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How to Use this Site

During the winter quarter of 2013, students enrolled in HSTAA 208: The City, an undergradaute history class at the University of Washington, intensively studied the past, present and future of Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. Each student traced the history o1894 Seattle Topographic Map, USGSf a particular block, ultimately creating an original exhibit based on both primary and secondary sources.

How can you use this site?

1) Use the map on the Explore Blocks page to access information on representative blocks. Click on each marker for a preview and then follow a link through to more detailed reports.

2) Click on the Browse Blocks link. This takes you to a list of the more than sixty block-level exhibits. Each one is organized as follows:

Introduction - A brief overview of South Lake Union and of the particular block under review.

Site Report 1: The Deep Read - In this section, students provide a detailed examination of their blocks, drawing on a method of close observation detailed by John Stilgoe in his book Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places. Reading the city like a text, the reports reveal the past and present of a changing urban landscape.

Site Report 2: Environmental History - In this section, students describe the natural setting of their blocks and examine the natural processes that may have played a role in shaping South Lake Union. Many of the environmental histories also highlight the relationship between human actions and the natural environment, demonstrating that people are at once subject to and profoundly capable of shaping the world around them. Two key texts for this part of the project were Coll Thrush's Native Seattle:Histories from the Crossing-Over Place and Matthew Klingle's Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle.

Site Report 3: Tour - This section is a script of an audio tour each student created for his or her block. The tours are based heavily on primary sources. Eventually we hope to have the audio files on the site as well.

Site Report 4: The Past and Future of South Lake Union - In this section, students consider contemporary representations of the South Lake Union neighborhood. Students also reflect on how the history of the neighborhood might inform planning and politics today.

Conclusion - Final thoughts and reflections on the block and the neighborhood.