Sound Transit uncovers pieces of Seattle’s history while building for the future
University Link contractors unearth historic boardwalk, other artifacts
Sound Transit contractors building the University Link light rail expansion recently unearthed features from the original neighborhood 38 feet below the corner of Pine Street and Terry Avenue in Seattle. Construction crews and archaeologists carefully uncovered a section of original boardwalk about 33 feet long and also discovered other artifacts dating to the late 1800s.
Based on historic maps, photographs, and literature, archaeologists believe that the boardwalk dates to Seattle's early development years when buildings in this area were primarily residential and sparsely located on big lots. Archeologists believe the boardwalk was most likely buried during the Denny Regrade between 1905 and 1910 when massive amounts of earth were moved around downtown Seattle.
Other artifacts, including the top of a Rainier beer bottle, 31 shoes of different sizes, pieces of furniture, dishes, and other household goods were also recovered from the site. Based on previous work in the area, Sound Transit anticipated uncovering historical artifacts at the site and developed a treatment plan in consultation with the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation prior to excavation. Sound Transit is working with the Burke Museum for final curation of the materials.
The job site is where Sound Transit will retrieve the tunnel boring machine that will dig twin tunnels from Capitol Hill to downtown Seattle as part of the 3.1-mile University Link light rail expansion project between downtown Seattle and the University of Washington. The line is scheduled to open in 2016.
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