Lake Washington Boulevard, A-Y-P Model T event © 2009, photo by 4Culture staff

Destination Heritage

So your parents or cousins or college roommates are visiting for the tenth time in the last three years and you’re wondering, what are we going to do this time? They’ve been to all the usual spots and want something different. Where can we go? Help is here!

I am pleased to announce that 4Culture has just launched a new heritage tourism program to encourage residents of, and visitors to, our region to explore historic sites around the county.

Following the “heritage trails” model so widespread in the East and South, Destination Heritage celebrates some of the most distinctive, visitor-ready historic places in our region, with sites grouped under three themes: Agriculture, Industry and Maritime.

Destination Heritage takes a multi-media approach. It includes beautiful print booklets on each theme; a website on which you can learn about the project, plan an outing and print a map; and for five sites in each theme, short interpretive talks that are accessible by cell phone through Listen4Culture (also accessible online so you can “visit” these sites without leaving your desk).

The booklets are available in several locations. Taking advantage of the heavy visitor traffic at major Seattle attractions, the brochures will be available at several portals, which illustrate the themes. One of the most visited tourist sites in Seattle is the Pike Place Market. If you go to the market because you like fresh flowers, you may want to see the fields where they are grown in the Snoqualmie Valley. If you value fresh produce, you may want to visit a working farm on Vashon, Enumclaw or Auburn. Agriculture played an enormous role in the settlement and early growth of King County.

The portal for Industry is Pioneer Square, in which Seattle’s first industrial site was located: Yesler’s Mill at the foot of Skid Row. Featured sites in Pioneer Square include King Street Station, Union Station, Smith Tower, and the Klondike Gold Rush Museum. From that launching point, you can visit Georgetown; Boeing’s first manufacturing plant, the “Red Barn” at Museum of Flight; and further afield, the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, the Black Diamond Depot Museum or historic Skykomish, among many more.

The Center for Wooden Boats in South Lake Union is your portal to Maritime heritage. Did you realize that Carillon Point in Kirkland was a major U.S. Navy shipbuilding yard in World War II?

Destination Heritage is a collaboration between 4Culture’s Heritage and Preservation programs, the King County Historic Preservation Program, Preserve America and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

I really hope you pick up a brochure or visit Destination Heritage online and plan a trip to explore the county. There are hidden treasures everywhere just waiting for you.

Jim Kelly
Executive Director