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Michael...

, ICOS (later purchased by Eli Lilly and Company
Eli Lilly and Company
Eli Lilly and Company is a global pharmaceutical company. Eli Lilly's global headquarters is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the United States...

) and Immunex (later purchased by Amgen
Amgen
Amgen Inc. is an international biotechnology company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California. Located in the Conejo Valley, Amgen is the world's largest independent biotech firm. The company employs approximately 17,000 staff members. Its products include Epogen, Aranesp, Enbrel, Kineret,...

). This success brought an influx of new citizens with a population increase within city limits of almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000, and saw Seattle's real estate become some of the most expensive in the country. Many of the Seattle area's tech companies remain relatively strong, but the frenzied dot-com boom
Dot-com bubble
The dot-com bubble was a speculative bubble covering roughly 1995–2000 during which stock markets in industrialized nations saw their equity value rise rapidly from growth in the more...

 years ended in early 2001.

Seattle in this period attracted widespread attention as home to these many companies, but also by hosting the 1990 Goodwill Games
Goodwill Games
The Goodwill Games was an international sports competition, created by Ted Turner in reaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympic Games of the 1980s...

 and the APEC leaders conference in 1993, as well as through the worldwide popularity of grunge
Grunge
Grunge is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song...

, a sound that had developed in Seattle's independent music scene. Another bid for worldwide attention—hosting the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999—garnered visibility, but not in the way its sponsors desired, as related protest activity and police reactions to those protests overshadowed the conference itself. The city was further shaken by the Mardi Gras Riots
Seattle Mardi Gras Riots
The Seattle Mardi Gras riots occurred on February 27, 2001, when disturbances broke out in the Pioneer Square neighborhood during Mardi Gras celebrations in Seattle, Washington. There were numerous random attacks on revelers over a period of about three and a half hours. There were reports of...

 in 2001, and was literally shaken the following day by the Nisqually Earthquake.

The UK consulting firm Mercer
Mercer (consulting firm)
Mercer is a human resource and related financial services consulting firm, headquartered in New York City. The firm operates internationally in more than 40 countries, with more than 19,000 employees, and is the world's largest human resource consulting firm....

, in a 2009 assessment "conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments", ranked Seattle 50th worldwide in quality of living
World's Most Livable Cities
The world's most liveable cities is an informal name given to any list of cities as they rank on a reputable annual survey of living conditions. Two examples are the Mercer Quality of Living Survey and The Economists World's Most Livable Cities .Liveability rankings are designed for use by...

; the survey factored in political stability
Political system
A political system is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the legal system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems...

, personal freedom, sanitation, crime, housing, the natural environment, recreation, banking facilities, availability of consumer goods, education, and public services including transportation.

Geography

Topography

Seattle is located between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) to the west and Lake Washington to the east. The city's chief harbor, Elliott Bay, is an inlet of Puget Sound. To the west, beyond Puget Sound, are the Kitsap Peninsula
Kitsap Peninsula
The Kitsap Peninsula is an arm of land that is part of the larger Olympic Peninsula in Washington state that lies west of Seattle across Puget Sound. Hood Canal separates Kitsap Peninsula from the rest of the Olympic Peninsula...

 and Olympic Mountains
Olympic Mountains
The Olympic Mountains is a mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula of western Washington in the United States. The mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are not especially high - Mount Olympus is the highest at - but the western slopes of the Olympics rise directly out of the Pacific...

 on the Olympic Peninsula; to the east, beyond Lake Washington and the eastside
Eastside (King County, Washington)
File:Seattle-lakewashington-lakesammamish.PNG|250px|right|The Eastside is to the right of Seattle.# rough city boundariespoly 137 256 148 256 158 194 172 179 172 237 212 266 133 266Renton...

 suburbs, are Lake Sammamish
Lake Sammamish
Lake Sammamish is a freshwater lake east of Seattle in King County, Washington, United States. The lake is long and wide, with a maximum depth of and a surface area of . It lies east of Lake Washington and west of the Sammamish Plateau, and stretches from Issaquah in the south to Redmond in...

 and the Cascade Range
Cascade Range
The Cascade Range is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades...

. Lake Washington's waters flow to Puget Sound through the Lake Washington Ship Canal
Lake Washington Ship Canal
The Lake Washington Ship Canal, which runs through the City of Seattle, Washington, connects the fresh water body of Lake Washington with the salt water inland sea of Puget Sound. The Ship Canal includes a series of locks, modeled after the Panama Canal, to accommodate the different water levels...

 (consisting of two man-made canals, Lake Union
Lake Union
Lake Union is a freshwater lake entirely within the Seattle, Washington city limits.-Origins:A glacial lake, its basin was dug 12,000 years ago by the Vashon glacier, which also created Lake Washington and Seattle's Green, Bitter, and Haller Lakes.-Name:...

, and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks are a complex of locks that sit at the west end of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle's Lake Washington Ship Canal. They are known locally as the Ballard Locks after the neighborhood to their north...

 at Salmon Bay
Salmon Bay
Salmon Bay is that part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal--which passes through the city of Seattle, linking Lake Washington to Puget Sound--that lies west of the Fremont Cut. It is the westernmost section of the canal, and empties into Shilshole Bay, which is part of Puget Sound. Because of the...

, ending in Shilshole Bay
Shilshole Bay
Shilshole Bay is the part of Puget Sound east of a line drawn northeasterly from Seattle's West Point in the southwest to its Golden Gardens Park in the northeast. On its shores lie Discovery Park, the Lawtonwood section of the Magnolia neighborhood, the neighborhood of Ballard, and Golden Gardens...

).

The sea, rivers, forests, lakes, and fields surrounding Seattle were once rich enough to support one of the world's few sedentary hunter-gatherer societies. The surrounding area lends itself well to sailing, skiing, bicycling, camping, and hiking year-round.
The city itself is hilly, though not uniformly so. Like Rome, the city is said to lie on seven hills
Seven hills of Seattle
The seven hills of Seattle is an unofficial designation of several hills that historians claim the city of Seattle was built on and around. The name comes from the similar tradition in several other cities, most notably Rome and Constantinople....

; the lists vary, but typically include Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and the former Denny Hill. The Wallingford, Mount Baker and Crown Hill neighborhoods are technically located on hills as well. Many of the hilliest areas are near the city center, with Capitol Hill, First Hill, and Beacon Hill collectively constituting something of a ridge along an isthmus between Elliott Bay and Lake Washington. The break in the ridge between First Hill and Beacon Hill is man-made, the result of two of the many regrading projects
Regrading in Seattle
The topography of central Seattle was radically altered by a series of regrades in the city's 1st century of urban settlement, in what might have been the largest such alteration of urban terrain at the time....

 that reshaped the topography of the city center. The topography of the city center was also changed by the construction of a seawall and the artificial Harbor Island (completed 1909) at the mouth of the city's industrial Duwamish Waterway. The highest point within city limits is at High Point in West Seattle, roughly located near 35th Ave SW and SW Myrtle St. Other notable hills include Crown Hill, View Ridge/Wedgwood/Bryant, Maple Leaf, Phinney Ridge, Mt. Baker Ridge, Highlands/Carkeek/Bitterlake.

North of the city center, Lake Washington Ship Canal connects Puget Sound to Lake Washington. It incorporates four natural bodies of water: Lake Union, Salmon Bay, Portage Bay, and Union Bay
Union Bay (Seattle)
Union Bay is that part of Lake Washington in Seattle that is west of a line drawn between Webster Point in the Laurelhurst neighborhood to the north and Foster Point in the Madison Park neighborhood to the south...

.

Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire
The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements...

, Seattle is in a major earthquake zone. On February 28, 2001, the magnitude 6.8
Richter magnitude scale
The expression Richter magnitude scale refers to a number of ways to assign a single number to quantify the energy contained in an earthquake....

 Nisqually earthquake did significant architectural damage, especially in the Pioneer Square area (built on reclaimed land
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

, as are the Industrial District and part of the city center), but caused no fatalities.
Other strong quakes occurred on January 26, 1700 (estimated at 9 magnitude), December 14, 1872 (7.3 or 7.4), April 13, 1949 (7.1), and April 29, 1965 (6.5). The 1949 quake caused eight known deaths, all in Seattle; the 1965 quake caused three deaths in Seattle directly, and one more by heart failure. Although the Seattle Fault
Seattle Fault
The Seattle Fault is a zone of multiple shallow east-west thrust faults that cross the Puget Sound Lowland and through Seattle in the vicinity of Interstate Highway 90...

 passes just south of the city center, neither it nor the Cascadia subduction zone
Cascadia subduction zone
The Cascadia subduction zone is a subduction zone, a type of convergent plate boundary that stretches from northern Vancouver Island to northern California. It is a very long sloping fault that separates the Juan de Fuca and North America plates.New ocean floor is being created offshore of...

 has caused an earthquake since the city's founding. The Cascadia subduction zone poses the threat of an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 or greater, capable of seriously damaging the city and collapsing many buildings, especially in zones built on fill.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 142.5 square miles (369.1 km²), 83.9 square miles (217.3 km²) of which is land and 58.7 square miles (152 km²) water (41.16 percent of the total area).

Surrounding municipalities

Climate

Seattle's climate is usually described as Oceanic or Marine west coast
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

, with fairly mild, wet winters and mild, dry summers. Like much of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

, according to the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 it falls within a cool, dry-summer subtropical zone (Csb), with cool-summer Mediterranean
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 characteristics. Other climate classification systems, such as Trewartha, place it firmly in the Oceanic zone (Do).

Temperature extremes are moderated by adjacent Puget Sound, the greater Pacific Ocean, and Lake Washington. The region is largely denied Pacific storms by the Olympic Mountains and Arctic air by the Cascade Range. Despite being on the margin of the rain shadow
Rain shadow
A rain shadow is a dry area on the lee side of a mountainous area. The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems, casting a "shadow" of dryness behind them. As shown by the diagram to the right, the warm moist air is "pulled" by the prevailing winds over a mountain...

 of the Olympic Mountains, the city has a misleading reputation for frequent rain. This reputation comes from the frequency of precipitation in the winter. In an average year, more than 0.01 in/0.3 mm of precipitation falls on 150 days. It is cloudy 201 days and partly cloudy 93 days. The location of official weather and climatic records, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, is located about 12 miles south of downtown and records more cloudy days and fewer partly cloudy days per year.

At 944mm (37.17 in.), in reality, the city receives less precipitation annually than New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 (1201 mm, 47.28 in.), Atlanta (1290 mm, 50.79 in.), Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 (1055 mm, 41.53 in.), Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

 (1038 mm, 40.87 in.), Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine
Portland is the largest city in Maine and is the county seat of Cumberland County. The 2010 city population was 66,194, growing 3 percent since the census of 2000...

 (1128 mm, 44.41 in.), Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida in terms of both population and land area, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968...

 (1304 mm, 51.34 in.), and most cities on the Eastern Seaboard
Eastern seaboard
An Eastern seaboard can mean any easternmost part of a continent, or its countries, states and/or cities.Eastern seaboard may also refer to:* East Coast of Australia* East Coast of the United States* Eastern Seaboard of Thailand-See also:...

 of the U.S. Seattle was also not listed in a study that revealed the 10 rainiest cities in the continental United States. Most of the precipitation falls as drizzle or light rain. Thunderstorms are rare. Seattle reports thunder on just seven days per year For comparison, Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida, United States. Its population was 62,298 in the 2010 census, a 29.23 percent increase over the 2000 figure....

 reports thunder on 93 days per year Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

 52, and New York City 25.

There are occasional downpours. One downpour occurred on December 2–4, 2007, when sustained hurricane-force winds and widespread heavy rainfall associated with a strong "Pineapple Express
Pineapple Express
Pineapple Express is a non-technical term for a meteorological phenomenon characterized by a strong and persistent flow of atmospheric moisture and associated heavy rainfall from the waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands and extending to any location along the Pacific coast of North America...

" event occurred in the greater Puget Sound area and the western parts of Washington and Oregon. People blamed heavy rain and strong winds for several power outages and at least four deaths. Interstate 5 at Chehalis, Washington was flooded and closed for almost two days. Precipitation totals exceeded 14 inches (356 mm) in some areas with winds topping out at 130 mph (209 km/hr) along coastal Oregon.
It became the second wettest event in Seattle history when a little over 5 inches (127 mm) of rain fell on Seattle in a 24 hour period. People claim the rain indirectly led to five deaths and widespread flooding and damage.

