Monday, July 18, 2011

Historical Renton | Honoring Our Past, Responding to the Present, and Envisioning the Future

Hi Colleagues,

Enjoy this pixel-roll of Renton history, including the History Museum, Veteran's Memorial Park, and Dinner Train:

Chief Seattle bust at Renton History Museum (above)

Spirit Dinner Train (above)

Veteran's Memorial Park (above 2)

Renton History Museum (above 3)
Dad tells me stories of growing up in Renton, the strain of moving multiple times as a child within the city, the dip he took at the former Barbee Mill when walking atop the timber only to slip, fall in and under the logs, and be rescued by a log worker who put a hook through Dad's coat to pull Dad out, and to his teenage days cruisin' the loop.  I grew up on the West Hill in unincorporated Seattle and attended Renton schools when Renton was a quiet Boeing town.  Boeing parking lot filled with nervous parents and excited teenagers.  

View of Renton and Lake Washington & Cedar River Watershed
from the West Hill (above)
Today Renton has grown from its log and coal mine days to a population of 90,127 (as of 4/1/2010, WikiPedia), up from 50,052 in 2000, growth in part due to the Benson Hill annexation; there exist 3 potential annexation areas, a debated issue, so the City could potentially grow more.  Those sleepy and quiet streets have turned into bustling avenues leading to The Landing, PACCAR, the Seahawks Training Camp & Virgina Mason Athletic Facility (VMAC), and downtown core.  The Barbee Mill became Port Quendall, location of newly constructed townhomes and Connor homes.  Whether growth by annexation, revitalization efforts, systemic, or organic, it's important for the city to apply its cultural roots and inquire from residents what kind of history via our growth that we want to leave for future generations.  It's the people who drive history, after all.  Find out why people choose Renton.

Change is an inevitable and inferred part of history.  Growth is more than deciding what infrastructure to build where; growth includes understanding what contextual, cultural, and systems influence people's way of life.  Deciding on how we build involves envisioning a bright and healthy future can help us design our city to scale for vitality and sustain future generations.  Ride the continuity of the curve to stay Ahead of the Curve.  In other words, honor our past and listen for present voices and opinions.  Learn more about Renton history here and here.

Remembering our roots remains yet another reason why I Love Renton and Renton is a great place to live, work, and play. Let's honor the good parts of our past, respond to present voices and concerns, envision a bright and healthy future, and reconcile, adjust, and innovate accordingly.  Here's to celebrating the spirit that contributed to what and who Renton is today.


Recommended Reading

"History lives here:" Renton centennial marker walking tour. (2001). Childers & Brewer: Renton, WA.

Renton: The first 100 years 1901-2001. (2001). Produced by The Boeing Company, Renton Reporter, and City of Renton: Renton, WA.