As many of you are aware, February marks the official start of Kirkland's centennial celebration. To honor this milestone, the Courier will feature articles, calendar information and pictorial essays in a special section from February to October. We hope you enjoy the retrospective. Here is the first installment: Then: British steel tycoon Peter Kirk set out to make his new town the "Pittsburgh of the West." The legacies left behind when the dreams of Peter Kirk's mill failed are now sites of historic interest in the town of Kirkland: original homesteads from the pre-Kirk days in the 1870s and 1880s, the brick business buildings built to house the subsidiary businesses that would come to the area because of the steel mill, the Victorian homes built for the steel mill executives and workers, and the Craftsman style bungalows built from 1910 through the '20s. In the past century there have been many changes. Where shingle mills once dotted the lakeshore, there are new parks and homes. Where the shipyard used to be is now a hotel/business center and marina. Some of the buildings in Kirkland's downtown are still standing, but now they are surrounded by condominiums. Now: Kirkland has annexed the communities of Juanita, Rose Hill and Totem Lake, among others, making it the 12th largest city in the state of Washington. Over 100 years ago, Peter Kirk envisioned a city of 50,000 people, close to today's population of more than 45,000 people in 13 city neighborhoods.
* Kirkland recognizes the founding of the city and Peter Kirk's birthday each February.
Kirkland is home to the Seattle Seahawks, the Junior Softball World Series and the Kirkland Kodiaks.
The Audubon Society recognizes Juanita Bay Park as one of the area's best urban wildlife preserves.
The National Volkssporting Association has named Kirkland one of the best walking routes in the country.
Kirkland is home to 39 parks, nine of which are along the waterfront. The city is home to 28 sculptures and five public docks.
Warehouse chain Costco's original headquarters was in Kirkland, hence the "Kirkland Signature" store brand.
Kirkland facts courtesy of Alan J. Stein, Kirkland Heritage Society and ExploreKirkland.com.[[In-content Ad]]