Bellevue was incorporated as a third-class city on March 21, 1953. The city grew rapidly after a second bridge across the lake, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, opened in 1963. Several vacant lots, orchards, and berry fields were scattered around the area.
In 1946, Kemper Freeman Sr. opened the Bellevue Square shopping center, including the Bel-Vue Theatre as its first anchor tenant. A growing population provided a customer base for retail stores. As those areas grew, Eastgate, Newport Hills, Lake Hills, and Northtowne opened. Crossroads Shopping Center first opened in 1960, the same decade that Overlake Shopping Center opened. The development appropriately named Vuecrest was just north of traditional Bellevue. It covered 80 acres of slopes Pat Downey had homesteaded and where Japanese and American truck farmers had recently raised berries and vegetables. The hillside offered a panoramic view of the lake, city, and mountains.
These photographs reflect the post-war era in Bellevue. The images capture moments that will never happen again yet remain frozen in one unforgettably memorable moment.
World War II veterans faced a housing shortage when they returned to the area, so established the Veterans Mutual Building Association to build their own community. They paid $875 for 30 acres, and were given another 20 acres by an adjacent landowner. By 1950, they had 60 families with houses planned, and building began. It was the smallest community in the United States with its own fluoridated water system.
World War II veterans faced a housing shortage when they returned to the area, so established the Veterans Mutual Building Association to build their own community. They paid $875 for 30 acres, and were given another 20 acres by an adjacent landowner. By 1950, they had 60 families with houses planned, and building began. It was the smallest community in the United States with its own flouridated water system.
Wendell Lovett was born in 1922 in Seattle. His architectural practice was centered in the Seattle area. He became an instructor in architecture at the University of Washington in 1948 and rose to the rank of professor in 1965. Since 1984 he has held the rank of professor emeritus. He resides in Seattle.
Clark's Crabapple Restaurant was located at the Bellevue Square shopping center. Walter Clark, a veteran of Seattle's Manning's coffee houses, opened several restaurants in Seattle in the 1930s and 40s. He would eventually come to own and operate some 53 eating establishments.
Hilltop is the second-oldest cooperative residential development in King County. It was established in 1947, founded by individuals who, after bypassing convential real estate developers, planned a community that was founded on the desire to utilize principles of modern planning and architectural design to enhance the natural beauty of each home site and to make possible a sharing of benefits and opportunities among the members on as equal and democratic a basis as possible.