Interurban Shelters Restoration

This is the third of an eight-part series on our blog, highlighting Historic Seattle’s 2015 Preservation Award recipients. The awards were presented at our 7th Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony on May 12, 2015, at the Good Shepherd Center.

Transporting through History Award

Interurban Shelters Restoration, Queen Anne and Rainier Valley
Interpretive sign at Westlake and Dexter shelter. Image courtesy of SDOT.

Interpretive sign at Westlake and Dexter shelter. Image courtesy of SDOT.

The Transporting through History Award went to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) for the restoration of two former interurban shelters in the Queen Anne neighborhood and Rainier Valley.

These small projects by SDOT have greatly helped to enhance neighborhood streetscapes and historic character. The historic shelters at Westlake and Dexter (Queen Anne) and Wildwood Station (Rainier Valley) had been in use as bus shelters for decades but were in need of repair and maintenance. In 2014 – 2015, SDOT rehabilitated these shelters, recognizing them as historic assets and as needed improvements for the transit system. SDOT worked with both the Queen Anne and Rainier Valley historical societies to gain public input on the project, and developed content for interpretive heritage markers on the history of the interurban shelters.

Total project cost was $150,000, which included structurally restoring the shelters and adding lighting, garbage receptacles and heritage markers. Funding came from “Bridging the Gap” levy funds.

About the Historic Shelters

These shelters are reminders of Seattle’s once extensive streetcar network which criss-crossed the city from the 1890s to late 1930s. The Westlake and Dexter shelter was constructed in the late 1920s or early 1930s to protect riders waiting for the Seattle Municipal Railway streetcars that ran on Dexter Avenue N and Westlake Avenue N. The Municipal Railway shared the rails along Westlake with the Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway, with the last interurban trip taking place in 1939. Today, the bus shelter serves passengers who ride Metro Routes 40 and 62.

The Wildwood Station shelter, constructed in the late 1910s or early 1920s, is located in the Brighton area of the Rainier Valley neighborhood at Rainier Avenue S and S Wildwood Lane/S Holden Street. This shelter originally served the Seattle, Renton & Southern Railway, later changing to the Seattle Rainier Valley Railway. The shelter has served bus transit since 1937 and currently serves Metro Routes 7 and 9 riders.

Supporting Partners: Seattle Department of Transportation; Queen Anne Historical Society and Rainier Valley Historical Society.