This is your chance to discover a treasure trove of Seattle history and cultural significance, in an experience filled with colorful, insider scoop — all hidden in plain sight. We will delve into the larger-than-life depictions of long-gone Seattle history that make up the Murals of West Seattle (and provide particulars about two other murals too distant for this tour).
In this fact-filled journey, you will get the full story of how these murals were created by civic leaders and a team of world-class artists, discover the tricks of their trade, learn which local luminaries were depicted in various scenarios and myriad behind-the-scenes anecdotes about these unique achievements.
You also will see the inspiring results of the ongoing restoration of these 30-year-old showpieces. In addition, you will glimpse 10 recently installed bronze historical panels. You will come away with an appreciation for how any community can instill pride in its citizenry by telling its foundational stories through public art -- and how West Seattle, known as "the Birthplace of Seattle," serves as an example for us all.
For this 90-minute tour, we will start at the Hi-Yu Parade mural at the West Seattle Post Office and walk counter-clockwise through the two square blocks of the West Seattle business district known as the Junction — named for the corner where two lines for the nation's first municipally owned streetcar system intersected more than 110 years ago. We will stop at nine sites along streets, alleys and parking lots to view these massive masterworks.
Hi. I’m Clay, a member of the Atlas Obscura community.
The Murals of West Seattle touch my heart — and the heart of Seattle, revealing how our city and peninsula began and flourished.
My mother was born (in 1923) and raised on this peninsula. I served as editor of the West Seattle Herald (1983-1988) and "West Side Story" history book (1987) and for many years on the board of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and as its executive director.
The Murals of West Seattle project took shape in 1989-1993 and was led by Earl Cruzen, for whom I provided historical photos for world-class artists to use as the basis for their creations. I'm the only one remaining from the core of the project, and I'm proud and passionate about leading tours to share the story of the murals' origin and recent restoration.
For questions about this experience, please contact me directly through Airbnb.
Please come prepared with weather-appropriate clothing, water bottle, and comfortable shoes. This walk takes place rain or shine. If heavy rain is in the forecast close to the tour, we will attempt to reschedule. But a light rain will not detract from our fun if we bring umbrellas!
- Weather-appropriate clothing (rain or shine)
- Water bottle
- Comfortable shoes
Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.
There are 20 spots available on this experience.
Guests of all ages can attend.
We will stroll between nine mural sites, but the pace is not brisk. Please know, however, that we will be standing or walking for the entire 90 minutes.