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Seattle, Washington


Everett, Washington

July 25, 2021

Nickname(s): The Emerald City, Jet City, Rain CityMotto(s): The City of Flowers, The City of Goodwill\


Seattle (/siˈætəl/ (listen) see-AT-əl) is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With a 2019 population of 753,675, it is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The Seattle metropolitan area's population is 3.98 million, making it the 15th-largest in the United States.[9] Between 2013 and 2016, Seattle was rated the fastest-growing major city and[10] remained in the top five in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%.[11] In July 2016, Seattle ranked as the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate, and continuously among the fastest growing cities in the United States.

Seattle is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington. It is the northernmost major city in the United States, located about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canadian border. A major gateway for trade with northern Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015.[13]

The Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers.[14] Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived from Illinois via Portland, Oregon, on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851.[15] The settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named "Seattle" in 1852, in honor of Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Today, Seattle has high populations of Native, Scandinavian, Asian American and African American people, as well as a thriving LGBT community that ranks sixth in the United States by population.[16]

Logging 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 during the Klondike Gold Rush. Growth after World War II was partially due to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing. The Seattle area developed into a technology center from the 1980s onwards with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region; Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a Seattleite by birth. Internet retailer Amazon was founded in Seattle in 1994, and major airline Alaska Airlines is based in SeaTac, Washington, serving Seattle's international airport, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Seattle also has a significant musical history. Between 1918 and 1951, nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs existed along Jackson Street, from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District. The jazz scene nurtured the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix, as well as the origin of the bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, and the punk rock movement grunge.




History Founding

Archaeological excavations suggest that Native Americans have inhabited the Seattle area for at least 4,000 years.[14] By the time the first European settlers arrived, the people (subsequently called the Duwamish tribe) occupied at least seventeen villages in the areas around Elliott Bay.

The first European to visit the Seattle area was George Vancouver, in May 1792 during his 1791–95 expedition for the Royal Navy to chart the Pacific Northwest.[21] In 1851, a large party of American pioneers led by Luther Collins made a location on land at the mouth of the Duwamish River; they formally claimed it on September 14, 1851.[22] Thirteen days later, members of the Collins Party on the way to their claim passed three scouts of the Denny Party.[23] Members of the Denny Party claimed land on Alki Point on September 28, 1851.[24] The rest of the Denny Party set sail from Portland, Oregon, and landed on Alki point during a rainstorm on November 13, 1851.[24] After a difficult winter, most of the Denny Party relocated across Elliott Bay and claimed land a second time at the site of present-day Pioneer Square,[24] naming this new settlement Duwamps.

Charles Terry and John Low remained at the original landing location, reestablished their old land claim and called it "New York", but renamed "New York Alki" in April 1853, from a Chinook word meaning, roughly, "by and by" or "someday".[25][26] 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.[27] David Swinson "Doc" Maynard, one of the founders of Duwamps, was the primary advocate to name the settlement Seattle after Chief Si'ahl (Lushootseed: siʔaɫ, anglicized as "Seattle") slaveholder of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.[28][29][30] A modern transliteration of the original Coast Salish settlements around Elliott Bay is rendered in Lushootseed as dᶻidᶻəlal̓ič.[31] The name "Seattle" appears on official Washington Territory papers dated May 23, 1853, when the first plats 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 managing the city. The Town of Seattle was disincorporated on January 18, 1867, and remained a mere precinct of King County until late 1869, when a new petition was filed and the city was re-incorporated December 2, 1869, with a mayor–council government.[24][32] The corporate seal of the City of Seattle carries the date "1869" and a likeness of Chief Si'ahl in left profile.

Timber town

Seattle has a history of boom-and-bust cycles, like many other 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.[34] The first such boom, covering the early years of the city, rode on the lumber industry. During this period the road now known as Yesler Way won the nickname "Skid Road," supposedly after the timber skidding down the hill to Henry Yesler's sawmill. The later dereliction of the area may be a possible origin for the term which later entered the wider American lexicon as Skid Row.[35] 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.[36] This violence originated with unemployed whites who were determined to drive the Chinese from Seattle (anti-Chinese riots also occurred in Tacoma). In 1900, Asians were 4.2% of the population.[37] Authorities declared martial law and federal troops arrived to put down the disorder.

