Jerry's View - White Center alive again
We were invited to sit in at the dedication of the Jim Wiley Community Center and as I listened to the various dignitaries speak I was struck by the fact that little old White Center, the place where we started our own career in 1951, has once again captured the attention of the power structure.
It was just on the cusp of a five-year boom that the business district enjoyed
The arrival of five major grocery chains, three furniture stores, three drugstores, three appliance stores, and three banks. It had a movie house, five taverns, seven restaurants, three dress shops, a men's store, three shoe stores, four service clubs and even a Kaiser-Frazer auto dealership.
Then Burien caught a big wave and went on a great growth ride. It lasted 10 years until Southcenter and the airport growth doused the flame. Today, Burien is on the rise again and so is White Center.
Greenbridge, a marvelous revolution in modern housing and the renovated new Jim Wiley building are something we all can be delighted to see.
I was on the King County Housing board when we built the first Jim Wiley Center. I was sorry to see Jim, the visionary leader of the authority, was unable to be at the dedication. He is a local guy. He and his wife Lee and daughter lived on the hillside behind what was Standring Hospital. They now live in Minnesota.
Jim led the way on providing hundreds of units of attractive housing throughout the county just as another local boy, Harold Hopkins, did before him. Hoppy, deceased, lived in Arbor Heights
Jim, using a federal program called Section 8, filled hundreds of private rental homes throughout the county.
I went on two trips to San Francisco with both Hoppy and Jim, where they sought federal money to build senior high rises. They were great at it.
Arms across from St. Bernadette's is one example. Munro (named after former King County Commissioner Ed Munro) Manor across from Highline High are just two examples.
Jerry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org