History of Bellevue, Washington
Bellevue was founded in 1869 by William Meydenbauer and was officially incorporated on March 21, 1953. Prior to the opening of the Lake Washington Floating Bridge in 1940, Bellevue was a rural area with little development. Once the bridge opened, access from Seattle improved, and the area gradually grew into a bedroom community.
Following the 1963 opening of a second bridge across the lake, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, the city began to grow more rapidly. It has since become one of the largest cities in the state, with several high-rise structures in its core and a burgeoning business community.
Reflective of Bellevue's growth over the years is Bellevue Square, now one of the largest shopping centers in the region. Opened in 1946, Bellevue Square underwent a significant expansion in the 1980s. More recently, an expansion to Bellevue Square along Bellevue Way called "The Lodge" and the new One Lincoln Tower directly across Bellevue Way from the Square promise to solidify downtown Bellevue as the primary Eastside shopping and dining destination. The Bravern, a large mixed-use project currently under construction, will feature a Sak's Fifth Avenue (the first in the Pacific Northwest) as well as other upscale shops.