Ballard is a vibrant neighborhood located in the northwest part of the city of Seattle, just north of Salmon Bay. Ballard is bounded to the north by Crown Hill, to the east by Phinney Ridge and Fremont, to the south by Lake Washington Ship Canal, and to the west by Puget Sound's Shilshole Bay. The neighborhood is notarized for its landmarks including Ballard Locks or Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Golden Gardens Park, the Shilshole Bay Marina, and the Nordic Heritage Museum.
Ballard is a must see for tourists and is full of locally owned boutique shops, pubs, restaurants, and waterfront parks. Each month the Ballard Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Second Saturday Artwalk, which brings in residents from all over the Seattle area as well as tourists.
Ballard was first settled in 1853. In 1889 it was incorporated in Washington State and in 1907, Ballard was annexed to Seattle. Proud of its Scandinavian heritage, Ballard has many reminders of its past including the annualNorwegian Constitution Day Parade, the Nordic Heritage Museum, and the Bergen Place mural that was dedicated by the King & Queen of Norway in 1996. The Ballard Avenue Historic District reflects the patterns of industrial growth in Seattle, as well as the city's Scandinavian heritage.
In the 1870s and 1880s, several distinct communities were formed in the Puget Sound area that centered on the area's rich timber resources. A group of Seattle real-estate developers purchased a large tract of land along Salmon Bay, and divided the property into commercial, residential and industrial lots. Industry was established in the new town named Ballard. J. Sinclair and Ballard's first mill was built in 1888. In the following year Michigan's prosperousStimsonCompany built its first mill in the region, which turned out to be fortunate timing, for the Great Seattle Fire that year created an immediate demand for supplies. By 1895, Ballard claimed to be the center of the world's largest shingle industry and, by 1904, was producing an incredible 3 million shingles per day. Many of the mill jobs were filled by Scandinavian immigrants, establishing an ethnic influence that remains today.
The area's success spurred the construction of commercial buildings north of the shingle mills-two and three story Italianate brick banks, retail stores, saloons, and hotels-that form the core of the historic district today. Incorporated in 1890 with a population of 1,173, Ballard took just five years to grow into a bustling town of 10,000 that supported sizable foundry and fishing industries, in addition to the tremendous shingle industry. Ballard continues to be a unique Seattle neighborhood, retaining its late 19th-century flavor while adapting to changing times.
Area transit and growth are issues that remain in the greater Seattle area, including Ballard. Sustainable Ballard, a non-profit organization has been established and continues explore challenges in the community regarding traffic reduction in the neighborhood. The Get Carbon Neutral transportation campaign is working toward Ballard becoming the first carbon neutral community in the nation.