John D. Spaeth Planning Files, 1950-1969  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Community Development
Title
John D. Spaeth Planning Files
Dates
1950-1969 (inclusive)
Quantity
1 cubic foot, (1 box)
Collection Number
1650-02
Summary
Files of Seattle's Director of Planning, John Spaeth, mainly covering the Central Business District study and Comprehensive Plan.
Repository
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
98124-4728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-233-7807
Fax: 206-386-9025
archives@seattle.gov
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The City Planning Commission was created in 1924 to prepare plans and gather data for urban planning and the physical development of the City, to advise City Council on current problems and long range planning, and to participate in administration and revision of the City's Zoning Ordinance. A Zoning Commission was created in 1920 to develop the City's first Zoning Code which was adopted in 1923.

The Planning Commission initially was comprised of 25 members, but in 1930, membership nine. Prior to 1946, funding for the Commission cam from the Engineering Department. A City Charter amendment in 1946 created and independent nine-member commission with fiscal autonomy. The Commission was given authority to hire employees as needed to carry out its planning and advisory functions. A Director of Planning was appointed in 1948 and, subsequently, work began on creation of the City's first Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1957. The Planning Commission also administered the Board of Adjustment which was created with adoption of the Comprehensive Plan.

The Planning Commission, along with the Urban Renewal Program, was absorbed by the Department of Community Development when the latter was established in 1969. In 1992, DCD was abolished and the Planning Commission became a self-contained entity. As an independent body, it advises Mayor, City Council, and City departments on planning policies and physical development plans and projects. It has 15 members who are Seattle residents and includes an engineer or architect, urban planner, ethnic minority members, and citizens active in neighborhood affairs.

John Spaeth was appointed as the full time director of planning in 1948. Spaeth hired a planning staff and worked with business leaders, neighborhood organizations, and civic groups to garner support for the idea of a Comprehensive Plan. In developing the Plan, Spaeth and his staff created the City's first neighborhood plans for those post-World War II areas that were expanding at a rapid rate. He also focused on planning for the Central Business District. Following development of the Comprehensive Plan, the City adopted a new Zoning Code based on the Plan. Spaeth retired from City service in 1971.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The records reflect an incomplete set of Planning Director Files of John Spaeth. The bulk of the records relate to the Central Business District study and the Comprehensive Plan. Population, traffic, transportation are all included in the background information. A report and background information is also included on Alki and the recreational needs of the community, including a study of the natatorium and whether or not it should be replaced. Other files reflect work on zoning issues, including over-water construction. Of note is an inventory of civic arts structures.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], John D. Spaeth Planning Files, Record Series 1650-02. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

1650-02:  John D. Spaeth Planning Files, 1950-1969Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Alki - Neighborhood Recreational Study
1950-
1/2
Alki - Neighborhood Recreational Study - Background
1950-1951
1/3
Alki - Neighborhood Recreational Study - Natatorium
1949-1950
1/4
City Light Office Space Needs (includes map)
1950
1/5
Civic Arts Inventory
1950
1/6
Civic Arts Center (includes attendance numbers and maps)
1950
1/7
Comprehensive Plan - Background (traffic, population)
1950-1953
1/8
Comprehensive Plan - Research
1950-1954
1/9
Comprehensive Plan - Central Area - Transportation (includes maps)
1960
1/10
Comprehensive Plan - Central Area - General Land Use Plan
1961
1/11
Central Business District Working Committee - Planning
1960
1/12
Central Business District Working Committee - Parking and Transit
1960
1/13
Central Business District Working Committee - Zoning Report - Draft
1963-
1/14
Central Business District - Symposium
1956-
1/15
Comprehensive Plan - Planning for Fire Station Locations - Report
1967-
1/16
Comprehensive Plan - Greenbelt Report
1959-
1/17
Central Business District Working Committee - Minutes
1959-1961
1/18
Central Business District Comprehensive Plan
1962-
1/19
Lake Union construction Limit Line - Peterson and Adams (includes map)
1964-1966
1/20
Over water construction
1963-1969
1/21
Over water construction
1969-1970
1/22
Triplexes in Duplex Zone - Pederson / Board of Adjustment
1968
1/23
Waterfront Setback Study - Background
1961-1963
1/24
Zoning
1952-1959
1/25
Zoning - Fire Hose Towers
1969-1970
1/26
Zoning - Contract
1967-1968
1/27
Planning Commission Accomplishments : 1947-1957
1957
1/28
Mapping Legislation
1952-1957
1/29
State Legislation (includes parking commission)
1969
1/30
Bibliography / Publications
1965

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • City planning--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Community development--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Zoning--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Names :
  • Spaeth, John D.
  • Corporate Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Community Development
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)