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Revealing a Lost Landscape

For over a decade, an inter-disciplinary group of scholars, professionals and community members have been working together to create and sustain the Waterlines Project – a history of Seattle told through its shorelines. By documenting the human and natural forces that have shaped these landscapes, the project seeks to inform not only interpretations of the past, but also contemporary urban development decisions. Links to many of the project’s innovative maps are available here. You can also watch a digital animation of the area that is now the neighborhood of Pioneer Square being transformed over the course of several hundred years.

A detailed map of the Indigenous histories of the landscape is available here.

For more information on the Waterlines Project, read this blog post “Seattle’s Ghost Shorelines.”

Also, this summer, as part of the Duwamish Revealed project, Waterlines Project team member Amir Sheikh worked in collaboration with civil engineer Zachary Corum, to support artist Frances Nelson in the creation of a large-scale installation called “Meanders.”

Meanders is an interpretation of one of the old meanders of the Duwamish River that ran through what is now South Seattle College’s Georgetown campus in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. The site was the location of the King County Poor Farm and the area of initial dredging and filling along the Duwamish River in 1913. This installation literally “reveals” the history of the river beneath your feet at the site. Learn more about how this effort – both the mapping and research and the artistic interpretation – here.

Special thanks to Amir Sheikh for information on the Waterlines and Duwamish Revealed Projects.