Our research on the city of Tukwila during the 1950s has unearthed many interesting articles and stories of our growing town. The news of development in the Duwamish Valley was making headlines in various publications including the Washington State Labor News spring 1958 edition. It featured an article written by John B. Strander, chairman of the Tukwila Planning Commission and future mayor.
The year of 1958 marked the 50th anniversary of Tukwila’s incorporation and hopes of taking part in making America great. The John Graham and Company had been engaged by the Tukwila City Council to prepare a comprehensive plan for the town. Strander indicated several important points in his article regarding Tukwila’s development plans. The first point was that the Duwamish River remain in its present course and not the waterway that was being proposed by the Port of Seattle plan. The Tukwila plan included an orderly industrial development, keeping the land on the tax rolls with annexation, protecting the residential sections of the town, guarantee for the preservation of countless beautiful homes through intelligent and sound zoning and would allow the present property owners of the future industrial property to negotiate with the developers without threat of condemnation which were included in the Port of Seattle plans.
Strander’s article concluded that there is no disagreement with the Port of Seattle or any other agency. Tukwila presented a peaceful plan and would be ready at any time to meet with “men of good intentions.” The citizens of Tukwila believed in the dignity of the individual but also in the will of the community.
There were plans being proposed at this same time for the future interstate freeways, as well as one of the largest shopping malls to be built under one roof on the property that had been well known for dairies and small farms. Tukwila was truly situated at the “crossroads” and the next 50 years were well on the way to making a city from a town.
President, Tukwila Historical Society