Early spring, late fall, and winter usually have many days when it does not rain. Winters are cool and wet with average lows in the mid 30s °F (2–4 °C) on winter nights. Colder weather does sometimes occur. Summers are very dry by comparison and warm, with average daytime highs around near 75 °F (24 °C). Hotter weather occurs during some summer days. Seattle's hottest official recorded temperature was 103 °F (39 °C) on July 29, 2009; the coldest recorded temperature was 0 °F (-18 °C) on January 31, 1950. Eastern suburbs of Seattle, such as Bellevue and Issaquah, are typically even hotter when the temperature soars above 80 °F (27 °C), due to their location closer to downslope winds from the Cascade Mountains and further from Puget Sound; on Seattle's recorded hottest day of July 29, 2009, parts of south Bellevue, Renton and Issaquah peaked at 110 °F (43 °C).


Eighty miles (130 km) to the west, the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is located in the U.S. state of Washington, in the Olympic Peninsula. The park can be divided into four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side. U.S...

 on the western flank of the Olympic Mountains receives an annual average rainfall of 142 inches (360.7 cm). Sixty miles to the south of Seattle, the state capital Olympia
Olympia, Washington
Olympia is the capital city of the U.S. state of Washington and the county seat of Thurston County. It was incorporated on January 28, 1859. The population was 46,478 at the 2010 census...

, which is out of the rain shadow, receives an annual average rainfall of 52 inches (132.1 cm). Seattle typically receives some snowfall on an annual basis but heavy snow is rare. Single-day snowfall of six inches or greater has occurred on only 15 days since 1950, none since 1996.
A recent moderate snow event happened from December 12–25, 2008, when over one foot of snow fell and stuck on much of the roads, causing widespread difficulties in a city not equipped for clearing snow. Average annual snowfall, as measured at Sea-Tac Airport, is 8.1 inches (21 cm).
Seattle's daily record snowfall is 20 inches (50.8 cm) on January 13, 1950. The largest snowstorm on record occurred from January 5–9, 1880, with snow drifting to 6 feet (1.8 m) in places at the end of the snow event. From January 31 to February 2, 1916, another heavy snow event occurred with 29 inches (73.7 cm) of snow on the ground by the time the event was over. A very sunny and dry climate typically dominates from May to late September. An average of 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain falls in July and 1 inches (25 mm) in August. Summer thunderstorms are rare.

The Puget Sound Convergence Zone
Puget Sound Convergence Zone
The Puget Sound Convergence Zone is a meteorological phenomenon that occurs over Puget Sound in Washington. It is formed when the large-scale air flow splits around the Olympic Mountains and then converges over Puget Sound...

 is an important feature of Seattle's weather. In the convergence zone, air arriving from the north meets air flowing in from the south. Both streams of air originate over the Pacific Ocean; airflow is split by the Olympic Mountains to Seattle's west, then reunited to the east. When the air currents meet, they are forced upward, resulting in convection
Convection
Convection is the movement of molecules within fluids and rheids. It cannot take place in solids, since neither bulk current flows nor significant diffusion can take place in solids....

. Thunderstorms caused by this activity can occur north and south of town, but Seattle itself rarely receives more weather than occasional thunder and small hail showers. The Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm
Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm of 2006
The Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm of 2006 was a powerful Pacific storm that slammed into the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and southern British Columbia, Canada between December 14, 2006 and December 15, 2006...

 in December 2006 is an exception that brought heavy rain and winds gusting up to 69 mph (111 km/h), not caused by the Puget Sound Convergence Zone.

One of many exceptions to Seattle's reputation as a damp location occurs in El Niño years, when marine weather systems track as far south as California and little precipitation falls in the Puget Sound area. Since the region's water comes from mountain snow packs during the dry summer months, El Niño winters can not only produce substandard skiing but can result in water rationing and a shortage of hydroelectric power the following summer.

Neighborhoods

Seattle has grown through a series of annexations of smaller neighboring communities. On May 3, 1891, Magnolia, Wallingford, Green Lake, and the University District (then known as Brooklyn) were annexed. The town of South Seattle was annexed on October 20, 1905. Between January 7 and September 12, 1907, Seattle nearly doubled its land area by annexing six incorporated towns and areas of unincorporated King County, including Southeast Seattle, Ravenna, South Park, Columbia City, Ballard
Ballard, Seattle
Ballard is a neighborhood located in the northwestern part of Seattle, Washington. To the north it is bounded by Crown Hill, ; to the east by Greenwood, Phinney Ridge and Fremont ; to the south by the Lake Washington Ship Canal; and to the west by Puget Sound’s Shilshole Bay. The neighborhood’s...

, and West Seattle. Three years later, after having difficulties paying a $10,000 bill from the county, the city of Georgetown merged with Seattle. Finally, on January 4, 1954, the area between N. 85th Street and N. 145th Street was annexed, including the neighborhoods of Pinehurst, Greenwood, Blue Ridge, Crown Hill, Broadview, Bitter Lake, Haller Lake, Maple Leaf, Lake City, View Ridge and Northgate.

Former Seattle mayor Greg Nickels
Greg Nickels
Gregory J. "Greg" Nickels was the 51st mayor of Seattle, Washington. He took office on January 1, 2002 and was reelected to a second term in 2005. In August 2009, Nickels finished third in the primary election for Seattle mayor, failing to qualify for the November 2009 general election, and...

 is among those who have called Seattle "a city of neighborhoods", although the boundaries (and even names) of those neighborhoods are often open to dispute. For example, a Department of Neighborhoods spokeswoman reported that her own neighborhood has gone from "the 'CD' (Central District) to 'Madrona' to 'Greater Madison Valley' and now 'Madrona Park'.

Over a dozen Seattle neighborhoods have Neighborhood Service Centers, originally known in 1972 as "Little City Halls" and even more have their own street fair and/or parade during the summer months.
The largest of the city's street fairs feature hundreds of craft and food booths and multiple stages with live entertainment, and draw more than 100,000 people over the course of a weekend. In addition, at least half a dozen neighborhoods have weekly farmers' markets, some with as many as fifty vendors.

Additionally, Puget Sound Regional Council
Puget Sound Regional Council
The Puget Sound Regional Council is a regional planning organization that develops policies and makes decisions about transportation planning, economic development and growth management in the four-county Seattle metropolitan area surrounding Puget Sound...

 designates several areas of Seattle as urban centers, defined as "designated planning districts intended to provide a mix of housing, employment and commercial and cultural amenities in a compact form that supports transit, walking and cycling." These urban centers may have the same name as a neighborhood but slightly different borders; for example, the Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington
Capitol Hill is the most densely populated residential district in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the center of the city's gay and counterculture communities, and is one of the city's most prominent nightlife and entertainment districts....

 Urban Center is much smaller than the entire neighborhood.

Cityscape

Landmarks


The Space Needle
Space Needle
The Space Needle is a tower in Seattle, Washington and is a major landmark of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and a symbol of Seattle. Located at the Seattle Center, it was built for the 1962 World's Fair, during which time nearly 20,000 people a day used the elevators, with over...

, dating from the Century 21 Exposition (1962)
Century 21 Exposition
The Century 21 Exposition was a World's Fair held April 21, 1962, to October 21, 1962 in Seattle, Washington.Nearly 10 million people attended the fair...

, is Seattle's most recognizable landmark, having been featured in the logo of NBA sports team the Seattle SuperSonics
Seattle SuperSonics
The Seattle SuperSonics were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington that played in the Pacific and Northwest Divisions of the National Basketball Association from 1967 until 2008. Following the 2007–08 season, the team relocated to Oklahoma City, and now plays as...

, the MLS sports team the "Seattle Sounders
Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC is an American professional soccer club based in Seattle, Washington. The club competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Sounders FC was established in November 2007 as a MLS expansion team, making it the 15th team in...

", the television show Frasier
Frasier
Frasier is an American sitcom that was broadcast on NBC for eleven seasons, from September 16, 1993, to May 13, 2004. The program was created and produced by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee in association with Grammnet and Paramount Network Television.A spin-off of Cheers, Frasier stars...

and the backgrounds of the television series Dark Angel
Dark Angel (TV series)
Dark Angel is an American biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee. The show premiered in the United States on the Fox network on October 3, 2000, and was canceled after two seasons...

, Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy is an American medical drama television series created by Shonda Rhimes. The series premiered on March 27, 2005 on ABC; since then, seven seasons have aired. The series follows the lives of interns, residents and their mentors in the fictional Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital in...

and iCarly
ICarly
iCarly is an American sitcom that focuses on a girl named Carly Shay who creates her own web show called iCarly with her best friends Sam and Freddie. The series was created by Dan Schneider, who also serves as executive producer. It stars Miranda Cosgrove as Carly, Jennette McCurdy as Sam, Nathan...

, and films such as It Happened at the World's Fair
It Happened at the World's Fair
It Happened at the World's Fair is a 1963 musical film starring Elvis Presley as a cropdusting pilot.The motion picture was filmed in Seattle, Washington, site of the Century 21 Exposition, the 1962 World's Fair. The governor of Washington at the time, Albert Rosellini, suggested the setting to...

, Sleepless in Seattle
Sleepless in Seattle
The film was originally to have been scored by John Barry, but when he was given a list of 20 songs he had to put in the film, he quit.#As Time Goes By - Jimmy Durante #A Kiss to Build a Dream on - Louis Armstrong #Stardust - Nat King Cole...

, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The fairgrounds surrounding the Needle have been converted into Seattle Center
Seattle Center
Seattle Center is a park and arts and entertainment center in Seattle, Washington. The campus is the site used in 1962 by the Century 21 Exposition. It is located just north of Belltown in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood.-Attractions:...

, which remains the site of many local civic and cultural events, such as Bumbershoot
Bumbershoot
Bumbershoot is an annual international music and arts festival held in Seattle, Washington. One of North America's largest such festivals, it takes place every Labor Day weekend at the 74-acre Seattle Center, which was built for the 1962 World's Fair. Seattle Center includes indoor theaters,...

, Folklife, and the Bite of Seattle
Bite of Seattle
The Bite of Seattle is an annual food festival that takes place over three days in July at Seattle, Washington, USA's Seattle Center.Founded by Alan Silverman, the president of Festivals, Inc., the first festival was held in 1982 at Green Lake, with 25 restaurants participating and 75,000 in...

. Seattle Center plays multiple roles in the city, ranging from a public fair ground to a civic center, though recent economic losses have called its viability and future into question. The Seattle Center Monorail
Seattle Center Monorail
The Seattle Center Monorail is an elevated monorail line in Seattle, Washington, that runs a little over one mile along Fifth Avenue from Westlake Center in Downtown to Seattle Center in Lower Queen Anne...

 was also constructed for Century 21 and still runs from Seattle Center to Westlake Center
Westlake Center
Westlake Center is a four-story shopping center and twenty-five story office tower in Downtown Seattle, Washington, USA. The southern terminus of the Seattle Center Monorail, it is located across Pine Street from Westlake Park, between 4th and 5th Avenues. It is named for Westlake Avenue, which now...

, a downtown shopping mall, a little over a mile to the southeast.

The Smith Tower was the tallest building on the West Coast from its completion in 1914 until the Space Needle overtook it in 1962. The late 1980s saw the construction of Seattle's two tallest skyscrapers: the 76 story Columbia Center
Columbia Center
Columbia Center is the tallest skyscraper in the downtown Seattle skyline, as well as the tallest building in the State of Washington, and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It occupies most of the block bounded by Fourth and Fifth Avenues and Cherry and Columbia Streets...

 (completed 1985) is the tallest building in the Pacific Northwest and the fourth tallest building west of the Mississippi River; the Washington Mutual Tower (completed 1988) is Seattle's second tallest building. Other notable Seattle landmarks include Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers,...

, the Fremont Troll
Fremont Troll
The Fremont Troll is a piece of public art in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington in the United States.-Description:...

, the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (at Seattle Center), and the Seattle Central Library
Seattle Central Library
The Seattle Public Library's Central Library is the flagship library of The Seattle Public Library system. The 11-story glass and steel building in downtown Seattle, Washington was opened to the public on Sunday, May 23, 2004...

.

Starbucks has been at Pike Place Market since the coffee company was founded there in 1971. The first store is still operating a block south of its original location.

The National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 has over 150 Seattle listings. The city also designates its own landmarks.

