Seattle Central Library

About a month ago, our good friend, Steph, and her sister visited from San Francisco, so we decided to go check out the Central Library — a well-studied gem in the architectural world. (Steph’s sister, Christina, also happens to be an architecture major from Cal, thus the great choice in “tourist” attraction!) I knew we would ride up the yellow escalators, peek out through the Red Room, and wander along the Spiral; what I didn’t imagine was that we’d end up spending a good hour in a special section housing historic records ranging from Seattle’s yearly city directories (dating back to 1898!) to early census reports, to neatly compiled books full of newspaper clippings (sorted by topic). We flipped through gigantic insurance maps of Seattle proper, trying to figure out what used to be where (a lot of shipyards!), and I briefly browsed through a Japanese directory from 1955 listing every single Japanese business in America (from the Bay Area to cities in Utah! with street names I recognized in San Francisco). My ultimate favorite was a “Blue Book” of some local elite organization, featuring socialites (who probably paid to be listed), stating their prestigious college affiliations, spouses, and addresses. Can we say, the original Facebook?!