A VILLAGE WITHIN THE CITY
Columbia City is known for both its dense collection of artists, galleries, cafes, independent shopping stores, restaurants and nightlife as well as an eclectic residential population that blends multi-generational young trendsetters, hipsters and professionals.
The history of Columbia City stretches back to the 19th century, when it was developed as an independent town to take advantage of the newly constructed Rainer Valley Electric Railway from Downtown Seattle. The community has a remarkable ability to absorb and integrate newcomers with warmth and grace, celebrating its diversity with an array of organizations and facilities that include Bike Works, The Boys and Girls Club, The Rainier Arts Center and Southside Commons, among many. This infectious neighborhood involvement is typified by the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade, the Beat Walk live music series, and by the legendary Columbia City Farmer’s Market.
The neighborhood’s amenities include an original Carnegie Public Library, the Rainier Community Center with its year-round programming and connection to Genesee Park, the Rainier Arts Center performance space and numerous cultural organizations. Columbia City is a neighborhood that has a long history of supporting and encouraging interaction among its residents, and a wide range of cultural and community events brings people together throughout the year, from parades and festivals to gallery walks and music nights.
Diversity is present in Columbia City’s architectural fabric, as well. There is a vast array of housing styles that includes award-winning planned communities, turn of the century vintage homes, modern lofts and contemporary townhouses and single-family residences.