Nicknames

From 1869 until 1982, Seattle was known as the "Queen City". Seattle's current official nickname is the "Emerald City", the result of a contest held in 1981; the reference is to the lush evergreen forests of the area. Seattle is also referred to informally as the "Gateway to Alaska", "Rain City", and "Jet City", the last from the local influence of Boeing. Seattle residents are known as Seattleites.

Performing arts

Seattle has been a regional center for the performing arts
Performing arts
The performing arts are those forms art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some physical art object...

 for many years. The century-old Seattle Symphony Orchestra is among the world's most recorded and performs primarily at Benaroya Hall
Benaroya Hall
Benaroya Hall is the home of the Seattle Symphony in Downtown Seattle, Washington, USA. It features two auditoria, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, a 2500-seat performance venue, as well as the Nordstrom Recital Hall, which seats roughly 500...

. The Seattle Opera
Seattle Opera
The Seattle Opera is an opera company located in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1963 by Glynn Ross, who served as the company's first general director through 1983, Seattle Opera's season runs from August to late May, with five or six operas offered and with eight to ten performances each, often...

 and Pacific Northwest Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet is a ballet company based in Seattle, Washington in the United States. Founded in 1972 as part of the Seattle Opera and named the Pacific Northwest Dance Association, it broke away from the Opera in 1977 and took its current name in 1978. It is said to have the highest per...

, which perform at McCaw Hall
McCaw Hall
The Marion Oliver McCaw Hall is a performance hall and opera house, located in Seattle, Washington. Inaugurated in June 2003, it was constructed within the basic steel support structure of the earlier Seattle Opera House, originally created for the World's Fair in 1962 and gutted for this...

 (opened 2003 on the site of the former Seattle Opera House at Seattle Center), are comparably distinguished, with the Opera being particularly known for its performances of the works of Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

 and the PNB School (founded in 1974) ranking as one of the top three ballet training institutions in the United States. The Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras
Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras
Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras is the largest youth symphony organization in the United States, the eighth oldest and among the most distinguished....

 (SYSO) is the largest symphonic youth organization in the United States. The city also boasts lauded summer and winter chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 festivals organized by the Seattle Chamber Music Society
Seattle Chamber Music Society
The Seattle Chamber Music Society is an American organization of musicians located in Seattle, Washington that is dedicated to the performance and promotion of chamber music. Established in 1982, the presenting organization is currently in its 30th Anniversary Season...

.

The 5th Avenue Theatre
5th Avenue Theatre
The 5th Avenue Theatre is a landmark theater building located in Seattle, Washington, USA. It has hosted a variety of theatre productions and motion pictures since it opened in 1926. The building and land is owned by the University of Washington and was once part of the original campus...

, built in 1926, stages Broadway-style musical shows featuring both local talent and international stars. Seattle has "around 100" theatrical production companies and over two dozen live theatre venues, many of them associated with fringe theatre
Fringe theatre
Fringe theatre is theatre that is not of the mainstream. The term comes from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which name comes from Robert Kemp, who described the unofficial companies performing at the same time as the second Edinburgh International Festival as a ‘fringe’, writing: ‘Round the fringe...

; Seattle is probably second only to New York for number of equity
Actors' Equity Association
The Actors' Equity Association , commonly referred to as Actors' Equity or simply Equity, is an American labor union representing the world of live theatrical performance, as opposed to film and television performance. However, performers appearing on live stage productions without a book or...

 theaters (28 Seattle theater companies have some sort of Actors' Equity contract).
In addition, the 900-seat Romanesque Revival
Romanesque Revival architecture
Romanesque Revival is a style of building employed beginning in the mid 19th century inspired by the 11th and 12th century Romanesque architecture...

 Town Hall on First Hill hosts numerous cultural events, especially lectures and recitals.

Seattle is considered the home of grunge music because it was home to artists such as Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Mudhoney
Mudhoney
Mudhoney is an American alternative rock band. Formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1988 following the demise of Green River, Mudhoney's members are vocalist and rhythm guitarist Mark Arm, lead guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison, and drummer Dan Peters. Original bassist Matt Lukin left the...

, all of whom reached vast audiences in the early 1990s. The city is also home to such varied musicians as avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 musicians Bill Frisell
Bill Frisell
William Richard "Bill" Frisell is an American guitarist and composer.One of the leading guitarists in jazz since the late 1980s, Frisell's eclectic music touches on progressive folk, classical music, country music, noise and more...

 and Wayne Horvitz
Wayne Horvitz
Wayne Horvitz is an American composer, keyboardist and record producer.-Biography:Horvitz, a "defiant cross-breeder of genres", has led the groups The President, Pigpen, Zony Mash, and the Four Plus One Ensemble...

, rapper
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

 Sir Mix-a-Lot
Sir Mix-a-Lot
Anthony Ray , better known by his stage name Sir Mix-a-Lot, is an emcee and producer based in Seattle, Washington. The founder of the Nastymix record label, he debuted in 1988 with Swass...

, smooth jazz
Smooth jazz
Smooth jazz is a genre of music that grew out of jazz fusion and is influenced by R&B, funk, rock, and pop music styles ....

 saxophonist Kenny G
Kenny G
Kenneth Bruce Gorelick , better known by his stage name Kenny G, is an American, adult contemporary and smooth jazz saxophonist. His fourth album, Duotones, brought him breakthrough success in 1986...

, Heart
Heart (band)
Heart is an American rock band who first found success in Canada. Throughout several lineup changes, the only two members remaining constant are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. The group rose to fame in the 1970s with their music being influenced by hard rock as well as folk music...

, heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 bands Queensrÿche
Queensrÿche
thumb|250px|right|Queensrÿche's classic line-up performing at the [[Sauna Open Air Metal Festival]] 2011 in [[Tampere]], [[Finland]]. Left to right: bass Eddie Jackson, lead vocals Geoff Tate, drums Scott Rockenfield and guitars Michael Wilton....

, Demon Hunter
Demon Hunter
Demon Hunter is an American heavy metal band from Seattle, Washington, started in 2000 by brothers Don Clark and Ryan Clark. All of Demon Hunter's members are Christians and express their love for Jesus in many of their songs. Although the brothers created the band, only one remains, Don Clark...

, Metal Church
Metal Church
Metal Church was an American heavy metal band. They originally formed in Seattle, Washington as Shrapnel in 1980. Their first album was released in 1984, and the band's most recent work, This Present Wasteland, was released in 2008....

, Nevermore
Nevermore
Nevermore is an American heavy metal band from Seattle, Washington. Formed in 1991, they are known to incorporate elements from styles such as thrash, power, progressive, and neo-classical metal into their songs, and also makes use of acoustic guitars and a wide range of vocal styles.-Early years...

, Himsa, and Sunn O)))
Sunn O)))
Sunn O))) is an American doom metal band known for its synthesis of diverse genres including drone, ambient, noise, and black metal. Supported by a varying cast of collaborators, the band has two core members: Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson .-History:Sunn O))) is named after the Sunn...

, as well as such poppier rock bands as Harvey Danger
Harvey Danger
Harvey Danger was an American indie rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1993, and rose to prominence in 1998 with the single "Flagpole Sitta." On August 29, 2009, the band played its final show at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle....

, Goodness
Goodness (band)
Goodness was a rock band from Seattle, Washington , led by Carrie Akre, formerly of Hammerbox and now primarily a solo artist. Goodness featured Akre , Danny Newcomb , Garth Reeves , Fiia McGann , and Chris Friel...

, and The Presidents of the United States of America
The Presidents of the United States of America (band)
The Presidents of the United States of America, commonly referred to as Pot USA or "PUSA" or The Presidents, are a twice Grammy-nominated American alternative rock band. The band formed in Seattle, USA, in 1993. The three-piece group currently comprises vocalist and "basitarist" Chris Ballew,...

. Such musicians as Jimi Hendrix, Duff McKagan
Duff McKagan
Michael Andrew "Duff" McKagan is an American musician and writer. He is best known for his twelve-year tenure as the bassist of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s...

, Nikki Sixx
Nikki Sixx
Nikki Sixx is an American musician, songwriter, author, fashion designer, radio host, and photographer, best known as the co-founder and bassist of the band Mötley Crüe. Prior to forming Mötley Crüe, Sixx was a member of Sister before going on to form London with his Sister band mate Lizzie Grey...

, and Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr. is an American record producer and musician. A conductor, musical arranger, film composer, television producer, and trumpeter. His career spans five decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend...

 spent their formative years in Seattle.

Since the grunge era, the area has hosted a diverse and influential alternative music scene. The Seattle record label Sub Pop
Sub Pop
Sub Pop is a record label founded in 1986 by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman in Seattle, Washington. Sub Pop achieved fame in the late 1980s for first signing Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and many other bands from the Seattle music scene...

—the first to sign Nirvana and Soundgarden—has signed such non-grunge bands as Band of Horses
Band of Horses
Band of Horses, originally briefly known as Horses, are an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle by Ben Bridwell. They have released three studio albums, the most recent and most successful of which is 2010's Grammy nominated Infinite Arms...

, Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington, by singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. They are based in Portland, Oregon. Since their 1996 debut album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think...

, Murder City Devils
Murder City Devils
-History:The band's original lineup, consisting of Spencer Moody, Dann Gallucci, Derek Fudesco, Coady Willis, and Nate Manny formed in Seattle, Washington in 1996. Gabe Kerbrat was their permanent roadie, and considered a member...

, Sunny Day Real Estate
Sunny Day Real Estate
Sunny Day Real Estate is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington. In the 1990s, the group expanded upon the grunge style that was popular in the local scene to make a more melodic sound. While not the first band to be classified as emo, they were instrumental in establishing the genre. In...

, Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie is an American alternative rock band formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. The band consists of Ben Gibbard , Chris Walla , Nick Harmer and Jason McGerr ....

, The Postal Service
The Postal Service
The Postal Service is an American electronic indie pop band composed of vocalist Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and producer Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel and Headset.-Background:...

, Iron and Wine, Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords are a New Zealand-based comedy duo composed of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. The duo's comedy and music became the basis of a BBC radio series and then an American television series, which premiered in 2007 on HBO, also called Flight of the Conchords.They were named...

, and Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes are a folk rock band which formed in Seattle, Washington. They are signed to the Sub Pop and Bella Union record labels. The band came to prominence in 2008 with the release of their second EP, Sun Giant, and their debut full length album Fleet Foxes...

. Seattle has also put out a number of hiphop artists, such as Blue Scholars
Blue Scholars
Blue Scholars is a hip hop duo based in Seattle, Washington, created in 2002 while the members, DJ Sabzi and MC Geologic, were students at the University of Washington....

, Macklemore
Macklemore
Ben Haggerty, known by his stage name Macklemore, is a hip hop artist based in Seattle, Washington. Macklemore works with Ryan Lewis Andrew Joslyn , Owour Arunga , Zach Fleury , and Noah Goldberg...

, Fresh Espresso
Espresso
Espresso is a concentrated beverage brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee. Espresso is widely known throughout the world....

, and critically acclaimed group Shabazz Palaces
Shabazz Palaces
Shabazz Palaces are a Seattle-based hip-hop collective, led by Ishmael Butler aka 'Palaceer Lazaro' and multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire, son of Mbira master Dumisani Maraire...

.

Earlier Seattle-based popular music acts include the collegiate folk group The Brothers Four
The Brothers Four
The Brothers Four are an American folk singing group, founded in 1957 in Seattle, Washington, known for their 1960 hit song "Greenfields".-History:...

; The Wailers
The Wailers (rock band)
The Wailers, often credited as The Fabulous Wailers, were an American rock band from Tacoma, Washington. They became popular around the United States Pacific Northwest around the late 1950s and the start of the 1960s, performing saxophone-driven R&B and Chuck Berry rock and roll...

, a 1960s garage band; The Ventures
The Ventures
The Ventures is an American instrumental rock band formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington. Founded by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle, the group in its various incarnations has had an enduring impact on the development of music worldwide. With over 100 million records sold, the group is the best-selling...

, an instrumental rock band; pop Young Fresh Fellows
Young Fresh Fellows
The Young Fresh Fellows are an American alternative rock group that was formed in 1981 in Seattle, Washington, by Scott McCaughey and Chuck Carroll; Tad Hutchison, Chuck Carroll's first cousin, joined for the recording of the group's debut album in 1983....

 and The Posies
The Posies
The Posies are an alternative rock/power pop group. The band was formed in 1987 in Bellingham, Washington by primary songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. They are best known for their radio hits "Golden Blunders" , as well as "Dream All Day", "Solar Sister" and "Flavor of the Month"...