Seattle had achieved sufficient economic success that when the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 destroyed the central business district, a far grander city-center rapidly emerged in its place.[38] Finance company Washington Mutual, for example, was founded in the immediate wake of the fire.[39] However, the Panic of 1893 hit Seattle hard.

Gold Rush, World War I, and the Great Depression The second and most dramatic boom 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, Tacoma, Port Townsend, Bremerton, and Olympia, all in the Puget Sound region, became competitors for exchange, rather than mother lodes for extraction, of precious metals.[42] 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 borrowed $100 from a friend and founded the American Messenger Company (later UPS). Other Seattle companies founded during this period include Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer.[39] Seattle brought in the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm to design a system of parks and boulevards.

The Gold Rush era culminated in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909, which is largely responsible for the layout of today's University of Washington 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 in the country.[45] A 1912 city development plan by Virgil Bogue 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.[46] The Great Depression in Seattle affected many minority groups, one being the Asian Pacific Americans; they were subject to racism, loss of property, and failed claims of unemployment due to citizenship status.

Seattle was one of the major cities that benefited from programs such as the WPA, CCC, UCL, and PWA.[48][49] The workers, mostly men, built roads, parks, dams, schools, railroads, bridges, docks, and even historical and archival record sites and buildings. However, Seattle faced massive unemployment, loss of lumber and construction industries as Los Angeles prevailed as the bigger West Coast city. Seattle had building contracts that rivaled New York City and Chicago, but lost to LA as well. Seattle's eastern farm land faded due to Oregon's and the Midwest's, forcing people into town. The famous Hooverville arose during the Depression, leading to Seattle's growing homeless population. Stationed outside Seattle, the Hooverville housed thousands of men but very very few children and no women. With work projects close to the city, Hooverville grew and the WPA settled into the city.

A movement by women arose from Seattle during the Depression. Fueled by Eleanor Roosevelt's book It's Up to the Women, women pushed for recognition, not just as housewives, but as the backbone to family. Using newspapers and journals Working Woman and The Woman Today, women pushed to be seen as equal and receive some recognition.

Seattle's University of Washington was greatly affected during the Depression era. As schools across Washington lost funding and attendance, the UW actually prospered during the time period. While Seattle public schools were influenced by Washington's superintendent Worth McClure,[54] they still struggled to pay teachers and maintain attendance. The UW, despite academic challenges that plagued the college due to differing views on teaching and learning, focused on growth in student enrollment rather than improving the existing school.[

Seattle was also the home base of impresario Alexander Pantages who, starting in 1902, opened a number of theaters in the city exhibiting vaudeville acts and silent movies. He went on to became one of America's greatest theater and movie tycoons. Scottish-born architcet B. Marcus Priteca designed several theaters for Pantages in Seattle, which were later demolished or converted to other uses. Seattle's surviving Paramount Theatre, 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. After the war, the local economy dipped. It rose again with Boeing's growing dominance in the commercial airliner market.[57] Seattle celebrated its restored prosperity and made a bid for world recognition with the Century 21 Exposition, the 1962 World's Fair, for which the iconic Space Needle was built.[58] Another major local economic downturn was in the late 1960s and early 1970s, at a time when Boeing was heavily affected by the oil crises, loss of government contracts, and costs and delays associated with the Boeing 747. 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.[60] The Seattle area is still home to Boeing's Renton narrow-body plant and Everett wide-body plant.[61] The company's credit union for employees, BECU, remains based in the Seattle area and has been open to all residents of Washington since 2002.[62] On March 20, 1970, twenty-eight people were killed when the Ozark Hotel was burned by an unknown arsonist.

