Seattle Urban Renewal Enterprise (SURE) Records, 1956-1965  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Seattle Urban Renewal Enterprise (Seattle, Wash.)
Title
Seattle Urban Renewal Enterprise (SURE) Records
Dates
1956-1965 (inclusive)
Quantity
3.0 cubic feet, (3 boxes)
Collection Number
1642-10
Summary
Administrative, committee and project file records of the Seattle Urban Renewal Enterprise (SURE), a citizen’s advisory committee created to build community support for urban renewal projects with an emphasis on rehabilitation and conservation.
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 Washington State Legislature adopted what was known as the Urban Renewal Law in 1957. Shortly afterwards, Seattle City Council adopted ordinance declaring that "blighted areas" existed in the City of Seattle, as defined by the State law. In 1958 the Mayor announced the appointment of Talbot Wegg as Urban Renewal Coordinator for the City of Seattle. The first Citizens' Advisory Committee on Urban Renewal met in 1958. By August the group was known as the Seattle Urban Renewal Enterprise or SURE. Its goal was to promote fundraising and increase awareness in the community about housing deterioration and neglect especially where those elements affect the health, safety and well-being of the community. Focus on rehabilitation and conservation. A non-profit corporation was formed in November 1958.

SURE was structured with a Board of Trustees and an Executive Council. Presidents of the Board included Kenneth B. Colman, Walter T. Funk 1961, John L. Wright, 1962-1963, Cal M. McCune, 1963-1964, Donald S. Voorhees, 1964-1965. Lyman Black was appointed president of SURE in March 1965. Annual meetings were held in March.

Ray Baker was hired as Executive Director of SURE in June 1959. Baker was the former Director of the Jackson Street Community Council. Baker resigned in April 1962 due to financial difficulties of SURE. SURE was funded by membership fees and contributions from firms and individuals. Struggling financially, SURE staff were released later in 1962. SURE carried a debt of about $4,000. Mayor Clinton appointed City staff member David Towne of the Office of Urban Renewal as Executive Director.

Throughout its existence, SURE worked closely with the City's Office of Urban Renewal. Talbot Wegg, the first coordinator, resigned in 1963 and was followed by Director John P. Willison. SURE shared office space with the Office of Urban Renewal after it lost its staff in 1962.

SURE was successful in gathering community support, revising the housing code, and initiating federal support for urban renewal projects. SURE was involved in many projects including: the Yesler-Atlantic Urban Renewal Project; the Workable Program, the South Seattle Redevelopment Project, the Community Renewal Program and Cherry Hill. SURE contracted with the City of Seattle to provide advice and counsel to property owners and community organizations and gave a voice to urban renewal in Seattle.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The records of the Seattle Urban Renewal Enterprise (SURE) are organized into two subseries: Administrative and Committees and Projects. The Administrative Records provide good summaries of SURE activities through annual reports and minutes. The Committee and Project Files present the range of activities, primarily identified by their geographic area, in which SURE was involved.

Within the Administrative records are annual reports, Board minutes and Council minutes, providing the researcher with goals, discussions, and issues facing SURE. In addition to minutes and annual reports, the news releases and news letters provide a good overview of SURE activities. Although SURE identified projects that would be good targets for urban renewal funds, the federal applications had to be approved and written through the City. Communication with City officials regarding urban renewal work can be found in the Administrative subseries.

The Committees and Project Subseries contains records on specific projects in which SURE was involved. The Committee records include committee members, correspondence, newsletters and timelines. The Project files complement the committee records, including correspondence, maps, notices and other project materials. Work with neighborhood councils is reflected here.

Among the first SURE projects was the Yesler Atlantic Project, approved for funding by the federal government in December 1959. The City received funds for survey and planning and for a new junior high school. SURE formed the Yesler-Atlantic Citizens' Conference in 1960 and sponsored clean-up projects, published a newspaper, and provided labor assistance for home owners in need of remodeling or repairs. Within the Yesler Atlantic neighborhood, one of SURE's early projects was a "demonstration house" at 114 21st Ave. It was remodeled and used for SURE offices from 1959 to 1960, demonstrating the value of urban renewal in upgrading and improving existing homes. The largest volume of records in Committees and Projects relate to the Yesler Atlantic project. Other SURE projects reflected in the records include: Cherry Hill, Leschi, University Addition-First Hill and University Addition-Northlake.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Seattle Urban Renewal Enterprise (SURE) Records, Record Series 1642-10. 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.