; pop-punk The Fastbacks; the well-traveled avant-rock of Sun City Girls
Sun City Girls
The Sun City Girls were an American experimental rock band, formed in 1979 in Phoenix, Arizona. From 1981 the group consisted of Alan Bishop , his brother Richard Bishop , and the late Charles Gocher . Their name was inspired by Sun City, Arizona, an Arizona retirement community...

; and the outright punk of The Fartz
The Fartz
The Fartz were originally formed in 1981 and were one of the first well-known hardcore bands from Seattle, Washington. They were signed to Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles Record label...

 (later 10 Minute Warning
10 Minute Warning
10 Minute Warning was a hardcore punk band from Seattle, Washington. They became famous locally as one of the first bands to adapt the popular punk sound to something slower and heavier, paving the way for grunge bands like Green River and Mother Love Bone before breaking up in 1984.-Early years...

), The Gits
The Gits
The Gits were an American punk rock band, formed in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1986. Known for their part in the burgeoning Seattle music scene of the early 1990s, their distinct punk rock sound gained a reputation for its bluesy street punk aesthetic...

.

Over the years, a number of songs have been written about Seattle.

Seattle annually sends a team of spoken word
Spoken word
Spoken word is a form of poetry that often uses alliterated prose or verse and occasionally uses metered verse to express social commentary. Traditionally it is in the first person, is from the poet’s point of view and is themed in current events....

 slammers to the National Poetry Slam and considers itself home to such performance poets as Buddy Wakefield
Buddy Wakefield
Buddy Wakefield is an American performance poet/slam poet, whose latest works have been released by Righteous Babe Records and Write Bloody Publishing .- Biography :...

, two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champ; Anis Mojgani
Anis Mojgani
Anis Mojgani is a spoken word poet, visual artist and musician based in Portland, Oregon.Mojgani has been characterized as a "geek genius" with "fiercely hopeful word arias"...

, two-time National Poetry Slam Champ; and Danny Sherrard
Danny Sherrard
Danny Sherrard is a a performing poet. He was born in Seattle, Washington on August 29, 1985. In August 2007 he won the Individual National Poetry Slam competition, becoming the youngest competitor to win such a title. In 2008 Sherrard won France's Poetry World Cup where he competed against...

, 2007 National Poetry Slam Champ and 2008 Individual World Poetry Slam Champ. Seattle also hosted the 2001 national Poetry Slam Tournament. The Seattle Poetry Festival is a biennial poetry festival that (launched first as the Poetry Circus in 1997) has featured local, regional, national, and international names in poetry.

The city also has movie houses showing both Hollywood
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood is a famous district in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema...

 productions and works by independent film
Independent film
An independent film, or indie film, is a professional film production resulting in a feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside of the major film studio system. In addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies, independent films are also produced...

makers. Among these, the Seattle Cinerama
Seattle Cinerama
The Seattle Cinerama Theatre is a landmark movie theater located in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, Washington in the United States of America...

 stands out as one of only three movie theaters in the world still capable of showing three-panel Cinerama
Cinerama
Cinerama is the trademarked name for a widescreen process which works by simultaneously projecting images from three synchronized 35 mm projectors onto a huge, deeply-curved screen, subtending 146° of arc. It is also the trademarked name for the corporation which was formed to market it...

 films.

Additionally, the city is also home to the Seattle Polish Film Festival
Seattle Polish Film Festival
The Seattle Polish Film Festival is an annual film festival, held in Seattle, Washington, showcasing current and past films of Polish cinema. It is produced by the Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association and awards the Seattle Spirit of Polish Cinema awards as well as the Viewers Choice of Best...

, ("SPFF") an annual film festival showcasing current and past films of Polish cinema. The festival is produced by the Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association and awards the Seattle Spirit of Polish Cinema awards as well as the Viewers Choice of Best Film.

Media

As of 2010, Seattle has one major daily newspaper, The Seattle Times
The Seattle Times
The Seattle Times is a newspaper serving Seattle, Washington, US. It is the largest daily newspaper in the state of Washington. It has been, since the demise in 2009 of the printed version of the rival Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle's only major daily print newspaper.-History:The Seattle Times...

. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is an online newspaper and former print newspaper covering Seattle, Washington, United States, and the surrounding metropolitan area...

, known as the P-I, published a daily newspaper from 1863 to March 17, 2009 before switching to a strictly on-line publication. There is also the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce
The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce is a daily newspaper based in Seattle. Specializing in business, construction, real estate, and legal news and public notices, it began publication in 1895 as the Bulletin, later the Daily Bulletin and the Seattle Daily Bulletin...

, and the University of Washington publishes The Daily
The Daily of the University of Washington
The Daily of the University of Washington, usually referred to in Seattle simply as The Daily, is the student newspaper of the University of Washington in Seattle, USA.-History:...

, a student-run publication, when school is in session. The most prominent weeklies are the Seattle Weekly
Seattle Weekly
Seattle Weekly is a freely distributed newspaper in Seattle, Washington, United States. It was founded by Darrell Oldham and David Brewster as The Weekly...

and The Stranger
The Stranger (newspaper)
The Stranger is an alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle, Washington, USA. It runs a blog known as Slog.-History:The Stranger was founded by Tim Keck, who had previously co-founded the satirical newspaper The Onion, and cartoonist James Sturm. Its first issue came out on September 23, 1991...

; both consider themselves "alternative" papers. Real Change
Real Change
Real Change is a weekly street newspaper based in Seattle, Washington, USA. It is sold by the poor, many of whom are homeless, providing them an alternative to panhandling. It is written and produced, however, by professional staff, and covers mainstream news as well as homelessness issues...

is a weekly street newspaper
Street newspaper
Street newspapers are newspapers or magazines sold by homeless or poor individuals and produced mainly to support these populations. Most such newspapers primarily provide coverage about homelessness and poverty-related issues, and seek to strengthen social networks within homeless communities...

 that is sold mainly by homeless persons as an alternative to panhandling
Begging
Begging is to entreat earnestly, implore, or supplicate. It often occurs for the purpose of securing a material benefit, generally for a gift, donation or charitable donation...

. There are also several ethnic newspapers, including the Northwest Asian Weekly
Northwest Asian Weekly
The Northwest Asian Weekly is a weekly Asian American newspaper based in Seattle, Washington's International District. Distributed free, it was founded in 1982 by Assunta Ng, founder of the Seattle Chinese Post. It has a circulation of 16,000....

, and numerous neighborhood newspapers, including the North Seattle Journal
North Seattle Journal
The North Seattle Journal is a community newspaper in Seattle serving the neighborhoods of Broadview, Greenwood, Crown Hill, Blue Ridge, Haller Lake, Bitter Lake, and Green Lake....

.

Seattle is also well served by television and radio, with all major U.S. networks represented, along with at least five other English-language stations and two Spanish-language stations. Seattle cable viewers also receive CBUT
CBUT
CBUT-DT is the CBC's television station in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and the flagship CBC Television station for the Pacific Time Zone. The station transmits its main terrestrial signal from a tower atop Mount Seymour....

 2 (CBC
CBC Television
CBC Television is a Canadian television network owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national public broadcaster.Although the CBC is supported by public funding, the television network supplements this funding with commercial advertising revenue, in contrast to CBC Radio which are...

) from Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, British Columbia.

Non-commercial
Non-commercial
Non-commercial refers to an activity or entity that does not in some sense involve commerce, at least relative to similar activities that do have a commercial objective or emphasis...

 radio stations include NPR affiliates KUOW-FM
KUOW-FM
KUOW-FM 94.9 is a National Public Radio affiliate radio station in Seattle, Washington. It is a top-ranked radio station in the Seattle/Tacoma media market...

 94.9 and KPLU-FM
KPLU-FM
KPLU-FM is a news & jazz format National Public Radio member station in Tacoma, Washington, USA, owned by Pacific Lutheran University....

 88.5 (Tacoma). Other stations include KEXP-FM 90.3 (affiliated with EMP), community radio
Community radio
Community radio is a type of radio service, that offers a third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial broadcasting and public broadcasting. Community stations can serve geographic communities and communities of interest...

 KBCS-FM 91.3 (affiliated with Bellevue College), and high school radio
High school radio
High school radio within the United States is almost as old as radio broadcasting itself. Simply defined as a radio station, with its studios located at a high school and usually operated by its students with faculty supervision, stations fitting this description existed in the mid-1920s...

 KNHC-FM 89.5, which broadcasts an electronic music
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

 radio format
Radio format
A radio format or programming format not to be confused with broadcast programming describes the overall content broadcast on a radio station. Radio formats are frequently employed as a marketing tool, and constantly evolve...

 and is owned by the public school system and operated by students of Nathan Hale High School. Many Seattle radio stations are also available through Internet radio
Internet radio
Internet radio is an audio service transmitted via the Internet...

, with KEXP in particular being a pioneer of Internet radio. Seattle also has numerous commercial radio stations, including KING-FM
KING-FM
KING-FM is a classical music radio station in Seattle, Washington. Its transmitter is located in Issaquah, Washington....

, one of the last commercial classical music stations in the United States.

Seattle-based online magazines Worldchanging
Worldchanging
Worldchanging is an American non-profit online magazine and blog about sustainability and social innovation. At 19/09/2011, it was taken over by Architecture for Humanity....

 and Grist.org were two of the "Top Green Websites" in 2007 according to TIME.

Seattle also has many online news media websites. The two largest are The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Tourism

Among Seattle's prominent annual fairs and festivals are the 24-day Seattle International Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
The Seattle International Film Festival , held annually in Seattle, Washington since 1976, is among the top film festivals in North America. Audiences have grown steadily; the 2006 festival had 160,000 attendees...

, Northwest Folklife over the Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 weekend, numerous Seafair
Seafair
Seafair is a summer festival in Seattle, Washington, USA that encompasses a wide variety of small neighborhood events leading up to several major city-wide celebrations...

 events throughout July and August (ranging from a Bon Odori celebration to the Seafair Cup hydroplane races), the Bite of Seattle, one of the largest Gay Pride
Gay pride
LGBT pride or gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity...

 festivals in the United States, and the art and music festival Bumbershoot, which programs music as well as other art and entertainment over the Labor Day weekend. All are typically attended by 100,000 people annually, as are the Seattle Hempfest
Seattle Hempfest
Seattle Hempfest is an annual event in Seattle, Washington, the world's largest annual gathering advocating decriminalization of marijuana. Founded in 1991 as the Washington Hemp Expo, a self-described "humble gathering of stoners" attended by only 500 people, and renamed the following year as...

 and two separate Independence Day
Independence Day (United States)
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain...

 celebrations. In the past, the Gay Pride parade and festival have been centered on Capitol Hill, but since 2006, festivities have been held city-wide, and the parade has followed a route downtown along 4th Avenue from the central shopping district to Seattle Center.

Other significant events include numerous Native American pow-wow
Pow-wow
A pow-wow is a gathering of North America's Native people. The word derives from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning "spiritual leader". A modern pow-wow is a specific type of event where both Native American and non-Native American people meet to dance, sing, socialize, and honor American...

s, a Greek Festival hosted by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church (Seattle)
Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church is a church in Seattle, Washington. It is part of the Greek Orthodox metropolis or diocese of San Francisco, within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. It is Seattle's oldest Greek Orthodox congregation....

 in Montlake, and numerous ethnic festivals (many associated with Festál at Seattle Center
Festál at Seattle Center
Festál at Seattle Center is a free series of annual ethnically-related festivals that take place on the grounds of Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington. A major cultural program of Seattle, these festivals aim to celebrate and connect the city to its varied ethnic and international community...

).
There are other annual events, ranging from the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair & Book Arts Show; an anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 convention, Sakura-Con
Sakura-Con
Sakura-Con is an annual three-day anime convention held during March or April at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington.- Programming :...

; Penny Arcade Expo
Penny Arcade Expo
The Penny Arcade Expo is a semi-annual gamer festival held in Seattle and Boston. PAX was created by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the authors of the Penny Arcade webcomic, because they wanted to attend a show that gave equal attention to console gamers, computer gamers, and tabletop...

, a gaming convention; a two-day, 9,000-rider Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic
Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic
The Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, or STP, is an annual one- and two-day supported bicycle ride from Seattle, Washington to Portland, Oregon in the United States. The STP "is considered one of the 10 biggest recreational bicycle rides in the country, drawing riders from across the nation and...

