Guide to SMA Resources for Council District 5

map of District 5

Listed here is a small selection of records in the Seattle Municipal Archives relating to neighborhoods in District 5, including Bitter Lake, Broadview, Cedar Park, Greenwood, Haller Lake, Lake City, Licton Springs, Meadowbrook, and Northgate. Many more historical resources are available; please contact an archivist for assistance.

The current District 5 Councilmember is Cathy Moore.

Early Records

Licton Springs, 1935
Licton Springs, 1935
Image 29691

Much of the area in District 5 was annexed to the City of Seattle between 1942 and 1954. SMA holds records relating to these annexations, including petitions, maps, correspondence, and more. Explore our interactive annexation map to learn when specific areas became part of Seattle.

The General Files collection contains City of Seattle records from the late 19th and early 20th century, documenting the activities of City officials and Seattle residents during a time of enormous growth and change. Topics include the aftermath of the Great Fire, the development of the water supply and sewer systems, grading and street improvements, housing, public health, and many other issues. General Files related to the Greenwood neighborhood can be viewed in Digital Collections.

Parks and Recreation

Jackson Park Golf Course, 2002
Jackson Park Golf Course, 2002
Image 135690

The Don Sherwood Parks History Collection is an excellent source for researching parks throughout Seattle, and includes textual records and photos for District 5 parks such as Matthews Beach, Maple Leaf Playground, Carkeek Park, Licton Springs, and more. Parks Construction and Maintenance Records document changes and improvements in Seattle parks and community centers, as well as the construction of new parks, and include files on the Northgate Community Center, Jackson Park Golf Course, Licton Springs Park, and many others.

Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center Records and Advisory Council Records describe efforts to to protect the watershed and salmon habitat of Carkeek Park, as well as efforts to provide environmental education to the public. The Seattle Landmarks and Preservation Board approved Licton Springs as an official landmark in October 2019, the first Native American sacred site on the landmark list

Slated for development by the Olmsted Brothers, Licton Springs Park was and is regarded as a spiritually significant site by the Duwamish. Licton, or Liq’tid, means “red-colored” and refers to the red iron oxide that bubbles up from the springs. Purchased by the Denny family in 1870, people continued to bathe in the springs, and by 1935 a health spa was built nearby.

Infrastructure and Public Works

107th St. and 30th Ave. NE culvert removal, 1960
107th St. and 30th Ave. NE culvert removal, 1960
Image 65001

Paving, sewer construction and repair, and bridge planning and construction projects are documented in Engineering and Board of Public Works records. For example, Miscellaneous Improvement Records from the Engineering Department include files on Northgate Way paving, water main and hydrant installations for Ashworth Ave N., and Thornton Creek storm drain repairs.

Lake City Sewer District Minutes and Financial Records document maintenance work during the time when portions of the district were annexed to the City of Seattle, between 1953 and 1975. Engineering Department Miscellaneous Improvement Records also include many files on the Lake City Sewer District during those years, as well as records relating to the Maple Leaf pipeline, pump house, and reservoir.

Department of Construction and Land Use Architectural Drawings include construction drawings for Northgate Mall during the 1950s and 1960s, the Haller Lake Maintenance Headquarters from 1958, and the Matthews Beach Bathhouse, completed in 1961.

Moving images related to District 5 include Episode 20 of City Inside/Out, a show created by Seattle Channel and hosted by C.R. Douglas. The March 2003 episode features a discussion of updates to Northgate Mall with Mary Jean Ryan from the Office of Policy and Management and North District Council chair Michael Thompson.

Neighborhood Development and Community Services

Aurora Ave. pedestrian overpass dedication, 1961
Aurora Ave. pedestrian overpass dedication, 1961
Image 66677

North Greenwood Neighborhood Development Project Records document community development efforts through urban renewal during the 1970s, and the Lake City Neighborhood District Coordinator Records include information on the Lake City and North District neighborhood plans and the Year 2000 project. The Neighborhood Development Managers Records includes information on neighborhood planning for a multitude of projects in several neighborhoods, including Greenwood and Northgate.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) has provided funding for community-driven neighborhood development projects since 1988. NMF Project Records and the Small and Simple Project Records document many neighborhood improvement projects planned and carried out by citizen volunteers, including the Pinehurst Playfield Renovation, Meadowbrook Wetlands Restoration, Haller Lake Community Club Accessibility Improvements, Pilling's Pond Preservation, Licton Springs Park Playground Improvement, and more.

Photographs dating from the 1910s to the present show City activities in District 5 neighborhoods, including community events, parks and playgrounds, street construction and paving, buildings, and much more. Property photographs taken for a building survey conducted by the Planning Commission and the Department of Neighborhoods include images of Northgate and Lake City in 1954. Maps of District 5 include zoning maps for 1961 and 1973, as well as bicycling maps, park maps, and others.

The Oak Lake School, formed in 1885 at 100th St. and Aurora Ave. N., served children as far north as the Snohomish County line and as far east as Lake Washington. Engineering Department negatives show a proposed pedestrian overpass from 1960 through completion and dedication of the project in 1961. The Oak Lake School was demolished in 1985 and is now the site of the Oak Tree Village.

Published documents about District 5 date from the 1950s to the present and include topics such as transportation planning, parks and recreation, and plans for neighborhoods including Haller Lake, Lake City, and more.

Legislative History

Annexation Area - Lake City District, 1953
Annexation Area - Lake City District, 1953
Map 350

City Council committee records and records from elected officials held by SMA are useful in researching intent behind proposed and passed city legislation. In addition, beginning in the late 1950s, SMA holds audio recordings of council and committee meetings, and some public hearings. Many, though not all, of these audio recordings are cataloged in Digital Collections. If you don't find a meeting you're looking for, please ask an archivist for assistance.

Find more information and tips for searching the background to legislation in our Guide to Researching Legislative History.

Archived records from the office of District 5 Councilmember Debora Juarez are in Record Group 4642-00.

Please see the Neighborhood Map used by the Office of the City Clerk that defines how all neighborhoods are indexed in records in the Seattle Municipal Archives.

Municipal Archives, City Clerk

Anne Frantilla, City Archivist
Address: 600 Fourth Avenue, Third Floor, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94728, Seattle, WA, 98124-4728
Phone: (206) 684-8353

The Office of the City Clerk maintains the City's official records, provides support for the City Council, and manages the City's historical records through the Seattle Municipal Archives. The Clerk's Office provides information services to the public and to City staff.