Did You Know?

Did you know?

I started writing these did you knows several years ago to give readers a better sense of Seattle Center–beyond the events and activities we promote. We publish them on Sunday mornings, when you might have more time to take in the few paragraphs that attempt to tell the Center’s story. 

The 74-acre campus is rich in history. We think it once served as a gathering place for the Coast Salish. Seattle’s first female mayor, Bertha Landes, planted the first construction shovel in the ground in 1927 for what is now Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Seattle Center Armory opened in 1939 as a Field Artillery Armory. The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair established the Center’s current outline and built many of its buildings including what are now Climate Pledge Arena, KEXP headquarters and Cornish Playhouse. 

Through the many years, Seattle Center has served as a gathering place for community celebration and collective solace, as the venue for mammoth outdoor festivals and the local green space for folks who live nearby. It contains theater, dance and opera companies known the world over for the artistic content they produce. Families and tourists flock to the Center looking for enrichment and entertainment.  

Seattle Center is unique among former World’s Fair sites. It remains a public place, where the whole community is welcome, where community happens, and where are community can learn about itself–a bridge to building better understanding and collaboration in a world progressively faced with division.   Seattle Center will celebrate the World’s Fair 60th Anniversary in 2022, but I won’t be here to write about it. I’m retiring in early January, and this will be my final DYK. My leaving is bittersweet. It’s been long in the planning, but I’ll miss this special place and all the people that make it tick. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the Center’s depth and substance, its history and hopes for the future!   

#seattlecenter #didyouknow

Seattle Center's International Fountain, image by Christopher Nelson.
water, trees, people, building, night time, covered walkway
Seattle Center’s International Fountain – Image credit: Christopher Nelson

About Seattle Center

More than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations that reside on the grounds, together with a broad range of public and community programs, create thousands of events on the 74-acre campus and attract over 12 million visitors each year. At Seattle Center, part of Uptown Arts & Cultural District and home to Climate Pledge Arena, the first certified zero carbon arena in the world, our purpose is to create exceptional events, experiences and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. Activities at the Center generate $1.864 billion in business activity and $631 million in labor income.