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Zachary Stephen Layton – University of Washington Seattle Campus Traces Beginnings to 1909 Exposition

28 Jan

Zachary Stephen Layton had three campuses to choose from in Washington State for his collegiate education:  University District of Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell.  Seattle was decided upon as a primary location for a university, proposed by influential residents like Daniel Bagley to raise the prestige of the 1858 settlement.   The legislature benefited in its efforts to establish higher education on the West Coast by the land donations from Arthur and Mary Denny and Charlie and Mary Terry in what was yet undeveloped areas of Seattle.

Zachary Stephen Layton

Zachary Stephen Layton

The University of Washington Seattle campus of Zachary Stephen Layton was organized in its primitive state from plans for the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition which was organized and constructed on the land which would be used for the campus later.  The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was a world’s fair, Seattle’s first in 1909.  A primary fair organizer was Godfrey Chealander, a community activist who had worked with the Alaska Territory exhibit in the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon.  Chealander felt the Exposition would highlight the growing Seattle area to the rest of the country.

The University of Washington Seattle campus which Zachary Stephen Layton became so familiar with was forested when the Exposition left three buildings and minimal landscaping for the university to build on.   The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition had been a resounding success in 1909, leaving the largest log cabin ever built and other structures for the university to build on.   Fortunately for the University of Washington campus, Mount Rainier was the focus of the Exposition layout, and thus evolved into the impressive vista of today’s campus, as well.   The Hoo-Hoo House and Bastion of the fair became the University of Washington faculty lounge building.  Drumheller Fountain built for the fair is today a central focus of the Science Quadrangle of University of Washington.  The Fine Arts Palace of the fair survives today as Architecture Hall, and the A-Y-P Women’s Building is known as Cunningham Hall today.

Of special interest to Zachary Stephen Layton as he chose the location of his higher education was the respect given to the medical academic quality of the University of Washington.  U of W’s medical school came about as a result of the G.I.Bill, which accelerated growth for the school in 1946.  Today the UW Medical Center is ranked one of the top ten hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.  The accompanying School of Medicine at University of Washington was the first of its kind among the western states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.   A leader today in primary care and family medicine, as well as biomedical research and experimental therapy, the education afforded Zachary Stephen Layton at UW’s School of Medicine was the finest.

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