As prosperity began to return in the 1980s, the city was stunned by the Wah Mee massacre in 1983, when thirteen people were killed in an illegal gambling club in the Seattle Chinatown-International District.[64] Beginning with Microsoft's 1979 move from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to nearby Bellevue, Washington,[65] Seattle and its suburbs became home to a number of technology companies including Amazon, F5 Networks, RealNetworks, Nintendo of America, and T-Mobile.[66]This success brought an influx of new residents with a population increase within city limits of almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000,[67] and saw Seattle's real estate become some of the most expensive in the country.[68] In 1993, the movie Sleepless in Seattle brought the city further national attention,[69] as did the television sitcom Frasier. The dot-com boom caused a great frenzy among the technology companies in Seattle but the bubble 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[72] and the APEC leaders conference in 1993,[73] as well as through the worldwide popularity of grunge, a sound that had developed in Seattle's independent music scene.[74] 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.[75] The city was further shaken by the Mardi Gras Riots in 2001, and then literally shaken the following day by the Nisqually earthquake.

Another boom began as the city emerged from the Great Recession which commenced when Amazon.com moved its headquarters from North Beacon Hill to South Lake Union. This initiated a historic construction boom which resulted in the completion of almost 10,000 apartments in Seattle in 2017, which is more than any previous year and nearly twice as many as were built in 2016.[77][78] Beginning in 2010, and for the next five years, Seattle gained an average of 14,511 residents per year, with the growth strongly skewed toward the center of the city,[79] as unemployment dropped from roughly 9 percent to 3.6 percent.[80] The city has found itself "bursting at the seams", with over 45,000 households spending more than half their income on housing and at least 2,800 people homeless, and with the country's sixth-worst rush hour traffic.

Geography

Topography Seattle is located between the saltwater Puget Sound (an arm of the Pacific Ocean) to the west and Lake Washington to the east. The city's chief harbor, Elliott Bay, is part of Puget Sound, which makes the city an oceanic port. To the west, beyond Puget Sound, are the Kitsap Peninsula and Olympic Mountains on the Olympic Peninsula; to the east, beyond Lake Washington and the Eastside suburbs, are Lake Sammamish and the Cascade Range. Lake Washington's waters flow to Puget Sound through the Lake Washington Ship Canal (consisting of two man-made canals, Lake Union, and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks at Salmon Bay, ending in Shilshole Bay on Puget Sound).[

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.[81][82] The city itself is hilly, though not uniformly so.[83] Like Rome, the city is said to lie on seven hills;[84] the lists vary but typically include Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and the former Denny Hill. The Wallingford, Delridge, Mount Baker, Seward Park, Washington Park, Broadmoor, Madrona, Phinney Ridge, Sunset Hill, Blue Ridge, Broadview, Laurelhurst, Hawthorne Hills, Maple Leaf, and Crown Hill neighborhoods are all 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.[85] The break in the ridge between First Hill and Beacon Hill is man-made, the result of two of the many regrading projects that reshaped the topography of the city center.[86] 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 terminus of the Green River. The highest point within city limits is at High Point in West Seattle, which is 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, and 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.

Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Seattle is in a major earthquake zone. On February 28, 2001, the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake did significant architectural damage, especially in the Pioneer Square area (built on reclaimed land, as are the Industrial District and part of the city center), but caused only one fatality.[87] Other strong quakes occurred on January 26, 1700 (estimated at 9 magnitude), December 14, 1872 (7.3 or 7.4),[88] April 13, 1949 (7.1),[89] and April 29, 1965 (6.5).[90] The 1965 quake caused three deaths in Seattle directly and one more by heart failure.[90] Although the Seattle Fault passes just south of the city center, neither it[91] nor the Cascadia subduction zone 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 km2),[93] 83.9 square miles (217 km2) of which is land and 58.7 square miles (152 km2), water (41.16% of the total area). Climate Seattle has a temperate climate, classified in the Mediterranean zone by the main climatic classification (Köppen: Csb),[94][95][96] but some sources put the city in the oceanic zone (Cfb).[97][98] It has cool, wet winters and mild, relatively dry summers, covering characteristics of both. The climate is sometimes characterized as a "modified Mediterranean" climate because it is cooler and wetter than a "true" Mediterranean climate, but shares the characteristic dry summer (which has a strong influence on the region's vegetation).

