Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography - by David B. Williams
Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography
by David B. Williams
Published by University of Washington Press, Seattle
Winner of the 2016 Virginia Marie Folkins Award for an outstanding historical publication
Residents and visitors in today's Seattle would barely recognize the landscape that its founding settlers first encountered. As the city grew, its leaders and inhabitants dramatically altered its topography to accommodate their changeling visions. In Too High and Too Steep, David B. Williams uses his deep knowledge of Seattle, scientific background, and extensive research and interviews to illuminate the physical challenges and sometimes startling hubris of these large-scale transformations, from the filling in of the Duwamish tide flats to the massive regrading project that pared down Denny Hill.
In the course of telling this fascinating story, Williams helps readers find visible traces of the city's former landscape and better understand Seattle as a place that has been radically reshaped.
"Williams does a marvelous job of evoking the cityscape that used to be. He clues us in to the spirit of civic ambition that drove Seattle's geographical transformations. He methodically chronicles the stages by which its regrade, canal, and landfill projects were accomplished. And he's meticulous about placing his readers on present-da street corners where they can, with some sleight of mind, glimpse the hills, lake shores, and tide flats that vanished." - Seattle Times
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