Too High & Too Steep

Too High & Too Steep

Reshaping Seattle's Topography

Book - 2015
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Residents and visitors in today's Seattle would barely recognize the landscape that its founding settlers first encountered. As the city grew, its leaders and inhabitants dramatically altered its topography to accommodate their changing visions. In Too High and Too Steep , David B. Williams uses his deep knowledge of Seattle, scientific background, and extensive research and interviews to illuminate the physical challenges and sometimes startling hubris of these large-scale transformations, from the filling in of the Duwamish tideflats to the massive regrading project that pared down Denny Hill.

In the course of telling this fascinating story, Williams helps readers find visible traces of the city's former landscape and better understand Seattle as a place that has been radically reshaped.

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Publisher: Seattle, WA : University of Washington Press, c2015
ISBN: 9780295995045
Branch Call Number: 624.15109 W6712T 2015
Characteristics: xxii, 239 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Too high and too steep


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Sep 21, 2016

Wonderful book! Gives a clear impression of how much the landscape has been changed in this city. I loved how the author gave accounts of the people who lived on Denny Hill and how the regrades affected their lives.

Nov 04, 2015

Lively account of how and why Seattle's first American immigrants looked at the future of the settlement as a commercial center from the very start with vivid and detailed observations and well-researched storytelling. The grading of Front Street, the audacious pile-driving to bring in railroads and claim the Duwamish tidelands and tame the river, the equally ambitious construction of the locks and ship canal and subsequent changes around Lake Washington (after the lake fell 9 feet!) are covered as well as the 25-year effort to chop down 240-foot Denny Hill, the runt in the family of the Seven Hills of Seattle. Full of personalities and up-to-date research. Top recommendation for any Seattleite and anyone interested about how fast this young city moved to put itself on the map.

Sep 29, 2015

I am responding to Start Gladiator. He or she may have preferred a book about the Great Northern tunnel but that was not the Author's intent. To complain about what was not there and ignore the fine writing, excellent research, and important Seattle history, to my mind is not a review.

I would give this book 5 star

Sep 27, 2015

[I'm as equally impressed that this is the ONLY book on commenter, jackiepotato's shelves, as I am that she/he/it didn't bother to rate it?]
Found the book to be relatively glib, nothing special in the analysis department. Was disappointed with the author's very brief treatment of the Great Northern tunnel [built by the Great Northern Railroad Company in the early 1900s]; just stated it was built in several sentences, sounded like a simple operation?!?!?!
Problem is, there was a good deal of settlement which occurred, on Fifth Avenue, then along Pike Market area. While the glacial sediment, in sections, makes for easy tunneling, it also makes for easier giant sinkholes when there is 10,000 to 100,000 times more weight now on the surface!


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