, and specialized film festivals, such as the Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival
Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival
The Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival , is a three day international genre film festival held annually in Seattle, Washington. MIFFF is the premiere Pacific northwest event devoted to action, animation, fantasy, horror, and science fiction cinema from across the globe...

, the Northwest Asian-American Film Festival, Children's Film Festival Seattle, Translation: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, and the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

The Henry Art Gallery
Henry Art Gallery
The Henry Art Gallery is the art museum of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA. Located on the west edge of the university's campus along 15th Avenue N.E. in the University District, it was founded in 1927 and was the first public art museum in the state of Washington. The...

 opened in 1927, the first public art museum in Washington. The Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum is an art museum located in Seattle, Washington, USA. It maintains three major facilities: its main museum in downtown Seattle; the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the central Seattle waterfront, which opened on...

 (SAM) opened in 1933; SAM opened a museum downtown in 1991 (expanded and reopened 2007); since 1991, the 1933 building has been SAM's Seattle Asian Art Museum
Seattle Asian Art Museum
The Seattle Asian Art Museum is a museum of Asian art located inside Volunteer Park on Seattle, Washington USA's Capitol Hill. Part of the Seattle Art Museum, SAAM occupies the 1933 Art Moderne building which was originally home to the Seattle Art Museum's main collection...

 (SAAM). SAM also operates the Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
The Olympic Sculpture Park is a public park in Seattle, Washington that opened on January 20, 2007.The park consists of a outdoor sculpture museum and beach. The park was designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architects, along with Charles Anderson Landscape Architecture and other consultants. It is...

 (opened 2007) on the waterfront north of the downtown piers. The Frye Art Museum
Frye Art Museum
The Frye Art Museum is an art museum located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA . The museum emphasizes painting and sculpture from the nineteenth century to the present. Its holdings originate in the private collection of Charles and Emma Frye...

 is a free museum on First Hill.
Regional history collections are at the Loghouse Museum in Alki, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park commemorating the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s. The gold rush was in the Yukon Territory, and this park comprises staging areas for the trek there, and routes leading in its direction...

, the Museum of History and Industry
Museum of History and Industry
The Museum of History and Industry is a museum located in the Montlake neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, United States.Accredited by the American Association of Museums, MOHAI is "dedicated to enriching lives by preserving, sharing and teaching the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound...

 and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture has been a Washington state museum since 1899. It is located at the University of Washington campus at the intersection of N.E. 45th Street and 17th Avenue N.E. in Seattle, Washington, USA, in the University District. It is the only major natural...

. Industry collections are at the Center for Wooden Boats
Center for Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats is a museum dedicated to preserving and documenting the maritime history of the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. Unlike most other museums, at CWB the public is invited to touch the exhibits and explore maritime history first hand by rowing, paddling or...

 and the adjacent Northwest Seaport
Northwest Seaport
The Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center is a nonprofit organization in Seattle, Washington dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Puget Sound and Northwest Coast maritime heritage, expressed through educational programs and experiences available to the public...

, the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, and the Museum of Flight
Museum of Flight
The Museum of Flight is a private non-profit air and space museum at King County International Airport , south of downtown Seattle, Washington. It was established in 1965 and is fully accredited by the American Association of Museums...

. Regional ethnic collections include the Nordic Heritage Museum
Nordic Heritage Museum
Nordic Heritage Museum is located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, considered to be the heart of the Scandinavian community. Founded in 1980, the museum is dedicated to the heritage of Seattle's Nordic immigrants, i.e. Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish Americans...

, the Wing Luke Asian Museum
Wing Luke Asian Museum
The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is located in Seattle, Washington's Chinatown-International District. A Smithsonian Institution affiliate, it is dedicated to engaging the public to explore issues related to the culture, art and history of Asian Pacific Americans...

 and the Northwest African American Museum
Northwest African American Museum
The Northwest African American Museum in Seattle, Washington, USA opened March 8, 2008. Intended to "document and exhibit the unique historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest", the museum is part of the new Urban League Village at the former...

. Seattle has artist-run galleries, including 10-year veteran Soil Art Gallery
Soil Art Gallery
SOIL Art Gallery is an artist-run, not-for-profit gallery in Seattle, Washington, USA. Located in the newly renovated Tashiro Kaplan Building on 3rd and Yesler, Soil has a rotating membership of 20 - 24 artists...

, and the newer Crawl Space Gallery.

Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo is a zoological garden around the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Occupying the western half of Woodland Park, the zoo began as a small menagerie on the estate of Guy C. Phinney, a Canadian-born lumber mill owner and real estate developer...

 opened as a private menagerie
Menagerie
A menagerie is/was a form of keeping common and exotic animals in captivity that preceded the modern zoological garden. The term was first used in seventeenth century France in reference to the management of household or domestic stock. Later, it came to be used primarily in reference to...

 in 1889, but was sold to the city in 1899. The Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium is a public aquarium opened in 1977 and located on Pier 59 on the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, USA. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums .-History:...

 has been open on the downtown waterfront since 1977 (undergoing a renovation 2006). The Seattle Underground
Seattle Underground
The Seattle Underground is a network of underground passageways and basements in downtown Seattle, Washington, United States that was ground level at the city's origin in the mid-19th century. After the streets were elevated these spaces fell into disuse, but have become a tourist attraction in...

 Tour is an exhibit of places that existed before the Great Fire. There are also many community centers
Community centers in Seattle
Seattle, Washington is home to many community centers. During the day some of these centers have child services such as day camp, after-school camp, and swimming activities...

 for recreation, including Rainier Beach, Van Asselt, Rainier, and Jefferson south of the Ship Canal and Green Lake, Laurelhurst, Loyal Heights north of the Canal, and Meadowbrook.

Since the middle 1990s, Seattle has experienced significant growth in the cruise industry, especially as a departure point for Alaska cruises. In 2008, a record total of 886,039 cruise passengers passed through the city, surpassing the number for Vancouver, BC, the other major departure point for Alaska cruises.

Professional sports

Club Sport League Venue Established Championships
Seattle Grizzlies Australian Football USAFL
United States Australian Football League
The United States Australian Football League is the governing body for Australian rules football in the United States. It was conceived in 1996 and organized in 1997....

Mosier Park 1998 0
Seattle Mist
Seattle Mist
This Seattle Mist are a team in the Lingerie Football League, part of the Lingerie Bowl's expansion into a full-fledged league in 2009. They play their home games at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington.-2009-2010 season:...

Football LFL
Lingerie Football League
The Lingerie Football League is a women's 7-on-7 tackle American football league, created in 2009, with games played in the fall and winter at NBA, NFL, NHL and MLS arenas and stadiums. The league was founded by Mitch Mortaza...

ShoWare Center 2009 N/AQ
Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

Baseball MLB
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

Safeco Field
Safeco Field
Safeco Field is a retractable roof baseball stadium located in Seattle, Washington. The stadium, owned and operated by the Washington-King County Stadium Authority, is the home stadium of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and has a seating capacity of 47,878 for baseball...

1977 0
Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

Football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

NFL
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

CenturyLink Field 1976 0
Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC is an American professional soccer club based in Seattle, Washington. The club competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Sounders FC was established in November 2007 as a MLS expansion team, making it the 15th team in...

Soccer MLS
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

CenturyLink Field 2007 2
Seattle Storm
Seattle Storm
The Seattle Storm is a professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association . The team was founded before the 2000 season began...

Basketball WNBA
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association...

KeyArena
KeyArena
KeyArena at Seattle Center , is a multipurpose arena, in Seattle, Washington. It is located north of downtown in the entertainment complex known as Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World's Fair, the Century 21 Exposition...

2000 2
Seattle SuperSonics
Seattle SuperSonics
The Seattle SuperSonics were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington that played in the Pacific and Northwest Divisions of the National Basketball Association from 1967 until 2008. Following the 2007–08 season, the team relocated to Oklahoma City, and now plays as...

*
Basketball NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

KeyArena
KeyArena
KeyArena at Seattle Center , is a multipurpose arena, in Seattle, Washington. It is located north of downtown in the entertainment complex known as Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World's Fair, the Century 21 Exposition...

1967 1
Seattle Thunderbirds
Seattle Thunderbirds
The Seattle Thunderbirds are a junior ice hockey team based in Kent, a suburb of Seattle, Washington. They are part of the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League, and play in the ShoWare Center...

Ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

WHL
Western Hockey League
The Western Hockey League is a major junior ice hockey league based in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitute the Canadian Hockey League as the highest level of junior hockey in Canada...

ShoWare Center 1977 0
Seattle Totems Ice Hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

NPHL
Northern Pacific Hockey League
The Northern Pacific Hockey League is an American Tier III Junior A ice hockey league sanctioned by USA Hockey. Its championship trophy is the Cascade Cup.-Current teams:-Suspended teams:...

Olympic View Ice Arena 2005 4


Seattle's professional sports history began at the start of the 20th century with the PCHA's
Pacific Coast Hockey Association
The Pacific Coast Hockey Association was a professional men's ice hockey league in western Canada and the western United States, which operated from 1911 to 1924 when it then merged with the Western Canada Hockey League...

 Seattle Metropolitans
Seattle Metropolitans
The Seattle Metropolitans were a professional ice hockey team based in Seattle, Washington which played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915 to 1924. They won the Stanley Cup in 1917, becoming the first American team to do so...

, which in 1917 became the first American hockey team to win the Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

. Today Seattle has three major professional sports teams: The National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

's Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

, Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

's Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

, and Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

's Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC is an American professional soccer club based in Seattle, Washington. The club competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Sounders FC was established in November 2007 as a MLS expansion team, making it the 15th team in...

. Other sports teams include the 2004 and 2010 Women's National Basketball Association
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association...

 champions, Seattle Storm
Seattle Storm
The Seattle Storm is a professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association . The team was founded before the 2000 season began...

. From 1967 to 2008 Seattle was also home to an NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 franchise, the Seattle SuperSonics, who were the 1978–79 NBA champions
1979 NBA Finals
The 1979 NBA World Championship Series at the conclusion of the 1978-79 season were won by the Seattle SuperSonics defeating the Washington Bullets 4 games to 1. The series was a rematch of the 1978 NBA Finals which the Washington Bullets had won 4-3...

. The team relocated to Oklahoma City
Seattle SuperSonics relocation to Oklahoma City
The Seattle SuperSonics relocation to Oklahoma City was a successful effort by the ownership group of the Seattle SuperSonics to move the team to Oklahoma City...

 after the 2007–08 season. The Seattle Thunderbirds
Seattle Thunderbirds
The Seattle Thunderbirds are a junior ice hockey team based in Kent, a suburb of Seattle, Washington. They are part of the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League, and play in the ShoWare Center...

 are a major-junior hockey team that plays in one of the Canadian major-junior hockey leagues, the WHL (Western Hockey League). The Thunderbirds moved to nearby Kent
Kent, Washington
Kent is a city located in King County, Washington, United States, and is the third largest city in King County and the sixth largest in the state. An outlying suburb of Seattle, Kent is also the corporate home for companies such as REI and Oberto Sausage...

, Washington during the 2008–2009 season. The Seattle Sounders FC began play in Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

 in 2009.

The Major League Baseball All-Star game was held in Seattle twice, first at the Kingdome
Kingdome
The Kingdome was a multi-purpose stadium located in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood. Owned and operated by King County, the Kingdome opened in 1976 and was best known as the home stadium of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League , the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball , and the...

 in 1979
1979 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1979 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 50th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League and National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 17, 1979, at The Kingdome in Seattle, Washington the home of the...

 and again at Safeco Field
Safeco Field
Safeco Field is a retractable roof baseball stadium located in Seattle, Washington. The stadium, owned and operated by the Washington-King County Stadium Authority, is the home stadium of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and has a seating capacity of 47,878 for baseball...

 in 2001
2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 72nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League and National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10, 2001 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, home of the...

. That same year, the Seattle Mariners tied the all-time single regular season wins record with 116 wins. The NBA All-Star game was also held in Seattle twice, the first in 1974
1974 NBA All-Star Game
GAME 24: at the Seattle Center Coliseum, Jan. 15, 1974.MVP: Bob LanierCoaches: East: Tom Heinsohn, West: Larry Costello.-Eastern Conference: -Western Conference: -Score by periods: *Halftime— West, 66-47*Third Quarter— West, 101-85...

 at the Seattle Center Coliseum and the second in 1987
1987 NBA All-Star Game
This was the professional basketball's 37th NBA All-Star game played on February 8, 1987. It was played at Seattle's Kingdome, and the SuperSonics player Tom Chambers was the game's MVP...

 at the Kingdome.

