9010 35th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
Jan. 5th Presentation of David Hansen’s “Battle Ready” for Words, Writers & West Seattle has changed venue:
This free book-talk event by ‘Words, Writers & West Seattle’ of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society takes place at 5 PM at the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library (9010 35th Ave SW, West Seattle 99126), on Friday, January 5, 2018, beginning the fifth year of the series.
Described as “A scholarly study of the Puget Sound forts”, Battle Ready: National Coast Defense System and the Fortification of Puget Sound 1894-1925 (Wash. State University Press) summarizes the fascinating saga of Washington State’s seacoast defense, presenting the broad story in both a national and local context. Extensively researched by West Seattle architectural historian David Hansen, the book describes designs, innovations, frustrations over implementation plans, and the experience of serving in the fortifications during their period of greatest importance.
Remnants of Puget Sound fortifications — altered landscapes and an array of concrete structure — are silent reminders of a unique chapter in Pacific Northwest history. The ocean inlet’s wide entrance, deep waters, and recurrent fog left it vulnerable to attack. The waterway finally became part of the National Coast Defense System in 1894, when the value of real and personal property along its shores surpassed $160 million. None of Puget Sound’s five forts ever saw battle, but like many military installations, they were most valuable as a strong deterrent.
Hansen’s family moved to Seattle in 1946 and he attended Lafayette and Alki Elementary, James Madison Jr. High and West Seattle High School before attending the University of Washington. He returned to West Seattle in 1967 after service in the military, and moved to Olympia in 1971 where he now resides.
Hansen’s profession is architectural history and his publications are associated with that field. He was a contributor to “Built in Washington”, a survey of the state’s historic building stock and he has been published in both professional and popular journals, including Technology and Culture (University of Chicago), Columbia (Washington State Historical Society), and World Heritage Papers (UNESCO). He has written many nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and has presented papers to conferences in North America and Europe.