Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill

In celebration of our 40th Anniversary in 2014, Historic Seattle released a beautifully illustrated history of Seattle’s First Hill.

Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill: Propriety, Profanity, Pills, and Preservation is now available for purchase.

Historic Seattle’s 40th Anniversary Publication

Tradition and Change on Seattle's First Hill

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Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill: Propriety, Profanity, Pills, and Preservation (Documentary Media, 2014) reveals First Hill’s origins, how and why it changed, and the potential that exists for future development that respects the neighborhood’s surviving historic buildings.

As editor of this volume, Lawrence Kreisman, Historic Seattle’s Program Director, tapped the knowledge and talents of contributors Paul Dorpat, Jacqueline Williams, Dotty DeCoster, Dennis Alan Andersen, Luci J. Baker Johnson, and Brooke Best.

First Hill developed on a promontory east of downtown and became the location of important churches, clubs, hotels, schools, and residences for civic leaders and entrepreneurs from the 1890s until World War I. From Sixth Avenue to Broadway and from Pike Street to Yesler Way, streets were filled with stylish residences, boarding houses, and fraternal and ethnic community halls welcoming newcomers to the Northwest from America and abroad. Many of these early buildings have been demolished. Their losses accompanied the transition to a denser, larger-scale neighborhood of institutional and commercial buildings, apartment houses for every income level, and the center of Seattle’s health care industry.

Each chapter explores a different historical, cultural, or social dimension of First Hill, providing a marvelous starting point for urban understanding and exploration. We hope the book will encourage longtime and newly settled residents, workers, shoppers, concert and lecture attendees, and visitors to think about what makes First Hill special and worthy of preservation.

Ordering Information

Purchase Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill  for $35 (including tax). Shipping and handling is $5. Order online via our secure shopping cart, or order by phone by calling 206-622-6952 ext. 221. (Please note that online orders will be shipped to the address you specify. Please allow 6-10 business days for delivery. If you would like to place an order for pick-up, please call.)

Buying the book from Historic Seattle directly supports our educational programming and advocacy on behalf of historic places.

ISBN: 978-1-933245-38-6, softcover, 208 pages with 220 images

First Hill Tours

Historic Seattle offers guided tours of historic First Hill, including the Frye Art Museum, St. James Cathedral, H.H. Dearborn House, Stimson-Green Mansion, Piedmont Hotel (now Tuscany Apartments), First Baptist Church, Fire Station #25, the Sorrento Hotel, and many other buildings, providing insights into a century of architecture and interior design, as well as a lively look at the life and times of First Hill at the turn of the 20th century.