Mill Creek Neighborhood Plaque Project

January 7, 2016 2 Comments

In 2007, Kent established the Neighborhood Program whereas individual Neighborhoods could form, elect Officers, and receive a small grant each year to be able to communicate with the residents on City events and City government business. This Neighborhood Program also gave the residents a better streamlined and unified method to interact with the City through the Neighborhood Program Coordinator in the Mayor’s Office.

The Neighborhood of Mill Creek was formed on the east hill of Kent, primarily between James St. and Smith St./Kent Kangley, and up to Summit Ave. In establishing this program, the City also established a grant program for each Neighborhood to apply for matching funds to
accomplish projects important to the Neighborhood. In 2009 Mill Creek Officers decided to apply for a matching grant to buy plaques for homes in the Neighborhood which would be mounted on the outside front of the house. The plaques were metallic with etched bronzed print and designated the original owner of the house and the year it was built. The Officers realized that there were many old homes in the Neighborhood, some built in the early 1900′s, and that such a plaque project would highlight the historic nature of these houses.

The plaque project was an immediate hit with the residents. An application was submitted for 76 plaques and a City matching grant was awarded in 2009. This grant also included the assembling and publishing of a book to capture current and early photos of each house and as much historical information as could be acquired on the early residents of each house. Most all the early pictures and ownership data was acquired from the Puget Sound Archives at Bellevue Community College. The plaques themselves were purchased from Whitehall Products in Michigan.

This first plaque project was followed by a second plaque project in 2011 where 31 more plaques were added and then in 2015 with a third plaque project where 20 more were added. These three plaque projects brought the total number of plaques to 96. The third grant project is just being completed in early 2016 and the book is being updated for the third revision. This revision not only adds the 20 new houses with plaques, but reorganizes the book layout to show those houses that are now in the Mill Creek Historic District, which was established in November 2014. The Historic District is a smaller subset of 49 Contributing houses inside the Mill Creek Neighborhood. And all these houses will now have a plaque. But as the numbers show, the popularity of the plaque project extends well beyond those houses just
in the Historic District part of the Neighborhood.

2 Comments to “Mill Creek Neighborhood Plaque Project”
  1. Catherine Woodard says:

    Where would I be able to see the book with the old photos? That would be fascinating! I recently found an old archive photo of my house on Clark Ave N that was taken in 1950, the year after it was built, and it was so cool to see. I would love to see my neighbors’ homes as they were originally as well.

    • admin says:

      Hi Catherine. Thanks for your interest in the plaque project and the history of the neighborhood. I believe the book is already in it’s 3rd or 4th edition and may be available for purchase at the Kent Historical Museum or you can contact the Mill Creek Neighborhood Council who manages the project. I will forward to her your contact information.

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