Kirkland, Washington

Kirkland, Washington

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Kirkland, Washington
settlement_type = City
nickname = The Little City That Could
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location of Kirkland within King County, Washington, and King County within Washington.

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Washington
subdivision_name2 = King
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = James L. Lauinger (D)
established_title = Founded
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date = 1888
established_date2 = 1905
area_magnitude =
area_total_sq_mi = 11.0
area_total_km2 = 28.5
area_land_sq_mi = 10.7
area_land_km2 = 27.7
area_water_sq_mi = 0.3
area_water_km2 = 0.9
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_urban_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
population_as_of = 2005
population_note =
population_total = 45740
population_density_km2 = 1628.8
population_density_sq_mi = 4220.3
timezone = Pacific
utc_offset = -8
timezone_DST = Pacific
utc_offset_DST = -7
latd = 47 |latm = 41 |lats = 9 |latNS = N
longd = 122 |longm = 11 |longs = 30 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 4–152
elevation_ft = 14–500
website = []
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 98033, 98034, 98083
area_code = 425
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 53-35940GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1512352GR|3
footnotes =

Kirkland is an affluent city in King County, Washington, United States. It is a suburb of Seattle located on the Eastside (of Lake Washington). As of April 1, 2005, the city had an estimated population of 45,740, making Kirkland the eighth largest city in King County and the eighteenth largest city in the State. [cite web|url=|author=City of Kirkland|title=2004 Community Profile|date=July, 2005|accessdate=2007-06-28]

Notable features of the city include its downtown, located on the lakefront (Kirkland is the only city on the Eastside with a waterfront downtown), with many restaurants and art galleries and a 400 seat performing arts center; numerous public parks, including a number of beaches; and a large collection of public art, primarily bronze sculptures.

Kirkland is the former home of the Seattle Seahawks; the NFL team's headquarters and training facility were located in Kirkland for its first 32 seasons. The Seahawks moved to the new 19-acre Virgina Mason Athletic Center in Renton on August 18, 2008. Warehouse chain Costco previously had its headquarters in Kirkland (now in Issaquah), hence the "Kirkland Signature" store brand. Several prominent companies like Bungie Studios (developer of the "Halo", "Marathon", "Myth" and "Oni" video game series) have headquarters in Kirkland; see List of companies based in Kirkland, Washington. It is also home to a Google development office, and serves as a home for many Microsoft and employees.

Kirkland had its moment in the limelight when the 1982 Kirkland National Little League team won the Little League World Series. It also was the home to Little League's 1992 Big League Softball World Series Champions Representing the Eastside District Nine Leagues. Since 1999 Kirkland has been the home of the Little League Junior Softball World Series held each August at Kirkland's Everest Park.

Kirkland is known for its per capita income and its real estate market, which are both regularly among the very highest in the state. Based on per capita income, one of the more reliable measures of affluence, Kirkland ranks 13th of 522 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked.


The land around Lake Washington to the east of Seattle, which would later be known as Kirkland, was first settled by Native Americans. English settlers did not arrive until the late 1860s when the McGregor and Popham families built their homesteads in what is now the Houghton neighborhood. Four miles to the north people also settled near what they would later call Juanita Bay, a favored campsite of the Natives because a type of wild potato, "wapatos", thrived in the region. The Curtis' arrived in the area sometime in the 1870s and, later, the French family in 1872. The Forbes family homesteaded what is now Juanita Beach Park in 1876cite web | last = Stein | first = Alan |title=Juanita Beach Park (Kirkland): Essay 4009 |url=| accessdate=2007-12-24] , and settled on Rose Hill in 1877. As time went by slowly more and more people arrived in the area and by the end of the 1880s a small number of logging, farming and boat-building communities had been established. [cite web|url=|title=A Short History of Kirkland|author=Alan J. Stein|date=1998]

