Seattle Public Schools

Seattle is a city with a distinguished architectural history, and the city’s public schools are no exception. Every two decades since 1946, Seattle School District has compiled a publication dealing with the origins of each school along with the distinctive attributes of its neighborhood.  More than 160 years of school histories, which are integral to the growth of the city itself, appear in “Building for Learning.”

In 2022, I was asked to join a team of four other writers to update and document the history of Seattle schools. With roughly 115 schools in the system, I was responsible for writing content for 37 elementary, middle and high schools, primarily Queen Anne, West Seattle and South Seattle neighborhoods. I also wrote a new introduction for the 2022 edition that weaves together about a dozen major themes of the early 21st century — from school safety to environmental stewardship to Covid-19 response — and created several of the appendices.

This project is in conjunction with and Seattle Public Schools; the new book was released in spring 2024. Learn more about this project or order a copy.