Using the Puget Sounds Regional Archives

I once heard someone describe the Puget Sound Regional Archives in Bellevue as “Google Street View, circa 1910”. While that may be a bit of a stretch you can discover pre-1930 pictures of homes and buildings through their archives.

Puget Sound Regional Archives provides a free and user-friendly service to assist you with your research of property in the Puget Sound area. Original records of the property – outlining details such as dimensions, materials, ownership and other relevant characteristics – can also be recovered. You can uncover images from your home’s historic past in a few easy steps:

Information Needed to Get Started:

1. Property address
2. Tax parcel number or a brief legal description (lot/block)
3. Your name and contact information

Then it’s time to submit a request. With the previously gathered information, choose your method of contact.

Phone: 425.564.3940
Fax: 425.564.3945
Address: Puget Sound Regional Archives; 3000 Landerholm Circle SE MS-N100; Bellevue

An archivist will then pull your records and notify you what information is available for your property. You can also visit the center. Check their website for hours of operation at:

Note, there is a nominal fee for pulling the records requested. Black and white photos can be ordered in a wide range of sizes, including 5×7 for $17 and 16×20 for $55. Original Records can be purchased for 25 cents per page.

If you have an interesting “Then & Now” photo set of your home, please share with us by posting on this page. I would love to find out what you have learned about your home.

Your Home’s History

Like most Seattlites, you’re probably not the original owner of the home you live in, so it is only natural to wonder what your home may have looked like when it was first built.

Today, I am going to walk you though how to pull your homes records from the King County Records website. In a later article, I will detail information available at the Puget Sound Regional Archives in Bellevue.

The King County Assessor regularly takes and files photographs of residences as part of its work. These photographs are part of the public record and most are available online. You may be able to see your homes floor plan and some previous sale history. Permit history is available on the City of Seattle website at:

Locating your homes records online:

1. Go to the King County Assessor’s eRealProperty site at:…/eRealProperty/default.aspx

2. Enter your address or parcel number from your tax bill (addresses change, but parcel numbers do not)

3. Click the “Search” button.

You should now be looking at the Assessor’s report for your home.
On the top of the page click the button labeled “Property Detail”
Scroll down until you see the picture of your home, then click on the camera icon. Floor plans may also be available, click the camera icon above the floor plan.

You should now be seeing the photographs. Enjoy!

If you have an interesting “Then & Now” photo set of your home, please share with us by emailing I would love to find out what you have learned about your home.