History buffs and Lynnwood residents alike can learn more about where they live through a website depicting the history and artworks of Lynnwood with an interactive map.
The project is nearly complete and can be accessed at discoverlynnwood.com. Development is ongoing and expected to finalize within the month. A full public release is expected to be in late August.
Community Programs Coordinator Fred Wong and geography consultant Danielle Olson have taken the lead on compiling the past 100 years of Lynnwood’s history. They worked closely with Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association (LAMHA) president Cheri Ryan to gather information and photos.
The website features a list of historical sites and public art pieces within the city. When one of these is selected, a picture and the context of the landmark is given, as well as its location being shown on the accompanying map. Olson worked with the ArcMap program to create the website to include “layers of data that you can visually see.”
Wong eventually hopes to make the website compatible with mobile devices and tied to GPS so those in town can find interests nearby. The purpose of this website is to promote interest about Lynnwood and for residents to learn more about where they live, he said.
Much of Lynnwood’s history revolves around the transition of the Interurban Rail becoming the Interurban Trail it is today.
“History tends to teach you lessons,” Wong said. “It teaches you a lesson about how transportation works and how our city grows around transportation.”
Olson feels the website connects the community to the roots of Lynnwood and ties together its different aspects from different points in time.
“Knowing more about the history of the city helps people have a sense of place, belonging and ownership of that place,” Olson said. “People need to have an identity and a place needs to have an identity.
Attractions such as redesigned signal boxes scattered around the city tell a bigger story. One located along Alderwood Mall Boulevard, which also marks the Interurban Trail, has been decorated with artwork reminiscent of the former Interurban Rail in its place.
As part of a larger project, every signal box will be painted to blend Lynnwood art and history together. Students of Cedar Valley Community School recently participated in painting the signal box on 196th St SW. Similar projects will be done by local artists and students to continue telling a picture story of Lynnwood’s past and present together.
The website intentionally does not include all possible landmarks in order to encourage the audience to find other points of interests nearby one that is marked on the website.
In the future, Wong hopes to incorporate upcoming event alerts on the website, including personal community events such as a party. He plans to make sure the website will “never be out of date.”
–By Annika Prom