Records Vault

COVID-19 Message

Records Vault temporarily closed

The Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) Records Vault, an archive of City infrastructure information, is temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. During this time, SPU will receive information requests about the vault through the following email address:

Additional Information

Vault Location & Hours

Seattle Municipal Tower
700 Fifth Avenue, 47th Floor
Seattle, Washington 98104

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday - Friday

For more information, call (206) 684-5132.


Other Resources

The Engineering Records Vault is an archive of City infrastructure information. If you are visiting the Records Vault for the first time, you will need to create a user account with our office so our staff can provide you with digital images.

Vault Contents

Maps in the Records Vault:

  • Engineering quarter section maps, new (GIS computer-generated) and old (mylar)
  • Aerial topography maps, new and old
  • Sewerage and drainage topography maps
  • Basemaps
  • Various City maps, including the 1:400 scale maps and the Vault Plan Index (VPI) original mylar

Publications in the Records Vault:

  • City of Seattle Standard Specifications, current and previous editions
  • City of Seattle Standard Plans, current and previous editions
  • Geotechnical soil boring, piling and slide reports on microfilm
  • Henry Fitch / Works Progress Administration (WPA) drainage and landslide reports and associated field books
  • Published City of Seattle ordinances

Indexes in the Records Vault:

  • Aerial photograph indexes
  • Basemap indexes, geographic and card file
  • Capital Improvement Plan and private contract construction plans
    • Inspector's (Resident Engineer) notes
    • Reports notebooks
  • Geotechnical soil boring, piling and slide reports indexes on the VPI miscellaneous pages
  • King County plat books and condominium plat indexes, computer printout (showing the unrecorded plats) and card file
  • Offsite records storage notebook
  • Pre-1968 Capital Improvement Plan Construction plan card file
  • SEATRAN Roadway Structures listing for bridges, retaining walls and stairways
  • Survey field book index card files
  • Vault Plan Index (VPI), electronic and manual (Plan Register book and the ledger books)
  • Water books, including two computer printout indexes listing projects outside the City of Seattle limits or projects not found in the VPI

Survey information in the Records Vault:

  • Field books
  • Full section and 1/16th maps
  • Quarter section calculation sheets
  • Right-of-way files
  • King County plat books
  • Various shoreland and tideland maps

Plans in the Records Vault:

  • Capital Improvement Plan construction plans
  • Private contact construction plans
  • METRO, King County, or State of Washington plans that impact City of Seattle public rights-of-way
  • Inspector's (Resident Engineer) books
  • Plans for projects outside City of Seattle limits

Aerial Photographs in the Vault:

The Records Vault contains aerial photographs of Seattle from the following years:

  • 1993
  • 1970
  • 1965
  • 1960
  • 1952
  • 1946
  • 1936
  • 1934 (incomplete)
  • 1929 (incomplete)


GIS Data

The City of Seattle's GIS data is an important resource for engineers, land planners, architects, utility designers, and others who consult or provide technical services to city departments. The GIS group fields hundreds of requests from city staff and the public who are looking for geographic maps and data in a variety of digital formats to support their work. We offer the following services:

Homeowner Research Map

Use this application to better understand utility infrastructure serving your property. Use this self-service tool to create a PDF map to download and print. Create a map of your property.

Water and Sewer Research Map

Use the DSO's Water and Sewer Map to research existing Seattle water, drainage, and sewer infrastructure for new property purchases or development.

For more information, contact Dean Huber at (206) 233-7805.