Engineering Department Third Avenue Repaving Photograph Album, 1923-1929

Overview of the Collection

Seattle (Wash.). Engineering Dept.
Engineering Department Third Avenue Repaving Photograph Album
1923-1929 (inclusive)
.2 cubic foot, (1 box)
Collection Number
Photographs of the repavement of Third Avenue, 1928 and 1929.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Engineering Department (SED) maintained the City's streets and bridges, designed and oversaw construction of public works projects, provided traffic and transportation planning, and operated the sewer and solid waste utility. The position of City Surveyor was created in 1873 to survey the City, establish boundaries and street grades, and administer condemnation processes. This position was renamed City Engineer in 1890. In 1931 the Engineering Department absorbed part of the Department of Public Utilities and in 1936 it assumed the responsibilities of the Department of Streets and Sewers and the Traffic Department. In 1997, the water, solid waste, drainage, and wastewater utilities from the Engineering and Water departments were merged with the Engineering Services Division of SED and the Customer Service Call Center and Construction Engineering Sections of City Light to form Seattle Public Utilities. The traffic and transportation functions of the Engineering Department were consolidated in the Seattle Transportation Department.

In October 1928, work began on the repaving of the deteriorating brick pavement of Third Avenue in downtown Seattle. The four-month project took place during the autumn, presenting potential weather problems, and was further complicated by the busy holiday shopping season, when both car and pedestrian traffic were heavy. Fortunately, the weather was favorable, and construction proceeded with speed and efficiency. In fact, one-way traffic was able to continue on Third Avenue during the construction, and much of the work was done before the Christmas shopping rush, opening streets up to traffic.

The repaving project was completed on February 2, 1929, and was considered "...a rush work project that may be without a parallel, considering the season of the year during which the work was done."

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Album compiled by the Engineering Department chronicling the repavement of Third Avenue in 1928 and 1929. The album contains approximately 140 4x6 inch prints. Included are views of Third Avenue and downtown businesses, men working, demolition of the street and railway tracks, and paving. Also included are images of machinery, automobiles, pedestrians, and men laying brick. Several photographs were taken of snow on the streets.

A fourteen-page narrative description of the project is included in the album; this report details the contract and explains work done on various dates, referring to the photographs in the album.

Approximately one-third of the images appear online in the Seattle Municipal Archives Photograph Database; original negatives exist for the prints.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Title of image, date. Item number.] Seattle Engineering Department Third Avenue Repaving Photograph Album, Record Series 2613-21. Page [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.

Container(s) Description Dates
1 Seattle Engineering Department Third Avenue Repaving Photograph Album 1928-1929

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Streets--Washington (State)--Seattle

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Third Avenue (Seattle, Wash.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Photograph albums
  • Photographic prints