Rising Tides and Tailwinds: The Story of the Port of Seattle, 1911-2011

Hardcover | September 6, 2011

byKit Oldham, Peter Blecha, HistoryLink Staff

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A century ago Seattle was held hostage by its own waterfront. Competing railroad companies built a chaotic sprawl of railroad lines, docks, and warehouses along the shoreline of the great natural harbor of Elliott Bay, creating conditions so bad that visionary civic planner Virgil Bogue called the harbor side "a blot on the city and a menace to the lives of its people."

After many years of unproductive bickering and lawsuits, the Port District Act was passed making the Port of Seattle the first public port formed under legislation. The newly public port proved its worth during World War I, when it briefly became the second busiest in the country. In succeeding decades, the Port excelled in projects that would have been nearly impossible for private companies; it met the challenges of the Depression, founded Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, helped revolutionize containerized cargo, and generated tens of thousands of jobs. Entering its second century, the Port is a recognized leader in environmental restoration, sustainable aviation, and shipping practices.

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From the Publisher

A century ago Seattle was held hostage by its own waterfront. Competing railroad companies built a chaotic sprawl of railroad lines, docks, and warehouses along the shoreline of the great natural harbor of Elliott Bay, creating conditions so bad that visionary civic planner Virgil Bogue called the harbor side "a blot on the city and a ...

Kit Oldham is a historian at HistoryLink.org and co-author of Moving Washington Timeline: The First Century of the Washington State Department of Transportation, 1905-2005. Peter Blecha is the author of six books and a historian and editor at HistoryLink.org.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:128 pages, 10.25 × 10.3 × 0.55 inPublished:September 6, 2011Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295991313

ISBN - 13:9780295991313

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

ForewordIntroduction

Birth of the PortBuilding an InstitutionBoom and BustInto the Jet AgeRevolution and RecessionCompetition and ExpansionGreen Gateway

Appendix A: Port of Seattle CommisionersAppendix B: Port of Seattle Directors/CEOsAppendix C: Port of Seattle Union PartnersA Note on Sources

AcknowledgementsImage CreditsIndex

Editorial Reviews

Rising Tides features plenty of colorful actors, from fiery longshore-union leader Harry Bridges to railroad mogul James J. Hill.... This is Seattle history from another angle.'.

- Mike Dillon - City Living - 2011