Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Seventy years ago in Madison Park

I don't know about you, but I am fascinated by history and find old photos of Madison Park particularly arresting. This is a 1939 photo looking westward up E. Madison Street from the area of the Village. While the trolly tracks are clearly visible, traffic is certainly not.
If you have old photos of the Park that you think Blogger readers would be interested in seeing, please send them my way. I will be presenting historic photos on the site from time to time. This one is courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives.


  1. Bryan,
    I too love old photos like this one. I’d love to find and buy a photo of my house, and/or of Madison Street near the park. Have you found a place where old photos like this can be bought?
    In my house right now hangs great old photos of my old apartment building in New York, and my old street in San Francisco (both from the 1920s). I’d love to add an old photo of my neighborhood or house in Seattle to the mix….

  2. quoting from

    "How can I find a photograph of a house?

    "King County Assessor's Photographs
    The best source for historical photographs of buildings in Seattle and King County is the King County Assessor's property records at the Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives. These records are not available on the Internet. Information about using these records is available from the Washington State Archives (phone: 425-564-3940).

    Seattle Municipal Archives
    The Seattle Municipal Archives online photograph database contains photos of many residences and other buildings. These photographs were usually made for purposes other than illustrating what buildings looked like. For example, many photos were shot to illustrate paving, sewer, or water main construction, or problems like landslides.

    Since houses and other buildings in these photographs are not often identified by street address, searching directly for a street address is not a reliable way of finding relevant pictures. Instead, try a broad search by neighborhood district, or searching by street name. For example, for a house on the corner of 18th Avenue East and East Prospect Street, a search for "18th or Prospect" might work. Remember that directional designations for Seattle streets have changed over time, so including designations such as "E" or "East" is not usually a good idea. To see how the street designations have changed, check the maps showing the changes.

    The description of a photograph of the area around 18th and Prospect may include the word "18th," the word "Prospect," or neither. For the most complete retrieval, try retrieving all photos from the neighborhood (in this case Stevens) or even better, from the broader neighborhood district designation, Capitol Hill. For more tips on searching in the photo database, see this page."


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