In 2006, CenturyLink Field hosted the 2005–06 NFL playoffs. In 2008, CenturyLink Field hosted the first game of the 2007–08 NFL playoffs, in which the Seahawks defeated the Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team and members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, while its headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn,...

, 35–14. CenturyLink Field also serves as the home field for the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer. Seattle also boasts a strong history in collegiate sports. The University of Washington
Washington Huskies
Washington Huskies is the nickname of the University of Washington's athletic teams. The school is a member of the Pacific-12 Conference. The athletic program is made up of 9 men's sports and 10 women's sports Washington Huskies is the nickname of the University of Washington's athletic teams. The...

 and Seattle University are NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

 Division I schools.

Outdoor activities

Seattle's mild, temperate marine climate allows year-round outdoor recreation, including walking, cycling, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, rock climbing, motor boating, sailing, team sports, and swimming. In town, many people walk around Green Lake
Green Lake (Seattle)
Green Lake is a freshwater lake in north central Seattle, Washington, USA, within Green Lake Park. The park is surrounded by the Green Lake neighborhood to the north and east, the Wallingford neighborhood to the south, the Phinney Ridge neighborhood to the west, and Woodland Park to the southwest...

, through the forests and along the bluffs and beaches of 535 acres (2.2 km²) Discovery Park
Discovery Park (Seattle)
Discovery Park is a 534 acre park in the peninsular Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. It is the city's largest public park and contains 11.81 miles of walking trails. United Indians of All Tribes' Daybreak Star Cultural Center is within the park's boundaries...

 (the largest park in the city) in Magnolia, along the shores of Myrtle Edwards Park
Myrtle Edwards Park
Myrtle Edwards Park in Seattle, Washington is a 4.8 acre public park along the Elliott Bay waterfront north of Belltown. It features a 1.25-mile long bicycle and walking path and is a good place to see eagles, gulls, and crows....

 on the Downtown waterfront, along the shoreline of Lake Washington at Seward Park
Seward Park (Seattle)
Seward Park is a 300 acre park in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., that occupies all of Bailey Peninsula, a forested peninsula off south Seattle that juts into Lake Washington....

, along Alki Beach in West Seattle, or along the Burke-Gilman Trail
Burke-Gilman Trail
The Burke-Gilman Sammamish Trail is a rail trail in King County, Washington. The multi-use recreational trail is part of the King County Regional Trail System and occupies an abandoned Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway corridor....

. Also popular are hikes and skiing in the nearby Cascade or Olympic Mountains and kayaking and sailing in the waters of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Strait of Juan de Fuca
The Strait of Juan de Fuca is a large body of water about long that is the Salish Sea outlet to the Pacific Ocean...

, and the Strait of Georgia
Strait of Georgia
The Strait of Georgia or the Georgia Strait is a strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is approximately long and varies in width from...

. In 2005, Men's Fitness
Men's Fitness
Men's Fitness is a men's magazine published by American Media, Inc and founded in the United States in 1987. The premier issue featured Michael Pare from the television series The Greatest American Hero....

magazine named Seattle the fittest
Physical fitness
Physical fitness comprises two related concepts: general fitness , and specific fitness...

 city in the United States.

Economy

Seattle's economy is driven by a mix of older industrial companies, and "new economy" Internet and technology companies, service, design and clean technology companies. The city's gross metropolitan product was $231 billion in 2010, making it the 12th largest metropolitan economy in the United States. The Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle
The Port of Seattle is a port district that runs Seattle's seaport and airport. Its creation was approved by the voters of King County, Washington, on September 5, 1911, authorized by the Port District Act. It is run by a five-member commission. The commissioners' terms run four years...

, which also operates Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, is a major gateway for trade with Asia and cruises to Alaska, and is the 8th largest port in the United States in terms of container capacity. Though it has been affected by the recent recession, Seattle has retained a comparatively strong economy, and remains a hotbed for start-up businesses, especially in green building and clean technologies: it was ranked as America's No. 1 "smarter city" based on its government policies and green economy. February 2010, the city government committed Seattle to becoming North America's first "climate neutral" city, with a goal of reaching zero net per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Still, very large companies dominate the business landscape. Three companies on the 2008 Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 list of the United States' largest companies, based on total revenue are headquartered in Seattle: Internet retailer Amazon.com (#100), coffee chain Starbucks
Starbucks
Starbucks Corporation is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 17,009 stores in 55 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, over 700 in the United Kingdom, and...

 (#241), and department store Nordstrom (#270). Other Fortune 500 companies popularly associated with Seattle are based in nearby Puget Sound cities. Warehouse club chain Costco
Costco
Costco Wholesale Corporation is the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. it is the third largest retailer in the United States, where it originated, and the ninth largest in the world...

 (#29), the largest retail company in Washington, is based in Issaquah
Issaquah, Washington
Issaquah is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 30,434 at the 2010 census.Based on per capita income, Issaquah ranks 25th of 522 areas in the State of Washington to be ranked....

. Providence Health & Services, the largest health care system and the fifth largest employer, is based in Renton, Washington. Microsoft (#44) and Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

 of America are located in Redmond
Redmond, Washington
Redmond is a city in King County, Washington, United States, located east of Seattle. The population was 54,144 at the 2010 census,up from 45,256 in 2000....

. Weyerhaeuser
Weyerhaeuser
Weyerhaeuser is one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world. It is the world's largest private sector owner of softwood timberland; and the second largest owner of United States timberland, behind Plum Creek Timber...

, the forest products company (#147), is based in Federal Way. Finally, Bellevue is home to truck manufacturer PACCAR
PACCAR
PACCAR Inc is the third largest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks in the world , and has substantial manufacture in light and medium vehicles through its various subsidiaries.-History:...

 (#169), and to international mobile telephony giant T-Mobile's U.S. subsidiary, T-Mobile USA. The city has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption; coffee companies founded or based in Seattle include Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee
Seattle's Best Coffee
Seattle's Best Coffee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks, is a specialty coffee retailer and wholesaler based in Seattle, Washington.Seattle's Best Coffee has retail stores and grocery sub-stores in 20 states and provinces and the District of Columbia. Sub-stores can also be found within many...

, and Tully's
Tully's Coffee
Tully's Coffee is a specialty coffee retailer and wholesaler based in Seattle, Washington, United States. Its stores serve specialty coffees, espresso, baked goods, pastries, and coffee-related supplies. It also has overseas licensing agreements in Japan and South Korea where its brand name is used...

. There are also many successful independent artisanal espresso roasters and cafes.

Prior to moving its headquarters to Chicago, aerospace manufacturer Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 (#27) was the largest company based in Seattle. Its largest division is still headquartered in nearby Renton, and the company has large aircraft manufacturing plants in Everett and Renton, so it remains the largest private employer in the Seattle metropolitan area. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced a desire to spark a new economic boom driven by the biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 industry in 2006. Major redevelopment of the South Lake Union neighborhood is underway, in an effort to attract new and established biotech companies to the city, joining biotech companies Corixa
Corixa
Corixa was a biotechnology/pharmaceutical company based in Seattle, Washington involved in the development of immunotherapeutics to combat autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and cancer. It was founded in 1994...

 (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline plc is a global pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company headquartered in London, United Kingdom...

), Immunex (now part of Amgen), Trubion
Trubion
Trubion was a publicly held biopharmaceutical company that was focused on creating a pipeline of protein-based therapeutic product candidates to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and cancer. Trubion was acquired by Emergent BioSolutions on October 28, 2010...

, and ZymoGenetics. Vulcan Inc.
Vulcan Inc.
Vulcan Inc. is an investment and project management company founded in 1986 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, to manage his investments...

, the holding company of billionaire Paul Allen
Paul Allen
Paul Gardner Allen is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates...

, is behind most of the development projects in the region. While some see the new development as an economic boon, others have criticized Nickels and the Seattle City Council
Seattle City Council
The Seattle City Council is committed to ensuring that Seattle, Washington, is safe, livable and sustainable. Nine Councilmembers are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections and represent the entire city, elected by all Seattle voters....

 for pandering to Allen's interests at taxpayers' expense. Also in 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Seattle among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation for climates favorable to business expansion. In 2005, Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

ranked Seattle as the most expensive American city for buying a house based on the local income levels.

Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines is an airline based in the Seattle suburb of SeaTac, Washington in the United States. The airline originated in 1932 as McGee Airways. After many mergers with and acquisitions of other airlines, including Star Air Service, it became known as Alaska Airlines in 1944...

, operating a hub at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, maintains its headquarters in the city of SeaTac
SeaTac, Washington
SeaTac is an American city in southern King County, Washington, and an outlying suburb of Seattle, Washington. Incorporated in February 1990, the City of SeaTac is ten square miles in area and has a population of 26,909 according to the 2010 census...

, next to the airport.

Demographics

According to the 2010 census, Seattle had a population of 608,660 and the racial composition was as follows:
  • White
    White American
    White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

    : 69.5% (Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites or White, Not Hispanic or Latino are people in the United States, as defined by the Census Bureau, who are of the White race and are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity. Hence the designation is exclusive in the sense that it defines who is not included as opposed to who is...

    : 66.3%)
  • Asian
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

    : 13.8% (4.1% Chinese
    Chinese American
    Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

    , 2.6% Filipino
    Filipino American
    Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

    , 2.2% Vietnamese
    Vietnamese American
    A Vietnamese American is an American of Vietnamese descent. They make up about half of all overseas Vietnamese and are the fourth-largest Asian American group....

    , 1.3% Japanese
    Japanese American
    are American people of Japanese heritage. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity...

    , 1.1% Korean
    Korean American
    Korean Americans are Americans of Korean descent, mostly from South Korea, with a small minority from North Korea...

    , 0.8% Indian
    Indian American
    Indian Americans are Americans whose ancestral roots lie in India. The U.S. Census Bureau popularized the term Asian Indian to avoid confusion with Indigenous peoples of the Americas who are commonly referred to as American Indians.-The term: Indian:...

    , 0.3% Cambodian
    Cambodian American
    A Cambodian American is an American who is born, raised, or from Cambodia usually of Khmer descent but also including Chinese Cambodians, Vietnamese Cambodians, Cham people and other ethnicities of Cambodia...

    , 0.3% Laotian
    Laotian American
    A Laotian American is a resident of the United States who was originally from Laos, a person of Laotian descent residing in America, or a citizen born in the United States whose parents were originally from Laos. Laotian Americans are included in the larger category of Asian Americans...

    , 0.2% Thai
    Thai American
    A Thai American is an American of whose parents or grandparents came from Thailand. Many of them may in fact be of Thai Chinese or at least part Chinese ancestry, but they are still considered to be Thais.-History in U.S.:...

    )
  • Black or African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

    : 7.9%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

    : 0.8%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
    Pacific Islander American
    Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

    : 0.4%
  • Other Race: 2.4%
  • Two or more races
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

    : 5.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino
    Hispanic and Latino Americans
    Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

     (of any race): 6.6% (4.1% Mexican
    Mexican American
    Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

    , 0.3% Puerto Rican
    Puerto Rican people
    A Puerto Rican is a person who was born in Puerto Rico.Puerto Ricans born and raised in the continental United States are also sometimes referred to as Puerto Ricans, although they were not born in Puerto Rico...

    , 0.2% Guatemalan
    Guatemalan American
    A Guatemalan American is an American of Guatemalan descent.The Guatemalan American population in the USA in 2009 was estimated by the US Census Bureau at 1,081,858...

    , 0.2% Salvadoran
    Salvadoran American
    Salvadorian Americans are citizens or residents of the United States of Salvadoran descent. As of 2010 there are 1.6 million Salvadoran Americans in the United States, the fourth-largest Hispanic community by nation of ancestry.They are also known as the nicknamed Salvi people in the USA,...

    , 0.2% Cuban
    Cuban American
    A Cuban American is a United States citizen who traces his or her "national origin" to Cuba. Cuban Americans are also considered native born Americans with Cuban parents or Cuban-born persons who were raised and educated in US...

    )


According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, English was by far the most commonly spoken language at home; approximately 78.9% of residents over the age of five spoke only English at home. Spanish was spoken by 4.5% of the population; people who spoke other Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 made up 3.9% of the population. People who spoke Asian languages
Languages of Asia
There is a wide variety of languages spoken throughout Asia, comprising a number of families and some unrelated isolates. Many languages have a long tradition of writing.-Central and North Asian languages:*Turkic**Azeri**Kazak**Kyrgyz**Tatar**Turkish...

 at home made up 10.2% of the population. People who spoke other languages made up 2.5% of Seattle's population.

