From Canoe Races to Cruise Ships
Development came late to the waterfront north of Virginia Street, and the area sprouted a shoreline shantytown. This was cleared in 1903 as work began on the Denny Regrade and expansion of shoreline railroad services.
The area's steeper drop-off allowed construction of docks parallel to the shoreline. The largest of these was the Orient Dock, which was later replaced by the Lenora Street Piers (64 and 65) for the "Princess Ships" of the Canadian Pacific Railroad and the Leslie Salt Co. A bridge linked the pier to Belltown on the east (since recreated as a pedestrian elevator and overpass).
During the first Denny Regrade (1903-1911), a giant flume conveyed upland soil to Elliott Bay at the foot of Bell Street. In 1914, the Port of Seattle built its original Pier 66 headquarters atop the drowned dome of former Denny Hill.
Piers 64, 65, and 66 were reconstructed in the mid-1990s to create the Bell Street Pier and Bell Harbor complex, including a marina, cruise ship terminal, conference center, Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center, restaurants, and marine services. The project connects with the upland World Trade Center, parking, hotels, and Belltown via a modern version of the original Bell Street bridge.