In 1886, Peter Kirk, a British-born enterprising businessman seeking to expand the family’s Moss Bay steel production company, moved to Washington State after hearing that iron deposits had been discovered in the Cascade mountain range. Other necessary components such as limestone, needed in steel smelting, were readily available in the area. Further yet, a small number of coalmines (a required fuel source for steel mills) had recently been established nearby in Newcastle and train lines were already under construction. Plans were also underway to build the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Kirk realized that if a town were built near the water it would be a virtual freshwater port to the sea, as well as help support any prospective mill. At the time, however, Kirk was not a U.S. citizen and could not purchase any land. Fortunately, Leigh S.J. Hunt, then owner of the "Seattle Post-Intelligencer", offered to partner with Kirk and buy the necessary real estate.

Under their new venture, the Kirkland Land and Development Company, Kirk and Hunt purchased thousands of acres of land in what is now Kirkland’s downtown in July 1888. Kirk and his associates started the construction of a new steel mill soon after, named Moss Bay Iron and Steel Works. Thus founding the city of Kirkland in 1888, officially one of the earliest on the Eastside at the time, Kirk’s vision of a "Pittsburgh of the West" was beginning to take form.

However, the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad, which had recently been purchased by Tacoma-based Northern Pacific, had now refused to construct a rail line to the lake. This would, after all, have a negative impact on Tacoma, which was furiously competing with Seattle as the dominant Puget Sound seaport. The ensuing financial issues and numerous obstacles were also taking a toll on Kirk, who was running out of investors. Hunt was also in debt from the purchase of land.

Nevertheless, the plans continued and the steel mill was eventually completed in late 1892 on Rose Hill (a full two miles from the Lake’s shore). Unfortunately, before it would ever produce any steel, financial issues arose and due to the Panic of 1893 the mill subsequently closed without ever producing any steel. In spite of everything, Kirk was determined not to give up on his namesake town, and Kirkland was finally incorporated in 1905 with a population of approximately 532.

In 1900 the Curtis family, who had been living on the Eastside since the 1870s, had made a living operating a ferry-construction business on Lake Washington. Along with Captain John Anderson, the Curtis' were among the first to run ferries in the area. "Leschi", first operated on December 27, 1913, was the original wooden ferry to transport automobiles and people between the Eastside and Madison Park until her retirement 1950. The ferry operations ran nearly continuously for 18 hours each day. However, the construction of the first Lake Washington floating bridge in 1940 made ferry service unprofitable and eventually led to its cancellation. [cite web|url=|title=The ferry Leschi makes its last run, ending ferry service on Lake Washington on August 31, 1950|author=Alan J. Stein|date=August 30, 2000|] Subsequent years saw wool-milling and warship-building become the major industries.

The first woolen mill in the state of Washington was built in Kirkland in 1892. The mill was the primary supplier of wool products for the Alaska Gold Rush prospectors and for the U.S. Military during World War I. By 1917, after the completion of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, the construction of ocean-going vessels had become a major business. By 1940, the thriving Lake Washington Shipyard had constructed more than 25 warships during World War II for the U.S. Navy, on what is now Carillon Point.


Since the incorporation of Kirkland in 1905, the city has grown to approximately 12 times its original geographic boundaries, nearly doubling in size during the 1940s and 1960s.

Kirkland consolidated with the neighboring town of Houghton on July 31, 1968 to form one city of 13,500. It annexed the neighborhood of Totem Lake in 1974, and the neighborhoods of South Juanita, North Rose Hill, and South Rose Hill in 1988, which were the largest annexations undertaken in Washington in nearly two decades. This added a further 16,119 people to Kirkland's population and was responsible for 76 percent of Kirkland's population increase between 1980 and 1990.

