Seattle's Monorail construction contract is signed on May 13, 1961.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 1/17/1999
  • Essay 719

On May 13, 1961, the construction contract for the Alweg monorail is signed. The line, to be featured at the World's Fair in 1962, is to run on a raised track from the Century 21 Fairgrounds north of downtown Seattle along 5th Avenue to just north of Pine Street.

The Swedish-designed system's two four-car trains are fabricated in Germany and Howard S. Wright Construction manages the installation of elevated guideways and terminals. The system ultimately cost $4.2 million, financed by the Swedish-owned company Alwac International. Century 21 Corporation, which staged the Seattle World's Fair, took over the line and sold it to the Seattle Transit Commission for $600,000 in 1965.


Don Duncan, Meet Me at the Center: The Story of Seattle Center From the Beginnings to 1962 Seattle World’s Fair to the 21st Century (Seattle: Seattle Center Foundation, 1992), 42; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 5, 2003, p. A-9; Eddie Carlson, "Recollections of a Lucky Fellow," (Seattle: Self-published, 1989), p. 159.
Note: This essay was updated on April 10, 2004, and corrected on May 3, 2004.

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