Redmond (population 45,256 in 2000) is located in the Sammamish River Valley east of Seattle. Established in the heart of a dense forest, the community became a center for logging during the late 19th century and early 20th century. When timber was depleted, agriculture became the economic mainstay.
In the late 20th century, new roadways linking Redmond to Seattle led to the onset of vigorous development, and a number of high-tech and service industries began locating in Redmond in the 1970s. The community is now home to some of the major high-tech firms in the country, such as Microsoft and Nintendo. Redmond is working to retain its historic character in the face of continuing development and growth.
To promote revitalization of the historic downtown, the City has instituted the Heritage Restoration and Preservation Grant Program. A notable recent project was creation of a new façade for the El Toreador Restaurant. The building was constructed between 1900 and 1910, but the front façade had been replaced with modern materials. While a complete recreation of the original façade proved infeasible, the property owner and the City worked to design a partial restoration that has transformed the building’s appearance.
To promote heritage tourism, the City and the Redmond Historical Society have partnered to publish a self-guiding walking tour and create an interpretive downtown kiosk. Other aspects of the public-private partnership include a monthly segment on Redmond public television featuring aspects of Redmond’s history.
Designated a Preserve America Community in May 2006.