Temperature extremes are moderated by the adjacent Puget Sound, greater Pacific Ocean, and Lake Washington. Thus extreme heat waves are rare in the Seattle area, as are very cold temperatures (below about 15 °F (−9 °C)). The Seattle area is the cloudiest region of the United States, due in part to frequent storms and lows moving in from the adjacent Pacific Ocean. With many more "rain days" than other major American cities, Seattle has a well-earned reputation for frequent rain.[102] In an average year, at least 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) of precipitation falls on 150 days, more than nearly all U.S. cities east of the Rocky Mountains.[103] However, due to the fact that Seattle often has merely a light drizzle falling from the sky for many days, Seattle actually receives significantly less rainfall (or other precipitation) overall than many other U.S. cities like New York City, Miami, or Houston. Seattle is cloudy 201 days out of the year and partly cloudy 93 days. Demographics According to the 2012–2016 American Community Survey (ACS), the racial makeup of the city was 65.7% White Non-Hispanic, 14.1% Asian, 7.0% Black or African American, 6.6% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 0.4% Native American, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 0.2% other races, and 5.6% two or more races.

Historical population


Seattle's population historically has been predominantly white.[37] The 2010 census showed that Seattle was one of the whitest big cities in the country, although its proportion of white residents has been gradually declining.[114] In 1960, whites constituted 91.6% of the city's population,[37] while in 2010 they constituted 69.5%.[115][116] According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, approximately 78.9% of residents over the age of five spoke only English at home. Those who spoke Asian languages other than Indo-European languages made up 10.2% of the population, Spanish was spoken by 4.5% of the population, speakers of other Indo-European languages made up 3.9%, and speakers of other languages made up 2.5%. Seattle's foreign-born population grew 40% between the 1990 and 2000 censuses.[117] The Chinese population in the Seattle area has origins in mainland China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan. The earliest Chinese-Americans that came in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were almost entirely from Guangdong Province. The Seattle area is also home to a large Vietnamese population of more than 55,000 residents,[118] as well as over 30,000 Somali immigrants.[119] The Seattle-Tacoma area is also home to one of the largest Cambodian communities in the United States, numbering about 19,000 Cambodian Americans,[120] and one of the largest Samoan communities in the mainland U.S., with over 15,000 people having Samoan ancestry.[115][121] Additionally, the Seattle area had the highest percentage of self-identified mixed-race people of any large metropolitan area in the United States, according to the 2000 United States Census Bureau.[122] According to a 2012 HistoryLink study, Seattle's 98118 ZIP code (in the Columbia City neighborhood) was one of the most diverse ZIP Code Tabulation Areas in the United States.

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, the largest religious groupings are Christians (52%), followed by those of no religion (37%), Hindus (2%), Buddhists (2%), Jews (1%), Muslims (1%) and a variety of other religions have smaller followings. According to the same study by the Pew Research Center, about 34% of Seattleites are Protestant, and 15% are Roman Catholic. Meanwhile, 6% of the residents in Seattle call themselves agnostics, while 10% call themselves atheists.

According to the ACS 1-year estimates, in 2018, the median income of a city household was $93,481, and the median income for a family was $130,656.[126] 11.0% of the population and 6.6% of families were below the poverty line. Of people living in poverty, 11.4% were under the age of 18 and 10.9% were 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.[127] 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 beds to permanent housing.

In recent years, the city has experienced steady population growth, and has been faced with the issue of accommodating more residents. 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.[129] However, former mayor Greg Nickels supported plans that would increase the population by 60%, or 350,000 people, by 2040 and worked on ways to accommodate this growth while keeping Seattle's single-family housing zoning laws.[129] 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.[130] As a sign of increasing downtown core growth, the Downtown population crested to over 60,000 in 2009, up 77% since 1990.

Seattle has a relatively high number of adults living alone. According to the 2000 U.S. 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%.[

Seattle has a notably large lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. According to a 2006 study by UCLA, 12.9% of city residents polled identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This was the second-highest proportion of any major U.S. city, behind San Francisco.[133] Greater Seattle also ranked second among major U.S. metropolitan areas, with 6.5% of the population identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.[133] According to 2012 estimates from the United States Census Bureau, Seattle has the highest percentage of same-sex households in the United States, at 2.6 percent, surpassing San Francisco (2.5 percent).[134] The Capitol Hill district has historically been the center of LGBT culture in Seattle.[135]

