Seattle doubles in size by annexing north-of-downtown communities on May 3, 1891.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 1/01/1999
  • Essay 2214

On May 3, 1891, Seattle more than doubles in size when a large area north of downtown is annexed. The communities annexed are Magnolia, Wallingford, Green Lake, Brooklyn (later renamed University District), and Ravenna.

Before 1891, the City of Seattle encompassed 12.67 square miles stretching from about S Hanford Street to about the south end of Lake Union at McGraw Street. The annexation of the north Seattle communities was accomplished when residents of Seattle and of Magnolia, Wallingford, Green Lake, Brooklyn, and Ravenna voted to annex. This one vote added 16.94 square miles to Seattle.

This was the first annexation in eight years. Over the next 65 years there were 37 additional annexations which increased the size of Seattle to 91.56 square miles.


Myra L. Phelps and Leslie Blanchard, Public Works in Seattle: A Narrative History The Engineering Department, 1875-1975 (Seattle: Seattle Engineering Department, 1978), 222, 224.

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