A group in Seattle is working to bring back the historic streetcars to the city.
‘Friends of the Benson Trolleys’ is a new non-profit trying to raise funds so they can restore and re-start the historic streetcar network.
A few years back three of the streetcars were sold to St. Louis, but two are currently housed in a storage facility in Anacortes.
Leaders of the push say SDOT and Metro Transit are supportive, but they still need to raise funds.
Right now, they started an online fundraiser to raise nearly $30,000 for an engineering study to determine what they need to do to reduce the voltage that the current overhead trolley wires carry. If they can raise that money they need, an estimated additional $1 million to get each car up and running.
“Now we can’t put them back on the waterfront because the park plan doesn’t provide for it, but putting them on 1st Avenue is a close second,” Charles Gibbs said. “Being able to run them from, as I said, from the International District through Pioneer Square here, past the market and down to Mohai, with a vintage car is an opportunity to connect the four most significant historic sites in the city with a vintage car would be a wonderful ride not only for residents, but certainly for tourists.”
In a booming city, Gibbs knows this would be a great opportunity to re-connect with Seattle’s history.
“We’re looking for an opportunity to restore and preserve the legacy that George Benson created with the Waterfront Streetcar line,” Gibbs said. “We’re losing contact with our history. As we build more and more buildings, glass buildings, attractive in many respects, but we are losing contact with an important part of our history which is the streetcar network.”
If you are interested in helping with this effort, visit friendsofthebensontrolleys.org.