Future annexations

Kirkland has not annexed any additional land since 1988, although possible future annexations include the unincorporated communities of Finn Hill, North Juanita, and Kingsgate (collectively known as the Proposed Annexation Areas, or PAAs), which would potentially add nearly seven square miles of new land and an additional population of 33,000. If annexation were approved, Kirkland would become the State's 7th largest city. [cite web|url=|title=Washington Cities by Population| (US Census data)]

In March 2006, Washington's legislature approved Senate Bill 6686, which would channel a portion of the State's sales tax to any city which annexes a region with more than 10,000 citizens. This incentive from the State is the impetus for Kirkland's current study of annexation.Fact|date=December 2007

In March 2007, the City of Kirkland released a financial report on annexation. [cite web|url=|title=Consolidated_Summary_of_Phase_1_Fiscal_Analysis|author=City of Kirkland Finance Dept.|date=February 20, 2007|accessdate=2007-06-28]

In November 2007 the City released the report on capital expenditures for the potential annexation. The report stated, "... it may be necessary to rethink our assumptions or the annexation itself. Staff believes that we have reached a point where it is necessary to reassess the underlying assumptions in our approach to annexation in order to achieve a financial balance using the tools available to the Council." [cite web|url=|publisher=City of Kirkland|author=Marilynne Beard, Assistant City manager|date=November 9, 2007|title=Potential Annexation Update|page=5] Three potential options were made available to the City Council:
# Revise selected assumptions and continue with the current strategy;
# Pursue a "revenue-based approach";
# Do not proceed to phase three of annexation.

The City Council will make a go/no-go decision to proceed to "Phase 3" of the annexation process in early 2008. If they choose to proceed, then the issue will be put to a vote in the Potential Annexation Area.

On April 15, 2008, an informal study session by the City Council resulted in a 4-3 vote against moving forward with PAA annexation, effectively ending plans to put the issue to vote in a 2009 ballot. Reasons for the decision included scenario projections estimating a $4.5 million deficit in 2010.cite news |first=Kendall |last=Watson |title=Council Tables Annexation Indefinitely |work=Kirkland Courier Reporter |publisher=King County Publications |location=Kent, WA |page=4 |date=2008-04-23 |accessdate=2008-04-23 ] In every other scenario studied, the City would still continue to lose money despite the State's tax subsidies equaling $40 million spread over a period of ten years.

Kirkland culture

Today Kirkland is socially and economically integrated into the greater Seattle area. Like most of its Eastside neighbors, it is relatively affluent but dependent in large part on nearby technology firms such as Redmond-based Microsoft. Kirkland has an active antiwar movement, including Evergreen Peace and Justice Community, and members of Veterans for Peace chapter 92, Washington Truth in Recruiting, Eastside Fellowship of Reconciliation and other groups.


Kirkland has two Little Leagues: Kirkland American Little League and Kirkland National Little League. Kirkland National won the [] [] 1982 Little League World Series championship.

The Kirkland Baseball Commission provides recreational baseball for players ages 13-18. It is affiliated with [] the national Pony Baseball organization.


"The Kirkland Courier", founded in 1978, is the city's primary newspaper, with a circulation of 23,000 monthly copies. In 1991, the Pacific Publishing Company acquired "The Kirkland Courier", which is a directly-mailed product within Kirkland's incorporated communities. On April 30th, 2007 the "Courier" was purchased by King County Publications, who now publish the weekly "Kirkland Courier Reporter", delivered to every driveway rather than by mail. Kirkland is also the current home of Bungie Studios, a popular software facility.


During the summer, local residents of neighboring cities flock to Kirkland to visit Kirkland's many waterfront parks on Lake Washington. Kirkland has many neighborhood parks as well, and abuts the equestrian Bridle Trails State Park. The waterfront parks are linked together by a paved trail which is open till dusk.


Kirkland is a small, quiet town, with many retired people and apartment complexes. There are quite a few old, quaint houses, though many are being torn down. Currently the major areas undergoing gentrification are Houghton, Juanita, Norkirk, Rose Hill, West of Market, and the downtown area.


