By 1980, Bellevue had a population of about 73,903, and it was rapidly growing. The 1990 census confirmed Bellevue’s growing cosmopolitanism. Minorities grew twice as fast during the 1980s, reaching nearly 15 percent of the population and one out of every four schoolchildren, mainly from Asia and the Pacific Islands region. Almost half of the residents spoke a language other than English.
More distinctions were between affluent and less affluent neighborhoods, but homeownership remained high. There were increasingly stately homes along the lakeshore and in such suburbs as Medina and Hunts Point. The suburban era also left a mark on the community with neighborhoods like Lake Hills, built with ranch-style and split-level homes on winding streets and cul-de-sacs. Condominiums and large apartment buildings near downtown often cater to older residents.
Demographers noticed a new trend in the middle 1980s: more and more eastsiders remained there to work in shops, office buildings, distribution centers, and light industries. Several of the region’s most prominent companies opened corporate headquarters in Bellevue, including established firms and new ones. Microsoft began its rapid ascent to software supremacy in Bellevue before crossing city lines to Redmond. Furthermore, Bellevue became a popular destination.
Here are some stunning photos of Bellevue from the 1980s. And if you want to go back, check what Bellevue looked like in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.
#1 Bel-Square transitioning from an outdoor plaza to an enclosed, indoor mall, 1981
#2 Movie Theatre, 1981
#3 Bellevue Shopping Industry Buildings City Aerial, 1981
#4 Bellevue March 1987
#5 Albertson’s parking lot, Bellevue, February 15, 1987
#6 Barnes & Noble bookstore, Bellevue, 1989
#7 Belle Lanes, Bellevue, May 14, 1989
#8 Bellevue Downtown Park, Bellevue, March 12, 1988
#9 Bellevue Downtown Park, Bellevue, March 12, 1988
#10 Bellevue High School football field, Bellevue, 1989
#11 Bellevue Multi-purpose center, Bellevue, Washington, 1980
#12 Bellevue Place and Hyatt Hotel, Bellevue, May 14, 1989
#13 Bellevue Place under construction, Bellevue, March 12, 1988
#14 Bellevue Transit Center, Bellevue, February 15, 1987
#15 Bellevue Way and NE 4th Street, Bellevue, February 15, 1987
#16 Bellevue Way at NE 8th Street, Bellevue, 1985
#17 Bellevue Way at NE 8th Street, Bellevue, 1989
#18 Bellevue Way, Bellevue, 1986
#19 Bellgate sculpture outside John Danz Theatre, Bellevue, May 14, 1989
#20 Exxon station, Bellevue, May 14, 1989
#21 Fire department hose tower, Bellevue, 1989
#22 Intersection of NE 8th Street and 108th Avenue NE, Bellevue, February 15, 1987
Designed by Bassetti & Morse. Hilltop is the second-oldest cooperative residential development in King County. It was established in 1947, founded by individuals who, after bypassing conventional 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.