Modern-day Seattle is a hub for technology, with companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and AT&T calling the Emerald City home. But, Seattle’s history has long been boom or bust, with periods of great prosperity followed by deep economic struggles. In Seattle today, you can find elements of the city’s history, from the beginnings of the Alaska Gold Rush to the fire of the 1880’s. The city has quite a story to tell and plenty of ways to learn all about it.
The Paramount Theatre has been a Seattle landmark since its opening in the 1920’s. Built as “Seattle Theatre,” the venue has been home to countless movies, performances, and concerts. From its beginnings, the architectural design of the facility has been a focal point; it was called a “cathedral of entertainment,” by The Seattle Timesupon its grand opening.
Today, the Paramount Theatre is considered a landmark theater, hosting comedy events, plays, speakers, and concerts throughout the year. Plan your visit to the Paramount and its historical library, which is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Boeing Airplane Company Building No. 105
Sure, Seattle is known more for ferry boats or trains, but the first Boeing airplane was manufactured in the Emerald City in 1916. Now the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, Boeing has a rich history in Seattle. Check out the “Red Barn” to see where a team assembled the 1916 Boeing and Westervelt airplane.
Following the Great Depression, William Boeing got out of the business, paving the way for a new buyer to create the widely celebrated B-17 and B-29 bombers used in World War II. This piece of Seattle history is now home to the Museum of Flight, great for a stop on your tour of the city’s history.
The sights from Waterfront Park are second to none in Seattle, giving you a breathtaking look at Elliott Bay and the Puget Sound from a historic venue. A must-see attraction while visiting Seattle, it is a wonderful place to take photos of the water. Waterfront Park also boasts a statue of Christopher Columbus and Waterfront Fountain, two landmarks that are popular among photography buffs.
On the historical side, Waterfront Park was the location where a large amount of gold was unloaded in 1897, marking the beginning of the Alaska Gold Rush. The Alaska Gold Rush is famous for bringing an estimated 100,000 gold prospectors to the area, though only half reached their intended mining area.
One of Seattle’s top historic tours showcases a downtown area that burned in the late 1800’s. Rather than clearing the ruins and rebuilding from the ground up, the survivors of the fire built buildings on top of the rubble, leading to some unique underground tunnels for modern-day exploration. Some of the underground areas are left virtually intact, giving tourists an interesting look back in time.
As you plan a trip to the Pacific Northwest, consider taking a look back at the history of the Emerald City, one of America’s hidden gems. From one of the first airplanes to a preserved look at history, Seattle has something to offer everyone.