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about Seattle

Seattle is the largest city in the U.S. state of Washington, and in the Pacific Northwest, with a total estimated population of 569,101 as of 2003. It is situated between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, about 108 miles (180 km) south of the Canadian border, in King County, of which it is the county seat.

Seattle is sometimes referred to as the "rainy city", even though it gets less rain than many other U.S. cities. It has also been called Jet City, due to the heavy influence of Boeing. Its official nickname is the Emerald City. Seattle is known as the home of grunge music, has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption, and was the site of the 1999 meeting of the World Trade Organization shut down by demonstrators.

Seattle residents and people who come from there are known as Seattleites.

Seattle geography

Seattle is located between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. West beyond the Sound, Seattle faces the Olympic Mountains; across Lake Washington beyond the Eastside suburbs are the Issaquah Alps and the Cascade Range.

The city itself is hilly, though not uniformly so. Some of the hilliest areas are quite near the center, and Downtown rises rather dramatically away from the water. The geography of Downtown and its immediate environs has been significantly altered by regrading projects, a seawall, and the construction of a man-made island, Harbor Island, at the mouth of the city's industrial Duwamish Waterway.

The rivers, forests, lakes, and fields were once rich enough to support one of the world's few sedentary hunter-gatherer societies. Today, a ship canal passes through the city, incorporating Lake Union near the heart of the city and several other natural bodies of water, and connecting Puget Sound to Lake Washington. Opportunities for sailing, skiing, bicycling, camping, and hiking are close by and accessible almost all of the year.

An active geological fault, the Seattle Fault, runs under the city. It has not been the source of an earthquake during Seattle's existence; however, the city has been hit by four major earthquakes since its founding: December 14, 1872 (magnitude 7.3); April 13, 1949 (7.1); April 29, 1965 (6.5); and February 28, 2001 (6.8)..

Seattle is located at 47°37'35" North, 122°19'59" West (47.626353, −122.333144)¹.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 369.2 km² (142.5 mi²). 217.2 km² (83.9 mi²) of it is land and 152.0 km² (58.7 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 41.16% water.

Bodies of water

Seattle is located between Puget Sound on the west and Lake Washington on the east. It was founded on the harbor of Elliott Bay, home to the Port of Seattle—in 2002, the 9th busiest port in the United States by TEUs of container traffic

Seattle is divided in half by the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which connects Lake Washington to Puget Sound. From east to west, it incorporates Union Bay, the Montlake Cut, Portage Bay, Lake Union, the Fremont Cut, Salmon Bay, and Shilshole Bay. The southern half of Seattle is itself divided by the Duwamish River, which empties into the south end of Elliott Bay as the industrialized Duwamish Waterway.

In addition, Seattle contains three other lakes, all north of the Ship Canal: Bitter Lake, Haller Lake, and Green Lake.

Seattle is also home to a number of creeks. Those emptying into Puget Sound include Broadview Creek, Fauntleroy Creek, Longfellow Creek, and Piper's Creek; emptying into Lake Washington are Arboretum Creek, Ravenna Creek (via University Slough), and Thornton Creek. A map showing all of Seattle's streams and watersheds can be found here.

The main inlets of Puget Sound are Elliott Bay, Smith Cove, and Shilshole Bay; the main inlet of Lake Washington is Union Bay.

Seattle history

Major events

Major events in Seattle's history include the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, which destroyed the central business district (but took no lives); the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909, which is largely responsible for the current layout of the University of Washington campus; the Seattle General Strike of 1919, the first general strike in the country; the 1962 Century 21 Exposition, a World's Fair; the 1990 Goodwill Games; and the WTO Meeting of 1999, shut down by street protests and rioting.


Most of the Denny Party, the most prominent of the area's early white settlers, arrived at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. They relocated their settlement to Elliott Bay in April, 1852. The first plats for the Town of Seattle were filed on May 23, 1853. The city was incorporated in 1869, after having existed as an incorporated town from 1865 to 1867.

Seattle was named after Noah Sealth, chief of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes, better known as Chief Seattle. David Swinson ("Doc") Maynard, one of the city founders, was the primary advocate for naming the city after Chief Seattle. Previously, the city had been known as Duwamps (or Duwumps)—a variation of that name is preserved in the name of Seattle's Duwamish River.


Seattle has a history of boom and bust, or at least boom and quiescence. Seattle has almost been sent into permanent decline by the aftermaths of its worst periods as a company town, but has typically used those periods to successfully rebuild infrastructure.

The first such boom was the lumber-industry boom, followed by the construction of an Olmsted-designed park system. Arguably the Klondike Gold Rush constituted a separate, shorter boom.

Next came the shipbuilding boom, followed by the unused city development plan of Virgil Bogue.

The Boeing boom, followed by general infrastructure building. Seattle was home to Boeing until 2001, when the company announced a desire to separate its headquarters from its major production facilities. Following a bidding war in which several cities offered huge tax breaks, Boeing moved its corporate headquarters to Chicago, Illinois. The Seattle area is still home to Boeing's commercial airplanes division, several Boeing plants, and the Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU).

Most recently, the boom centered around Microsoft and other software, Internet, and telecommunications companies, such as, RealNetworks, and AT&T Wireless. Although some of these companies remain relatively strong, the boom definitely ended in 2000.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Seattle, Washington".

This city is also known as: Seattle.

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