Seattle has seen a major increase in immigration in recent decades; the foreign-born population increased 40% between the 1990 and 2000 censuses. The Chinese
Chinese American
Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

 population in the Seattle area has origins in mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The earliest Chinese Americans that came in the late 19th and early 20th century were almost entirely from Guangdong province. The Seattle area is also home to a high Vietnamese
Vietnamese American
A Vietnamese American is an American of Vietnamese descent. They make up about half of all overseas Vietnamese and are the fourth-largest Asian American group....

 population. In addition, the Seattle area is home to over 30,000 Somali
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

 immigrants.

As of 1999, the median income of a city household was $45,736, and the median income for a family was $62,195. Males had a median income of $40,929 versus $35,134 for females. The per capita income for the city was $30,306. 11.8% of the population and 6.9% of families are below the poverty line. Of people living in poverty, 13.8% are under the age of 18 and 10.2% are 65 or older.

It is estimated that King County has 8,000 homeless people on any given night, and many of those live in Seattle. In September 2005, King County adopted a "Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness", one of the near-term results of which is a shift of funding from homeless shelter
Homeless shelter
Homeless shelters are temporary residences for homeless people which seek to protect vulnerable populations from the often devastating effects of homelessness while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact on the community...

 beds to permanent housing.

In 2006, after growing by 4,000 citizens per year for the previous 16 years, regional planners expected the population of Seattle to grow by 200,000 people by 2040. However, Mayor Nickels supported plans that would increase the population by 60%, or 350,000 people, by 2040 and is working on ways to accommodate this growth while keeping Seattle's single-family housing zoning laws. The Seattle City Council later voted to relax height limits on buildings in the greater part of Downtown, partly with the aim to increase residential density in the city center.

A 2006 study by UCLA
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

 indicated that Seattle has one of the highest LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

 populations per capita. With 12.9% of citizens polled identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, the city ranks second of all major US cities, behind San Francisco and slightly ahead of Atlanta and Minneapolis. Greater Seattle also ranks second among major US metropolitan areas, with 6.5% being LGBT.

According to the 2000 US census interim measurements of 2004, Seattle has the fifth highest proportion of single-person households nationwide among cities of 100,000 or more residents, at 40.8%.

Government and politics

Seattle is a charter city, with a Mayor–Council form of government. Since 1911, Seattle's nine city councillors have been elected at large, rather than by geographic subdivisions. The only other elected offices are the city attorney
District attorney
In many jurisdictions in the United States, a District Attorney is an elected or appointed government official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. The district attorney is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of...

 and Municipal Court judges. All city, county, and state offices are technically non-partisan
Non-partisan democracy
Nonpartisan democracy is a system of representative government or organization such that universal and periodic elections take place without reference to political parties.-Overview:...

. Like most parts of the United States, government and laws are also run by a series of ballot initiatives (where people can pass or reject laws), referendums (where people can approve or reject already passed legislation), and Propositions (where specific government agencies can propose new laws/tax increases directly to the people)

Seattle's politics are strongly liberal/progressive, although there is a small libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 movement within the metro area. It is one of the most liberal cities in the United States, with approximately 80% voting for the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

; only two precincts in Seattle—one in the Broadmoor community, and one encompassing neighboring Madison Park
Madison Park (Seattle)
Madison Park is an 8.3 acre park in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, located between the western shore of Lake Washington on the east, 42nd Avenue E. on the west, E. Madison Street on the north, and E. Blaine Street on the south. 43rd Avenue E...

—had a majority of votes for Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 in the 2004 presidential election
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

. In addition, all precincts in Seattle voted for Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 candidate Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 in the 2008 presidential election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, including the two precincts who had previously voted Republican in 2004. In partisan elections for the Washington State Legislature
Washington State Legislature
The Washington State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Washington. It is a bipartisan, bicameral body, composed of the lower Washington House of Representatives, composed of 98 Representatives, and the upper Washington State Senate, with 49 Senators.The State Legislature...

 and United States Congress, nearly all elections are won by Democrats.

Seattle is one of the most politically progressive
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

 cities in North America, with an overwhelming majority of voters supporting Democratic politicians; support for liberal issues such as same-sex marriage, reproductive rights and gun control is largely taken for granted in local politics. Like much of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 (which has the lowest rate of church attendance in the United States and consistently reports the highest percentage of atheism
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

), church attendance, religious belief and political influence of religious leaders is much lower than in other parts of America. Seattle also has a thriving alternative press, with two well-established weekly newspapers, several online dailies (including the Seattle P.I., Publicola and Crosscut), and a number of issue-focused publications, including the nation's two largest online environmental magazines, Worldchanging and Grist.org.

Federally, Seattle is part of Washington's 7th congressional district
Washington's 7th congressional district
Washington's 7th congressional district encompasses most of Seattle, all of Vashon Island, and portions of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Burien. Since 1989, the 7th District has been represented in the U.S...

, representated by Democrat Jim McDermott
Jim McDermott
James Adelbert "Jim" McDermott is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1989. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The 7th District includes most of Seattle and Vashon Island, and portions of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Burien.He serves on the House Ways and Means...

, elected in 1988 and one of Congress' most liberal members.

Education

Of the city's population over the age of 25, 53.8% (vs. a national average of 27.4%) hold a bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 or higher, and 91.9% (vs. 84.5% nationally) have a high school diploma or equivalent. A United States Census Bureau survey showed that Seattle had the highest percentage of college and university graduates of any major U.S. city. The city was listed as the most literate of the country's 69 largest cities in 2005 and 2006 and the second most literate in 2007, after Minneapolis, and tied with Minneapolis for most literate in 2008 in studies conducted by Central Connecticut State University.

Seattle Public Schools
Seattle Public Schools
Seattle Public Schools is the school district serving Seattle, Washington, USA. Its headquarters are in the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence.-List of schools:...

 desegregated without a court order but continue to struggle to achieve racial balance in a somewhat ethnically divided city (the south part of town having more ethnic minorities than the north). In 2007, Seattle's racial tie-breaking system was struck down by the United States Supreme Court, but the ruling left the door open for desegregation formulae based on other indicators (e.g., income or socioeconomic class).

The public school system is supplemented by a moderate number of private schools: five of the private high schools are Catholic, one is Lutheran, and six are secular.

Seattle is home to one of the United States's most respected public research universities, the University of Washington, as well as its professional and continuing education unit, University of Washington Educational Outreach
University of Washington Educational Outreach
| class="wikitable" border="2"The University of Washington Educational Outreach is the continuing education and professional development unit of the University of Washington , in Seattle, Washington....

. A study by Newsweek International in 2006 cited UW as the twenty-second best university in the world. Seattle also has a number of smaller private universities including Seattle University
Seattle University
Seattle University is a Jesuit Catholic university located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA.SU is the largest independent university in the Northwest US, with over 7,500 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs within eight schools, and is one of 28 member...

 and Seattle Pacific University
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle Pacific University is a Christian university of the liberal arts, sciences and professions, located on the north slope of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, Washington, USA. It was founded in 1891 by the Oregon and Washington Conference of the Free Methodist Church as the Seattle Seminary...

, both founded by religious groups; universities aimed at the working adult, like City University and Antioch University
Antioch University
Antioch University is an American university with five campuses located in four states. Campuses are located in Los Angeles, California; Santa Barbara, California; Keene, New Hampshire; Yellow Springs, Ohio; and Seattle, Washington. Additionally, Antioch University houses two institution-wide...

; colleges, such as North Seattle Community College
North Seattle Community College
North Seattle Community College is a two-year community college in Seattle, Washington. It is one of the three colleges comprising the Seattle Community College District , and one of the 32 member colleges of the Washington Community and Technical Colleges system.Founded in 1970, NSCC is...

, Seattle Central Community College
Seattle Central Community College
Seattle Central Community College is a community college located in Seattle, Washington, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It is one of the three colleges which make up the Seattle Community College District...

, and South Seattle Community College
South Seattle Community College
South Seattle Community College is a community college located in West Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1970, it is one of three colleges which make up the Seattle Community College District. Its programs include nursing , aviation, culinary arts, health care, horticulture, the construction trades...

; and a number of arts colleges, such as Cornish College of the Arts
Cornish College of the Arts
-Library:The library at Cornish College specializes in art, dance, design, music, performance production, and theatre. As of 2011 it holds 4700 CDs, 40,000 books, has 2,200 videos, and subscribes to 154 periodicals...

 and The Art Institute of Seattle
The Art Institute of Seattle
The Art Institute of Seattle in Seattle, Washington is one of The Art Institutes, a system of more than 40 educational institutions located throughout North America, providing education in design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts...

. In 2001, Time magazine selected Seattle Central Community College as community college of the year, stating the school "pushes diverse students to work together in small teams".

Health systems

The University of Washington is consistently ranked among the country's top leading institutions in medical research, earning special merits for programs in neurology and neurosurgery. Seattle has seen local developments of modern paramedic services with the establishment of Medic One
Medic One
The Seattle & King County Emergency Medical Services System is a fire-based two-tier response system providing prehospital basic and advanced life support services....

 in 1970. In 1974, a 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
60 Minutes is an American television news magazine, which has run on CBS since 1968. The program was created by producer Don Hewitt who set it apart by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation....

story on the success of the then four-year-old Medic One paramedic system called Seattle "the best place in the world to have a heart attack".

Three of Seattle's largest medical centers are located on First Hill. Harborview Medical Center
Harborview Medical Center
Harborview Medical Center, located on Seattle's First Hill, is a public hospital in King County, Washington and is managed by UW Medicine.-Overview:...

, the public county hospital, is the only Level I trauma hospital
Trauma center
A trauma center is a hospital equipped to provide comprehensive emergency medical services to patients suffering traumatic injuries. Trauma centers grew into existence out of the realization that traumatic injury is a disease process unto itself requiring specialized and experienced...

 serving Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center , founded in 1920, is a private, non-profit organization located in Seattle, Washington.-Organization:Gary S. Kaplan, MD, serves as chairman and CEO....

 and Swedish Medical Center
Swedish Medical Center
Swedish Medical Center is a large nonprofit health care provider located in Seattle, Washington. It has three main hospital locations in Seattle and is also affiliated with many other suburban hospitals and clinics. As of 2009 it has 7000 employees and 2,300 credentialed physicians.-History:Swedish...

's two largest campuses are also located in this part of Seattle, including the Virginia Mason Hospital
Virginia Mason Hospital
Virginia Mason Hospital is a hospital in Seattle, Washington, part of the Virginia Mason Medical Center.-Overview:The hospital is known for its programs to reduce healthcare operating costs...

. This concentration of hospitals resulted in the neighborhood's nickname "Pill Hill".

Located in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, Seattle Children's, formerly Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the pediatric referral center for Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is one of the world’s leading cancer research institutes...

 has a campus in the Eastlake neighborhood and also shares facilities with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center. The University District is home to the University of Washington Medical Center
University of Washington Medical Center
The University of Washington Medical Center is a nationally renowned hospital located along the Montlake Cut and Portage Bay in the University District of Seattle, Washington, USA. It is one of the teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Washington School of Medicine. UW Medical Center...

 which, along with Harborview, is operated by the University of Washington. Seattle is also served by a Veterans Affairs
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense...

 hospital on Beacon Hill, a third campus of Swedish in Ballard, and Northwest Hospital and Medical Center near Northgate Mall
Northgate Mall (Seattle)
Northgate Mall is a shopping mall in the Northgate district of north urban Seattle, Washington. It is currently anchored by Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys "R" Us, JCPenney, Macy's and Nordstrom.-History:...

.

Transportation

The first streetcars appeared in 1889 and were instrumental in the creation of a relatively well-defined downtown and strong neighborhoods at the end of their lines. The advent of the automobile sounded the death knell for rail in Seattle. Tacoma–Seattle railway service ended in 1929 and the Everett–Seattle service came to an end in 1939, replaced by inexpensive automobiles running on the recently developed highway system. Rails on city streets were paved over or removed, and the opening of the Seattle trolleybus system
Trolleybuses in Seattle
The Seattle trolleybus system forms part of the public transportation network serving Seattle, in the state of Washington, United States. Opened on April 28, 1940, it presently comprises 14 lines, and is operated with 159 trolleybuses by the King County Metro, commonly known as Metro.Of the five...

 brought the end of streetcars in Seattle in 1941. This left an extensive network of privately owned buses (later public) as the only mass transit within the city and throughout the region.

