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This is Ballard

A study of a neighborhood in words and pictures.

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A long time ago when the lands surrounding Seattle were first being established, three prominent land barons flipped a coin to decide who would get the undesirable lands around the Salmon and Shilshole Bays. William Rankin Ballard lost that coin toss, thus beginning the story of Ballard.

As time went on a thriving town grew in the area, and though Ballard eventually became annexed to the City of Seattle, it still to this day has an independent streak and sense of character unique among Seattle neighborhoods. Here are some things you might encounter when visiting Ballard…

On the Canal


Fishing boats get worked on at the local shipyards for the upcoming commercial fishing season.


In between the shipyards and the boat marinas, there are neighborhoods of houseboats.


Visitors come and watch as water is let out at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.

scandinavian and nautical themed flags

Scandinavian and seafaring pride can be seen everywhere you go. Ballardites come from a hearty stock.

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The Burke-Gilman Trail runs right through the neighborhood. The urban trail is busy with bicyclists, walkers and runners.

BBQ dinner

Ballard is known for it’s fine restaurants and eateries. Everyday there is something new and exciting to eat.

This site is an homage to M. Sasek’s brilliant children’s book “This is San Fransisco,” and is designed, illustrated and built by Katie Greff as an exercise in responsive web design. Many thanks to Ryan LaBouve for his advice and support in building this site.