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 (GMP) was $231 billion in 2010, making it the 11th largest metropolitan economy in the United States.[136][137] The Port of Seattle, which also operates Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, is a major gateway for trade with Asia and cruises to Alaska. It also is the 8th largest port in the United States when measured by container capacity. Its maritime cargo operations merged with the Port of Tacoma in 2015 to form the Northwest Seaport Alliance.[138][139] Although it was affected by the Great Recession, Seattle has retained a comparatively strong economy, and is noted for start-up businesses, especially in green building and clean technologies.[140] In February 2010, the city government committed Seattle to become North America's first "climate neutral" city, with a goal of reaching zero net per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.[141] Large companies continue to dominate the business landscape. Five companies on Fortune 500's 2017 list of the United States' largest companies (based on total revenue) are headquartered in Seattle: Internet retailer Amazon.com (#12), coffee chain Starbucks (#131), department store Nordstrom (#188), forest products company Weyerhaeuser (#341) and freight forwarder Expeditors International of Washington (#429).[142] Other Fortune 500 companies commonly associated with Seattle are based in nearby Puget Sound cities. Warehouse club chain Costco (#16), the largest retail company in Washington, is based in Issaquah. Microsoft (#28) is located in Redmond. Furthermore, Bellevue is home to truck manufacturer Paccar (#164).[142] Other major companies headquartered in the area include Nintendo of America in Redmond, T-Mobile US in Bellevue, Expedia Inc. in Bellevue, and Providence Health & Services (the state's largest health care system and fifth largest employer) in Renton. The city has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption;[143] coffee companies founded or based in Seattle include Starbucks,[144] Seattle's Best Coffee,[145] and Tully's.[146] There are also many successful independent artisanal espresso roasters and cafés.

Before moving its headquarters to Chicago, aerospace manufacturer Boeing (#24) was the largest company based in Seattle. Its largest division, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is still headquartered within the Puget Sound region.[147][c] The company also has large aircraft manufacturing plants in Everett and Renton; it remains the largest private employer in the Seattle metropolitan area.[148] In 2006 former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced a desire to spark a new economic boom driven by the biotechnology industry. 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 (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Immunex (now part of Amgen), Trubion, and ZymoGenetics.


Vulcan Inc., the holding company of billionaire Paul Allen, 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 for pandering to Allen's interests at taxpayers' expense.[149] In 2005, Forbes ranked Seattle as the most expensive American city for buying a house based on the local income levels.[150] Owing largely to the rapidly increasing cost of living, Seattle and Washington State have some of the highest minimum wages in the country, at $15 per hour for smaller businesses and $16 for the city's largest employers.[151]

Operating a hub at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, Alaska Airlines maintains its headquarters in the city of SeaTac, next to the airport.[152] Seattle is a hub for global health with the headquarters of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, Infectious Disease Research Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. In 2015, the Washington Global Health Alliance counted 168 global health organizations in Washington state. Many are headquartered in Seattle.[153]

Culture


Many of Seattle's neighborhoods host one or more street fairs or parades.[154]

Performing arts Seattle has been a regional center for the performing arts for many years. The century-old Seattle Symphony Orchestra has won many awards and performs primarily at Benaroya Hall.[155] The Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet, which perform at McCaw Hall (opened in 2003 on the site of the former Seattle Opera House at Seattle Center), are comparably distinguished,[156][157] with the Opera being particularly known for its performances of the works of Richard Wagner[158][159] and the PNB School (founded in 1974) ranking as one of the top three ballet training institutions in the United States.[156] The Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras (SYSO) is the largest symphonic youth organization in the United States.[160] The city also boasts lauded summer and winter chamber music festivals organized by the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

The 5th Avenue Theatre, built in 1926, stages Broadway-style musical shows[162] featuring both local talent and international stars.[163] Seattle has "around 100" theatrical production companies[164] and over two dozen live theatre venues, many of them associated with fringe theatre;[165][166] Seattle is probably second only to New York for number of equity theaters[167] (28 Seattle theater companies have some sort of Actors' Equity contract).[164] In addition, the 900-seat Romanesque Revival Town Hall on First Hill hosts numerous cultural events, especially lectures and recitals.[168] Benaroya Hall has been the home of the Seattle Symphony since 1998.