Kirkland has a variety of bars, clubs and dance clubs, most of which are located in downtown Kirkland's main strip, Lake Street. Crime associated with the bars and clubs, including violence, noise and drunk driving, has drawn criticism. [cite news|title=Kirkland nightlife too lively for some|url=|date=September 23, 2006|publisher=Seattle Times|author=Lisa Chiu|accessdate=2008-05-01]


Kirkland has a thriving gallery district downtown. The Kirkland Performance Center hosts a number of performing arts events.

Teen Union Building

The Kirkland Teen Union Building in downtown Peter Kirk Park is supported by the city and a number of nonprofit organizations. It has two music stages, a recording studio, darkroom and year-round activities and programs for youth. [cite web|url=|title=About Kirkland Teen Union Building|publisher=Kirkland Friends of Youth|accessdate=2007-11-24]

Geography and climate

Kirkland is located at coor dms|47|41|9|N|122|11|30|W|city (47.685821, -122.191729)GR|1. It is bordered to the west by Lake Washington, to the east by Redmond, to the south by Bellevue, and to the north by Kenmore and Bothell.

Kirkland is accessible via Interstate 405, which connects it with other Eastside cities, including Bellevue, Renton, and Bothell. Seattle, which is west of Kirkland, as well as Redmond to the east, are both accessible through State Highway 520.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.0 square miles (28.5 km²), of which, 10.7 square miles (27.7 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²) of it (3.00%) is water. The elevation varies from 14 to 500 feet above sea level.

Kirkland's average temperature is 46.8 °F, and the average annual precipitation 38.6 inches.


Kirkland is home to Lake Washington Technical College and Northwest University, formerly Northwest College of the Assemblies of God.

Kirkland is in the Lake Washington School District. Secondary schools located in the city include:
* Juanita High School
* Lake Washington High School
* International Community School (7-12)
* B.E.S.T. High School
* Puget Sound Adventist Academy
* Kirkland Junior High School
* Finn Hill Junior High
* Kamiakin Jr. High School
* Northstar Jr. High School
* Rose Hill Jr. High School

Government and politics

Kirkland has a non-partisan council-manager form of government, with seven council members elected at large for staggered four-year terms. The city council selects a mayor from among its members, who serves as council chair but has no veto power. As of 2006, the mayor is Jim Lauinger and the city manager is David Ramsay.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 45,054 people, 20,736 households, and 11,031 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,220.3 people per square mile (1,628.8/km²). There were 21,831 housing units at an average density of 2,045.0/sq mi (789.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.28% White, 1.59% African American, 0.53% Native American, 7.80% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 1.69% from other races, and 2.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.11% of the population.

There were 20,736 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.8% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 38.1% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $60,332, and the median income for a family was $73,395. Males had a median income of $50,691 versus $39,737 for females. The per capita income for the city was $38,903. About 3.9% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.

ister city

Kirkland has one sister city, Emmerich, Germany. [cite web|url=|publisher=Sister Cities International|title=Washington sister cities] [cite web|url=|author=Washington State Lieutenant Governor's Office|title=Sister Relationships]

Notable residents

* Paul Beyerl, religious leader
* Deb Caletti, author
* JoAnne Carner, pro golfer
* Tom Evans, pro baseball player
* Jimmy Gabriel, pro soccer player
* Gil Haskell, pro football coach
* Ken Hutcherson, religious leader and activist
* Iikka Keränen, computer game designer
* Peter Kirk, businessman and city founder
* Sabrina Krievins and Erika Krievins, actors
* Craig McCaw, telecommunications entrepreneur
* Scott Mercado, musician, drummer
* Jeffrey Dean Morgan, actor
* Nic Newsham, musician
* Layne Staley, grunge musician
* Steve Wiebe, competitive gamer
* Jarrod Washburn, pro baseball player

Notable businesses


* [ "Kirkland: The Little City That Could"] Retrieved December 22, 2005.

External links

* [ City of Kirkland Government]

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