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Maps 1851-1901  1902-1951  1952-2001

Seattle: 50 years at a time


Bellevue Square and Northgate: The automobile culture made significant inroads in post-WWII Seattle and environs. Bellevue Square opened in 1946, and Northgate in 1949. They were among the first shopping centers in the United States designed solely for access via automobile.

World's Fairgrounds: In true Seattle fashion, a collection of old buildings was repackaged. The Armory became the Food Circus (now the Center House), the Civic Auditorium became the Opera House, and they were combined with new attractions — the Coliseum (now KeyArena), the Space Needle and the United States Pavilion (now the Pacific Science Center) — for the 1962 Century 21 World's Fair.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: Opened in 1949, Sea-Tac has seen many comings and goings, perhaps the most infamous was hijacker D.B. Cooper, who landed here on a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland in 1971, collected four parachutes and $200,000, took off for points south and was never seen again.

Edgewater Hotel, 2411 Alaskan Way: When the Beatles stayed here in 1964, it was the scene of pandemonium. Hundreds of teenagers surged over the rock group's limousine when it arrived.

Sites of "last person leaving Seattle" billboards: During the Boeing Bust of the early 1970s, Seattle's most famous billboards went up at the city limits along Highway 99. They read: "Will the last person leaving Seattle, please turn out the lights?"

Kingdome site: Built between 1972 and 1976, the Kingdome's roof was once the largest self-supporting, thin-shelled concrete roof in the world. Until it was imploded in 2000, it housed the Mariners, the Seahawks, the Sonics and the Sounders. The new football stadium is being built where the Kingdome stood.

Goodwill Games sites: Thousands of athletes and spectators from around the world descended on Seattle in 1990 for the last major international athletic competition before the end of the Cold War. Events took place at Husky Stadium, Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way (built for the Goodwill Games) and the Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond.

Microsoft's head-quarters: When they moved their fledgling company from New Mexico, Bill Gates and Paul Allen set up shop in the University District and then moved to a building next to Burgermaster near State Route 520 and Northup Way between Kirkland and Bellevue.

Reciprocal Recording: A little wooden building at 4230 Leary Way N.W. where Nirvana recorded their first album in 1989.

Intersections of Fifth Avenue and Union Street, Fourth Avenue and Pine Street, Sixth Avenue and Stewart Street: These were the sites of clashes between police and demonstrators during the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle. home
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