Between 1918 and 1951, there were nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs along Jackson Street, running from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District. The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Bumps Blackwell, Ernestine Anderson, and others.

Early popular musical acts from the Seattle/Puget Sound area include the collegiate folk group The Brothers Four, vocal group The Fleetwoods, 1960s garage rockers The Wailers and The Sonics, and instrumental surf group The Ventures, some of whom are still active.

Seattle is considered the home of grunge music,[17] having produced artists such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Mudhoney, all of whom reached international audiences in the early 1990s.[169] The city is also home to such varied artists as avant-garde jazz musicians Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz, hot jazz musician Glenn Crytzer, hip hop artists Sir Mix-a-Lot, Macklemore, Blue Scholars, and Shabazz Palaces, smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G, classic rock staples Heart and Queensrÿche, and alternative rock bands such as Foo Fighters, Harvey Danger, The Presidents of the United States of America, The Posies, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie, and Fleet Foxes. Rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Duff McKagan, and Nikki Sixx spent their formative years in Seattle. The Seattle-based Sub Pop record company continues to be one of the world's best-known independent/alternative music labels.[169]

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

Seattle annually sends a team of spoken word slammers to the National Poetry Slam and considers itself home to such performance poets as Buddy Wakefield, two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champ;[170] Anis Mojgani, two-time National Poetry Slam Champ;[171] and Danny Sherrard, 2007 National Poetry Slam Champ and 2008 Individual World Poetry Slam Champ.[172] 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.[173] The city also has movie houses showing both Hollywood productions and works by independent filmmakers.[174] Among these, the Seattle Cinerama stands out as one of only three movie theaters in the world still capable of showing three-panel Cinerama films.[175]

Tourism 210 cruise ship visits brought 886,039 passengers to Seattle in 2008.[176] The sign of Pike Place Market, a popular public market and tourist destination Among Seattle's prominent annual fairs and festivals are the 24-day Seattle International Film Festival,[177] Northwest Folklife over the Memorial Day weekend, numerous Seafair 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 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 and two separate Independence Day celebrations.

Other significant events include numerous Native American pow-wows, a Greek Festival hosted by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Montlake, and numerous ethnic festivals (many associated with Festál at Seattle Center).

There are other annual events, ranging from the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair & Book Arts Show;[183] an anime convention, Sakura-Con;[184] Penny Arcade Expo, a gaming convention;[185] a two-day, 9,000-rider Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic;[186] and specialized film festivals, such as the Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival, the Seattle Asian American Film Festival (formerly known as the Northwest Asian American Film Festival), Children's Film Festival Seattle, Translation: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Seattle Latino Film Festival, and the Seattle Polish Film Festival.

The Henry Art Gallery opened in 1927, the first public art museum in Washington.[189] The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) opened in 1933 and moved to their current downtown location in 1991 (expanded and reopened in 2007); since 1991, the 1933 building has been SAM's Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM).[190] SAM also operates the Olympic Sculpture Park (opened in 2007) on the waterfront north of the downtown piers. The Frye Art Museum is a free museum on First Hill.

Regional history collections are at the Log House Museum in Alki, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, the Museum of History and Industry, and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Industry collections are at the Center for Wooden Boats and the adjacent Northwest Seaport, the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, and the Museum of Flight. Regional ethnic collections include the Nordic Heritage Museum, the Wing Luke Asian Museum, and the Northwest African American Museum. Seattle has artist-run galleries,[191] including ten-year veteran Soil Art Gallery,[192] and the newer Crawl Space Gallery.[193] The Seattle Great Wheel

The Seattle Great Wheel, one of the largest Ferris wheels in the US, opened in June 2012 as a new, permanent attraction on the city's waterfront, at Pier 57, next to Downtown Seattle.[194] The city also has many community centers 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.

Woodland Park Zoo opened as a private menagerie in 1889 but was sold to the city in 1899.[196] The Seattle Aquarium has been open on the downtown waterfront since 1977 (undergoing a renovation in 2006).[197] The Seattle Underground Tour is an exhibit of places that existed before the Great Fire.

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.[199]

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