Interesting facts about Seattle

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Seattle is the most populous city in the US state of Washington.

It is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States.

The city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington.

As of August 2019, the population of Seattle is about 750,000 people. It is the 18th most populous city in the United States.

Seattle covers a total area of 368 square kilometers (142 square miles).

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The highest point in Seattle is 520 meters (520 feet) above sea level and the lowest point is the sea level.

Beyond the shores of Puget Sound and Lake Washington, the landscape is an attractive mixture of rolling hills and a few steep ridges, the result of a landscape-altering program that occurred in the early 1900s.

The Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers.

George Vancouver was the first European to visit the Seattle area in May 1792 during his 1791-95 expedition to chart the Pacific Northwest.

seattle history

The founding of Seattle is usually dated from the arrival of the Denny Party scouts in September 25, 1851.

The settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named “Seattle” in 1852, in honor of Chief Seattle of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.

The greatest boom period for Seattle occurred 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.

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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.

The architecture of Seattle includes aspects that predate the mid-nineteenth century arrival of the area’s first settlers of European ancestry, and has reflected and influenced numerous architectural styles over time.

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Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street. With more than 10 million visitors annually, Pike Place Market is Seattle’s most popular tourist destination and is the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world.

pike place market

The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington, a landmark of the Pacific Northwest, and an icon of Seattle. This streamlined, modern-before-its-time tower built for the 1962 World’s Fair has been the city’s defining symbol for over 50 years. Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, it is 184 meters (605 feet) high, 42 meters (138 feet) wide, and weighs 8,660 tonnes (9,550 US tons).

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Seattle Center, along with its iconic Space Needle were built for the 1962 World’s Fair but have since been turned into an entertainment complex and park area with theaters, sports facilities, and restaurants.

seattle center

The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP is located on the campus of Seattle Center. It is a nonprofit museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture. It was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000 as the Experience Music Project. It is home to exhibits, interactive activity stations, sound sculpture, and various educational resources.

museum of pop culture

Chihuly Garden and Glass is an exhibit in the Seattle Center showcasing the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. It opened in May 2012. The project features three primary components: the Garden, the Glasshouse, and the Interior Exhibits, with significant secondary spaces including a 90-seat café with additional outdoor dining, a 50-seat multi-use theater and lecture space, retail and lobby spaces, and extensive public site enhancements beyond the Garden. The 30-meter (100-foot) -long installation inside of the Glasshouse is one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures. Designed with the help of architect Owen Richards, the facility was awarded LEED silver certification from the US Green Building Council.

chihuly garden and glass

A forest of trees up to 1,000–2,000 years old and towering as high as nearly 122 m (400 ft) covered much of what is now Seattle. Today, none of that size remain anywhere in the world.

Seattle in its early decades relied on the timber industry, shipping logs (and later, milled timber) to San Francisco.

Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 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 alternative rock movement grunge.

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From 1869 until 1982, Seattle was known as the “Queen City.”

Seattle’s 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” for being the nearest major city in the contiguous US to Alaska, Rain City” for its frequent cloudy and rainy weather, and “Jet City” from the local influence of Boeing.

The city has two official slogans or mottos: “The City of Flowers, meant to encourage the planting of flowers to beautify the city, and “The City of Goodwill”, adopted prior to the 1990 Goodwill Games.

Seattle residents are known as Seattleites.

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