West Seattle (and beyond) history: Aerial views from 1962

Last night, e-mail came in from Terry Hammonds, a Florida resident who was visiting Seattle for the World’s Fair in 1962 and took the photos during a helicopter ride. Terry was a “Texas college student on my first road trip” at the time. Terry offered the photos, available via Flickr, if we were doing a ’62 retrospective (as so many are, in honor of the half-century anniversary). We thought you might be interested in the view of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and even this one of West Seattle and Harbor Island, from a distance:

Of course the big news at the time was the brand-new Space Needle:

(Click any of the photos to see the largest size via Terry’s Flickr feed.) Thanks! We love receiving photo surprises to share. P.S. Did you know that West Seattle (Duwamish Head, in particular) was one of seven sites considered as a possible World’s Fair site for that year?

29 Replies to "West Seattle (and beyond) history: Aerial views from 1962"

  • Andi April 19, 2012 (3:25 pm)

    Those are great! I’ve always enjoyed historic images of our awesome city.

  • BretM April 19, 2012 (3:31 pm)

    How strange it is to see WS without the bridge now.

  • Greg April 19, 2012 (3:32 pm)

    Is that the Kalakala at the ferry dock?

  • A April 19, 2012 (3:34 pm)

    Is that the kalakala?

    • WSB April 19, 2012 (3:37 pm)

      Yes, I forgot to mention it in the text! will fix that! – if you read the text on the Flickr pages, other viewers have identified it. – TR

  • Bill at Duwamish Head April 19, 2012 (4:00 pm)

    These are very cool pictures for those of us who did not live here at the time. The via-duct is so pristine looking, almost like it is photo shopped in. Keep the photos coming please.

  • AN April 19, 2012 (4:11 pm)

    That ship was used as a hotel during the fair…
    Those are really cool photos.

  • Maxine April 19, 2012 (4:19 pm)

    Had I-5 been built then?

  • Brian M. April 19, 2012 (4:22 pm)

    These pics are fantastic! I’d love to see some more!

  • dcn April 19, 2012 (5:41 pm)

    Funny that this article follows the one about building a tall building at the old Petco site. Look at Seattle without most of its skyscrapers and high-rise apartment buildings. As someone commented on the previous article about the junction, development is to be expected in cities.

  • Kevin April 19, 2012 (6:28 pm)

    I sent the guy a quick thank you note on Flickr. He also has lots of old cruise ship images from Florida, and other misc images. Well worth a visit to his site.


    • WSB April 19, 2012 (6:31 pm)

      Thanks, Kevin. I looked around on Google before publishing this, wondering if Terry had sent the link to a variety of news orgs around the area, but didn’t see the photos anywhere else, so I’m glad WSB was the beneficiary so we could share them widely! Anyone else with ’62 photos, this inspires me to cast a wider net; it had to have been something of a big squig for this side of the bay too … wonder how hard people campaigned to be chosen as the site here (or did they?) – TR

  • S5 April 19, 2012 (6:35 pm)

    Don’t forget that there is a six-month long celebration of 50th Anniversary of the World’s Fair starting this Saturday, 4/21 at Seattle Center!

  • ILoveWestSeattle April 19, 2012 (6:48 pm)

    Great pix, love seeing an actual (albeit small) ocean liner on the waterfront rather than the hideous-looking cruise ships we see nowadays…cool seeing the Kalakala, too!

  • Bill Bacon April 19, 2012 (6:52 pm)

    I’ll look around. I think I have an 8mm reel of movie footage from the 1962 fair. I picked this reel up at a local garage sale some time ago. And, I was there in July, 1962 at age sixteen on a trip with my grandparents.

  • Ss April 19, 2012 (6:58 pm)

    That looks like the Queen Elizabeth in the foreground. Of waterfront image.

  • sam-c April 19, 2012 (7:09 pm)

    thank you for the photos… my mom (as a 13 y.o.) came out here with her family for the world’s fair. drove 2200 miles across the country. it’s been fun seeing these stories and photos.

  • WesC.Attle April 19, 2012 (8:28 pm)

    I was born in 1962 & move to Seattle in 1967. My only mental image of the Space Needle is with the orange top. I don’t think they started changing up the paint on top for many years – maybe in the ’80’s. Will be good to see it for real with the old paint job.

  • Claire April 19, 2012 (9:02 pm)

    Perhaps the large ship is the SS Princess Marguerite? In the 80s my family took a trip to Victoria, I believe on one of its last trips.

  • seewhatsealionsstart April 19, 2012 (10:27 pm)

    @Claire, now I am singing the old Princess Margarite song from the commercial, crackin up.
    Born here in ’64. Cool photo’s and interesting to see pic of ’62 orange needle, been watching the progress on current transition to orange from my workplace on QA. Thanks Terry!

  • Kevin April 19, 2012 (11:33 pm)

    A little Googling reveals:

    Quoted from:

    “The Final Years (1961 – 1962):

    After being retired from Shaw Savill service she was sold to the Mitsui Company of Japan for scrapping in March 1962, having been replaced by the short lived Northern Star. On the 15th March 1962 she departed Wellington for the final time. On the 21st April 1962 she disembarked her passengers after her final voyage from Australia and New Zealand.

    The Dominion Monarch was leased from June to November 1962 as a hotel ship for the Seattle World Fair. She was moored at Pier 51, Elliot Bay. During her stay in Seattle she was opened to the public for organised tours and an official guide book was published. Towards the end of her Seattle stay, her funnels were repainted by her new owners, featuring a diamond shaped insignia and she was renamed Dominion Monarch Maru. There was interest from an American film company to buy her for use as a film prop so that they could blow her up and sink her like the Ile de France. However Shaw Savill stepped in and prohibited such an ignominious fate for the venerable Dominion Monarch. As a result the Dominion Monarch Maru departed Seattle with her dignity intact and sailed for Osaka where she arrived on November 25, 1962, where she was broken up.”

  • dsa April 19, 2012 (11:40 pm)

    I wish they would light the torch on the space needle again.

  • dsa April 19, 2012 (11:46 pm)

    Take a look at the Harbor Island picture and note the extra water that appears to be to the west of the Island. I believe it was wet there then and filled in the same as they did with the Island. I remember riding the bus with a buddy one day and looking out the window when he exclaimed: Where did all that land come from?

  • hele April 20, 2012 (1:40 am)

    I’m interested in what the power poles looked like along Alaskan Way during that time. Any pictures?

  • marty April 20, 2012 (9:53 am)

    Another ship used as a floating hotel during the Fair was the Catala. It later sunk and came to rest on the Washington coast at Ocean Shores.

  • Terry ahammonds April 20, 2012 (11:00 am)

    Greetings from Florida. Nice to see my photographs being enjoyed by so many people. We love the Internet. Thanks WSB for including the link to my Flickr pages. That first picture has had over 500 hits since that link was published.

    Terry Hammonds MSW
    Dunedin, Florida

  • BlairJ April 20, 2012 (12:20 pm)

    I-5 was under construction during the fair. You can see the swath of bare earth in the background of some of the pictures.

  • miws April 20, 2012 (1:45 pm)

    Great pics! Thanks to Terry and WSB for sharing!


    (For a moment there, I thought that Long Nguyen had gone through a time warp! ;-))



  • Brontosaurus April 20, 2012 (7:30 pm)

    Thanks Terry, great pics.

    I noticed the Space Needle being painted orange again this morning. We should start a campaign “Keep the Space Needle Orange” – it’s much more fun.

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