The City of Seattle has come a long way in the past 100 years. The streets have gotten longer, the people more plentiful, and the coffee stronger. It’s hard to imagine what life was like before the Space Needle was the unofficial ruler of the skyline, and when umbrellas weren’t considered a fashion accessory. But hey, change is the only constant, right? And these historical Seattle photos from the city archive have captured that evolution perfectly.

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Here are some Seattle photos that have been taken in the past 100 years:


Photo via the Seattle Municipal Archives

This photograph captures a glimpse of life on the tide flats in Seattle back in 1915, illustrating the challenges of homelessness over a century ago. The tide flat’s “shacktown” was among the largest settlements in the city.

As the Great Depression unfolded in 1929 and unemployment rates surged, the population of these communities swelled even further throughout Seattle.


Photo via the Seattle Municipal Archives

This photo was taken on Marion Street in Downtown Seattle after a major snowstorm hit the city. In only 24 hours, the storm brought 25 inches of snow to the city streets, causing thousands of dollars in damage.


Photo via the Seattle Municipal Archives

Captured much before the era of the Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena, this photo was snapped at a Capitol Hill tennis court in 1932, showcasing a group of boys engaged in a spirited game of skate hockey.


Photo via the Seattle Municipal Archives/Instagram

This photo was taken near 4th and Pine in the fall of 1953, picturing a pedestrian’s view of the classic billboards, business signs and cars of the early 1950s.


Photo via the Seattle Municipal Archives

Taken at the corner of Pike and Fourth, this moment in 1956 captures the busy commute of Seattle locals on a cool October day. Today, AT&T and Arcterx call this intersection home.

And there you have it! A trip down memory lane revisiting life in Seattle during the early 1900s.

It’s safe to say the city has endured a lot of change in the past 100 years, and we’re excited to see what’s in store for the next 100 ahead.

Information and images from the Seattle Municipal Archives, check out more history and images on Seattle City Archives.