Administrative, 1958-1965Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Organization
1961-1962
1/2
Annual Meeting
1960
1/3
Annual Meeting and Annual Reports
1961-1964
1/4
By Laws
1958-1963
1/5
Administrative Reorganization
1962
1/6
Executive Committee
1958-1960
1/7
Executive Committee
1961
1/8
Executive Committee Minutes and Agendas
1962-1964
1/9
Board of Trustees Minutes
1958-1964
1/10
Board of Trustees - Memoranda
1959-1962
1/11
Quarterly Reports
1962-1964
1/12
Correspondence and Notes
1961-1964
1/13
Correspondence Long Range Plans
1960-1961
1/14
Correspondence and Speeches - Lyman Black
1965
1/15
Procedures
1961
1/16
Account Book
1958-1962
1/17
Community Development
1958-1962
1/18
Contractors - Approved
1960
Financial
Box/Folder
1/19
Reports Contractors
1960-1961
1/20
Reports
1959-1960
1/21
Internal Revenue Service - Taxes
1962-1964
1/22
Non Profit Status Application
1960-1962
Membership
Box/Folder
1/23
Outreach Drive
1959
1/24
Membership
1961
1/25
Outreach
1961-1962
1/26
Renewal
1961
1/27
Membership
1962
1/28
Membership
1963
Box/Folder
2/1
Community Organization Delegates
1959-1961
2/2
Personnel Policies
1961
2/3
Solicitation Letters
1960-1961
Communication
Box/Folder
2/4
News Releases
1962
2/5
News Releases
1963
2/6
Anti Urban Renewal Media
1960
2/7
Bulletins and Newsletters
1958-1962
2/8
Newsletters
1958-1961
2/9
Ballard Urban Renewal Action Commission (BURAC)
1961
2/10
Demonstration House
1959-1961
2/11
Demonstration House - Sale
1961-1962
2/12
Home Emergency Labor Program (HELP) (includes photographs)
1960-1961
2/13
Housing Code
1958-1961
2/14
Housing Code
1962
2/15
Open House
1960
2/16
Relocation Workshop
1962
2/17
Underground Wiring
1964

Committees, 1959-1963Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/18
Lists
1962
2/19
Administrative Organization
1961-1962
2/20
Build America Better
1964
2/21
Cherry Hill
1961-1962
2/22
Code Enforcement
1961-1962
2/23
Community Organization
1960-1962
2/24
Community Renewal Program
1963
2/25
Finance
1958-1961
2/26
Foundation
1960
2/27
Madison - Minor - Madrona (M-M-M)
1961-1962
2/28
Mortgage and Finance
-
2/29
Neighborhood Analysis
1959-1961
2/30
Neighborhood Analysis - Minutes
1959-1961
2/31
Nominating
1959-1963
2/32
One Third
1961
2/33
Private Renewal
1962-1963
2/34
Public Relations
1959-1963
2/35
Relocation Committee
1963
2/36
Special Projects
1959-1961
2/37
Special Study on Proposed Building Development at 6th & Jackson (Hattori)
1963
3/1
University Study
1961
3/2
Ways and Means, Yesler Atlantic
1963
3/3
Yesler Atlantic Correspondence and Reports
1961-1962
3/4
Yesler Atlantic Minutes
1961

Project FilesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/5
Cherry Hill
1959-1961
3/6
Cherry Hill
1962-1963
3/7
Cherry Hill Honor Awards (includes photographs)
1962-1963
3/8
Community Renewal Program
1961-1962
3/9
East Madison / East Union
1960
3/10
Leschi
1959-1963
3/11
Pike Place Plaza
1961-1964
3/12
Pioneer Square
1961-1962
3/13
South Seattle Redevelopment
1961-1963
3/14
University Addition - First Hill - Seattle University
1958-1961
3/15
University Addition - First Hill - Survey and Planning Application
1960
3/16
University Addition - First Hill - Survey Report and Background
1963
3/17
University Addition - First Hill - News Articles
1962-1963
3/18
University Addition - Northlake
1960
3/19
University Addition - Northlake
1962-1963
3/20
Workable Program for Community Improvement (includes Citizens' Advisory Committee on Minority Housing Report Yesler Atlantic)
1961-1963
Yesler Atlantic
Box/Folder
3/21
Reports
1956-1957
3/22
Clean-up
1960
3/23
Correspondence
1959-1960
3/24
Correspondence
1960-1961
3/25
Citizens Committee
1960-1961
3/26
Citizens Committee
1960-1961
3/27
Citizens Conference
1960-1962
3/28
Relocation Study
1961
3/29
Wash R-5
1963
3/30
"T" Project
1963
3/31
Redevelopment Corporation
1960-1961
3/32
Notes and Correspondence
1963-1964
3/33
Notes and Correspondence
1964-1965

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Advisory boards--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • City planning--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Community development--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Urban renewal--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Zoning--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Corporate Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.). Urban Renewal Program
  • Yesler-Atlantic Neighborhood Improvement Project (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government