Blue Collars are Hip in South Park
Hard working people have always been a part of the South Park tradition. We are farmers, machinists, environmental advocates, social advocates, architects, artists, engineers, musicians, teachers, accountants, consultants, chefs, dentists, hygienists, healthcare practitioners, wholesalers, mechanics, construction workers, and community organizers.
Businesses like South Park for the convenient access to key transportation corridors. Workers like our small-town feel. Artists like our rough edges. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with South Park, and remember you’re always welcome back for a home cooked meal.
South Park Business Association (SPBA)
Local Industry and Boeing
Over the years, the Lower Duwamish Corridor has served as home to hundreds of large and small businesses, including manufacturing and industrial companies such as the Ford Motor Company, the Georgetown Steam Plant, the Jorgensen Forge, and the Isaacson Steel Company.
For decades, these companies and others performed a variety of heavy commercial and industrial operations and activities including metal manufacturing, container storage and shipping, marine construction and fuel processing.
In 1936, the U.S. Government ordered 13 of Boeing’s newly developed B-17 Flying Fortresses-the nation’s first four-engine bombers. Boeing purchased a 28-acre parcel of land along the Lower Duwamish Waterway and constructed a 60,000 square foot assembly building to house the government’s growing need for military aircraft, which they called Plant 2.
By the time the U.S. entered into WWII in 1941, the facilities expanded to almost 1.7 million square feet of manufacturing space. To protect Plant 2 from any foreign surveillance that might recognize its military significance, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers camouflaged the building’s roof to look like a hillside neighborhood dotted with homes and trees. From the air, the disguise transformed the Plant 2 rooftops so that the massive building seemed to disappear into the residential communities surrounding it.
As more and more men left the assembly lines for the front lines, Boeing recruited women to fill the vacancies on the B-17 assembly lines. Known as Rosie the Riveters, they worked in two shifts and on multiple assembly lines, building an average of 12 B-17s each day.
In addition to supplying the military with nearly 7,000 B-17s during WWII, Boeing also produced many other military aircraft at Plant 2 including the B-29 Superfortress bomber, the B-47 Stratojet and B-52 Stratofortress, many of which are still in service with the U.S. Air Force. In total, Boeing manufactured more than 10,000 large bombers and other military aircraft for the United States and approximately 72 commercial aircraft at Plant 2 before it was demolished in 2011.
Life on the Duwamish: Rediscovering Seattle’s Dirty South (audio series)
By Jessica Partnow, Common Language Project
Take this great Audio Tour produced by the Common Language Project which includes segments on:
Working on the Duwamish
Once as crucial to the global economy as the Panama Canal, the Duwamish Industrial Area is still home to 80,000 Seattle jobs. But some developers would rather see industry head south and out of the city. Today’s segment examines the fate of industry here on the Duwamish.
If you’d like to know more about South Park’s business and industry outreach this power point should get you started. Business Info