King County Metro provides frequent stop bus service within the city and surrounding county, as well as a South Lake Union Streetcar line between the South Lake Union neighborhood and Westlake Center in downtown. Seattle is one of the few cities in North America whose bus fleet includes electric trolleybuses. Sound Transit
Sound Transit
Sound Transit has been the popular name of Washington state's Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority since September 19, 1999. It was formed in 1996 by the Snohomish, King, and Pierce County Councils...

 currently provides an express bus service within the metropolitan area; two Sounder
Sounder Commuter Rail
Sounder commuter rail is a regional rail service operated by BNSF on behalf of Sound Transit. Service operates Monday through Friday during peak hours from Seattle, Washington, north to Everett and south to Tacoma. As of 2011, schedules serve the traditional peak commutes, with most trains running...

 commuter rail lines between the suburbs and downtown; and its Central Link
Link Light Rail
Sound Transit Link Light Rail is a rapid transit project in the Greater Seattle region, originally approved by a ballot measure in November 1996. Two lines are currently operating as of 2009: Tacoma Link, which uses 3 vehicles built by Škoda, and Central Link, which uses 35 vehicles built by Kinki...

 light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 line, which opened in 2009, between downtown and Sea-Tac Airport gives the city its first rapid transit line that has intermediate stops within the city limits. Washington State Ferries
Washington State Ferries
Washington State Ferries is a passenger and automobile ferry service owned and operated by the Washington State Department of Transportation that serves communities on Puget Sound and in the San Juan Islands. It is the most used ferry system in the world and the largest passenger and automobile...

, which manages the largest network of ferries in the United States and third largest in the world, connects Seattle to Bainbridge
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bainbridge Island is a city in Kitsap County, Washington, United States, and the name of the island in Puget Sound on which the city is situated...

 and Vashon Islands in Puget Sound and to Bremerton and Southworth
Southworth, Washington
Southworth is an unincorporated community on Puget Sound in Kitsap County, Washington, United States. It is best known for being the west end of the Fauntleroy-Vashon Island-Southworth Washington State Ferries run. Landmarks include Southworth Grocery, a US Post Office, ferry terminal, clay cliffs...

 on the Kitsap Peninsula.

According to the 2007 American Community Survey, 18.6% of Seattle residents used one of the three public transit systems that serve the city, giving it the highest transit ridership of all major cities without heavy or light rail prior to the completion of Sound Transit's Central Link line. The city has also been described as the fourth most walkable city in the United States.

Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, locally known as Sea-Tac Airport and located just south in the neighboring city of SeaTac, is operated by the Port of Seattle and provides commercial air service to destinations throughout the world. Closer to downtown, Boeing Field
Boeing Field
Boeing Field, officially King County International Airport , is a two-runway airport owned and run by King County, Washington, USA. In promotional literature, the airport is frequently referred to as KCIA, but this is not the airport identifier. The airport has some passenger service, but is mostly...

 is used for general aviation, cargo flights, and testing/delivery of Boeing airliners.

The main mode of transportation, however, relies on Seattle's streets, which are laid out in a cardinal direction
Cardinal direction
The four cardinal directions or cardinal points are the directions of north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials: N, E, S, W. East and west are at right angles to north and south, with east being in the direction of rotation and west being directly opposite. Intermediate...

s grid pattern
Grid plan
The grid plan, grid street plan or gridiron plan is a type of city plan in which streets run at right angles to each other, forming a grid...

, except in the central business district where early city leaders Arthur Denny and Carson Boren
Carson Boren
Carson Dobbins Boren , was an early founder of Seattle, Washington . His sister Mary Ann was married to Arthur Denny, and his sister Louisa to David Denny. Boren was the first King County Sheriff...

 insisted on orienting their plats relative to the shoreline rather than to true North. Only two roads, Interstate 5
Interstate 5 in Washington
Interstate 5 in Washington is a highway in the U.S. state of Washington that extends from its border with Oregon to its border with Canada...

 and State Route 99
Washington State Route 99
State Route 99, abbreviated SR 99, commonly called Highway 99, is a numbered state highway in the U.S. state of Washington extending just under from Fife in the south to Everett in the north, with a gap in Tukwila.-Southern division:...

 (both limited-access highways), run uninterrupted through the city from north to south. State Route 99 runs through downtown Seattle on the Alaskan Way Viaduct
Alaskan Way Viaduct
The Alaskan Way Viaduct, completed on April 4, 1953, is a double-decked elevated section of State Route 99 that runs along the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle's Industrial District and downtown Seattle. It is the smaller of the two major north–south traffic corridors through Seattle ,...

, which was built in 1953. However, due to damage sustained during the 2001 Nisqually earthquake the viaduct will be replaced by a tunnel in 2015 at a cost of US$4.25 billion.

From 2006 to 2008, transit ridership in Seattle went up by 23%, and many bus routes in the central part of the city are routinely forced to leave passengers because they are full. Seattle now has the worst traffic congestion of all American cities.

The city has started moving away from the automobile and towards mass transit. In 2006, voters in King County passed proposition 2(Transit Now) which increased bus service hours on high ridership routes and paid for five Bus Rapid Transit lines called RapidRide. After rejecting a roads and transit measure in 2007, Seattle-area voters passed a transit only measure in 2008 that increases ST Express bus service and extends the Link Light Rail system (currently 15.7 miles (25.3 km) with 3 miles (4.8 km) under construction) by over 30 miles, and expands and improves Sounder commuter rail service. A light rail line from downtown heading south to the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport began service on December 19, 2009, giving the city its first rapid transit line with intermediate stations within the city limits. An extension north to the University of Washington
University of Washington
University of Washington is a public research university, founded in 1861 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The UW is the largest university in the Northwest and the oldest public university on the West Coast. The university has three campuses, with its largest campus in the University...

 is under construction as of 2010; and further extensions are planned to reach Lynnwood
Lynnwood, Washington
Lynnwood is a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. The population was 35,836 at the 2010 census, making it the fourth largest in Snohomish County and twenty-ninth largest in Washington State. The city is a mix of urban, suburban, small city, crossroads and bedroom community to many...

 to the north, Des Moines
Des Moines, Washington
Des Moines is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 29,673 at the 2010 census. Property within the city has been the subject of land buyouts because of noise from aircraft landing or taking off from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport two miles to the north of...

 to the south, and Bellevue and Redmond to the east by 2023. Mayor Michael McGinn
Michael McGinn
Michael "Mike" Patrick McGinn is the mayor of Seattle, a lawyer, Greenwood neighborhood activist and a former Sierra Club state chair...

 hopes to put another transit measure on the 2011 ballot to build light rail from Downtown Seattle to Ballard, Fremont, and West Seattle after seeing a surprisingly large amount of support for it from its campaign (and now city's) policy forum.

Walkability

A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Seattle 6th most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities.

Utilities

Water and electric power are municipal services, provided by Seattle Public Utilities
Seattle Public Utilities
Seattle Public Utilities is a public utility agency of the city of Seattle, Washington, which provides water, sewer, drainage and garbage services for 1.3 million people in King County, Washington...

 and Seattle City Light
Seattle City Light
Seattle City Light is the public utility providing electrical power to Seattle, Washington and parts of its metropolitan area, including all of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park and parts of unincorporated King County, Burien, Normandy Park, Seatac, Renton, and Tukwila...

 respectively. Other utility companies serving Seattle include Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy is Washington state's oldest local energy utility providing electrical power and natural gas in the Puget Sound region of the northwest United States...

 (natural gas, electricity); Seattle Steam Company
Seattle Steam Company
The Seattle Steam Company is a privately owned district heating public utility that provides steam to over 175 business in downtown Seattle and on First Hill via 18 miles of steam pipeline...

 (steam); Waste Management, Inc
Waste Management, Inc
Waste Management, Inc. is a waste management, comprehensive waste, and environmental services company in North America. Founded in 1894, the company is headquartered in Suite 4000 at the First City Tower in Downtown Houston, Texas, in the United States....

 and CleanScapes, Inc. (curbside recycling and solid waste removal); and Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc. is a global broadband and telecommunications company and a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average...

, Century Link and Comcast
Comcast
Comcast Corporation is the largest cable operator, home Internet service provider, and fourth largest home telephone service provider in the United States, providing cable television, broadband Internet, and telephone service to both residential and commercial customers in 39 states and the...

 (telephone, Internet, and cable television).

Sister Cities

Beer Sheva Bergen
Bergen
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of as of , . Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, has a population of as of , ....

 Cebu
Cebu City
The City of Cebu is the capital city of Cebu and is the second largest city in the Philippines, the second most significant metropolitan centre in the Philippines and known as the oldest settlement established by the Spaniards in the country.The city is located on the eastern shore of Cebu and was...

 Chongqing
Chongqing
Chongqing is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities of China. Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities , and the only such municipality in inland China.The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the...

 Christchurch
Christchurch
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's second-largest urban area after Auckland. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of...

 Daejeon
Daejeon
Daejeon is South Korea's fifth largest metropolis and the provincial capital of Chungnam. Located in the center of the country, Daejeon had a population of over 1.5 million in 2010. It is at the crossroads of Gyeongbu railway, Honam railway, Gyeongbu Expressway, and Honam Expressway. Within the...

 Galway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

 Gdynia
Gdynia
Gdynia is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland and an important seaport of Gdańsk Bay on the south coast of the Baltic Sea.Located in Kashubia in Eastern Pomerania, Gdynia is part of a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdańsk and suburban communities, which together...

 Haiphong
Haiphong
, also Haiphong, is the third most populous city in Vietnam. The name means, "coastal defence".-History:Hai Phong was originally founded by Lê Chân, the female general of a Vietnamese revolution against the Chinese led by the Trưng Sisters in the year 43 C.E.The area which is now known as Duong...

 Kobe
Kobe
, pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

 Limbe
Limbe
Limbe is a seaside city in the South-West Region of Cameroon. Limbe was founded in 1858 on the southern slopes of Mount Cameroon by the British missionary Alfred Saker...

 Mazatlán
Mazatlán
Mazatlán is a city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa; the surrounding municipio for which the city serves as the municipal seat is Mazatlán Municipality. It is located at on the Pacific coast, across from the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula.Mazatlán is a Nahuatl word meaning...

 Mombasa
Mombasa
Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya. Lying next to the Indian Ocean, it has a major port and an international airport. The city also serves as the centre of the coastal tourism industry....

 Nantes
Nantes
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....

 Pécs
Pécs
Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia. It is the administrative and economical centre of Baranya county...

 Perugia
Perugia
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber, and the capital of the province of Perugia. The city is located about north of Rome. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area....

 Reykjavík
Reykjavík
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland.Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay...

 Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville , also known as Kampong Saom, is a province in southern Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand. This port city is a growing Cambodian urban center, located southwest of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The province is named after King Father Norodom Sihanouk and grew up around the...

 Surabaya
Surabaya
Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java...

 Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.-Early Islamic History:...



See also

  • List of people from Seattle
  • List of Seattle sister cities
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Seattle, Washington
    National Register of Historic Places listings in Seattle, Washington
    List of entries on the National Register of Historic Places in Seattle, Washington-See also:* List of Landmarks in Seattle * List of National Historic Landmarks in Washington-External links:* at nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com...

  • Sustainable Seattle
    Sustainable Seattle
    Sustainable Seattle is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in the Central Puget Sound. It was officially founded as a non-profit in 1991 by a small group of six people who quickly became twelve. Sustainable Seattle was the first organization to create regional indicators for...

  • Tillicum Village
    Tillicum Village
    Tillicum Village is a Puget Sound area visitor attraction located on Blake Island just off the shore of Seattle, WA. It is believed that this attraction dates to the time period immediately preceding the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. The Tillicum Village attraction features a scenic cruise from...

  • Seattle tugboats
    Seattle tugboats
    right|400pxSeattle has a long marine tradition. It goes back,with steamships, to the SS Beaver in 1836.The complex inlets of Puget Sound needed tugs to movesailing vessels against contrary winds. One early tugwas the Goliah of 1849...


Further reading

  • Sanders, Jeffrey Craig. Seattle and the Roots of Urban Sustainability: Inventing Ecotopia (University of Pittsburgh Press; 2010) 288 pages; the rise of environmental activism

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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