76th and Aurora, 1953

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Item 44681, Engineering Department Photographic Negatives (Record Series 2613-07), Seattle Municipal Archives.

  1. severinus 22 months ago | reply

    Any chance there's an "after" photo of the widening? Adding the median/turn lane looks like it would've required taking away about half of the sidewalk on either side, and I wonder if that's what spelled the end for a lot of the signs & awnings, since they might've extended over the roadway or been in the way of utilities then.

  2. molly blucher 22 months ago | reply

    South Sea Woman poster

  3. Seattle Municipal Archives 22 months ago | reply

    Severinus, unfortunately I don't see any "after" photos in our database.

  4. bogester 22 months ago | reply

    Can't match it up exactly in google maps but this is close.

    View Larger Map

  5. paul1725 22 months ago | reply

    What I find interesting is it appears that there are cars parked in active traffic lanes. Unless I am missing something here...I don't see any signs allowing or disallowing parking, but perhaps this was regulated by time of day, and all three lanes opened up for rush hours.

    Also, note a tackle shop, movie theater, and drug store within about 100 yards of each other. This didn't exist a decade later.

  6. brucestude 22 months ago | reply

    Everything looks so neat and tidy!

  7. seewhy 22 months ago | reply

    there still are quite a few places there where you can park in the outer lane [maybe not on aurora, but lots of other streets] unless there are signs saying you cannot. kind of takes you by surprise sometimes.

  8. severinus 22 months ago | reply

    If you look in the original size you can see quite a few "Truck Load Only" and "No Parking" signs with time restrictions, though the exact times are hard to make out. Indeed, even today parking is allowed on this stretch of Aurora—and on much of the length of the highway—with restrictions that are probably pretty similar to those of 1953, namely 1-hour parking 7 AM to 3 PM and no parking 3 to 7 PM (sign in street view).

    To look on the bright side of the then-and-now comparison, that the parking situation hasn't changed too much is probably a testament to the fact that this part of Aurora actually appears to be surviving as a classic business district. Though it probably sees much less walk-up business from the neighborhood than it did in '53, this little stretch still has a European grocer, pizzeria, tai chi studio, chocolate shop, pho joint, motorcycle dealer, even a holistic birth center. The street scene looks boring as heck compared to '53, but it's still much more functional than a lot of other parts of Aurora.

  9. paul1725 22 months ago | reply

    Yep, you are correct, it looks exactly the same as it did then in terms of the highway. It is always odd to see cars parked in what seem like traffic lanes. I am sure that this has provided many emergency merges over the years.

  10. seewhy 22 months ago | reply

    i like the little house on the SW corner of 77th.
    great that it's still there... but what a place to live that must be...

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