The New Frontier and Beyond

On July 20, 1961, the East Side Journal included a special supplement called "Face of the Future". It provided a view of what things might be like in Kirkland within 10 years. On the cover was a drawing of an aerial view over Lake Washington. The Evergreen Bridge (then under construction) was complete and filled with cars. A grid of streets lined with homes and businesses stretched back to the base of the Cascade mountain range, and a highway ringed the East Side. Along with this, bubblecars happily zizzed and whizzed through the air.

Most of this perspective would prove to be quite prescient - except, of course, for the bubblecars. Nevertheless, over the next decade, Kirkland and the East Side would experience even larger growth than they had in the past decade:

The second bridge across Lake Washington and the construction of I-405 (originally called 2-A) were the leading cause of movement to the East Side, just as the ferry system had been in its own small way years ago:

New routes of transportation also changed the demographics of the East Side. Unlike the ferry route, the terminus was not in downtown Kirkland. A few years after the first bridge was built south of Bellevue, that town incorporated. Now, the new bridge was to their north, and the highway coming off of the bridge led the way to Redmond:

Kirkland and Houghton, meanwhile, settled their past differences and finally came to a mutual agreement. The two cities would consolidate, but Houghton would remain a separate yet equal voice in the new city government:

The two combined cities would now share in the growth of years to come:

One hundred years ago, the East Side had barely been settled. Fifty years ago, Kirkland was a small town with dirt roads and a boat to the city. Bellevue and Redmond had even less. Now, the three towns had become thriving cities, each coexisting in modern suburbia:

Sadly, the price of progress included the loss of much of Kirkland's past:

A Look Back at the End of the 20th Century


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1998 - Alan J Stein