|Bellevue, Washington is a suburb of Seattle across Lake Washington in King County. The city lies between Lake Washington to the west and Lake Sammamish to the east.
The city's name is derived from a French term for "beautiful view". On nice days, scenic vistas of the Olympic Mountains and Cascade Mountains can be viewed from hilltops and strategically-positioned high-rise buildings in the Downtown core of Bellevue.
Bellevue is bordered by the cities of Issaquah Kirkland and Redmond, and cross the I-90 East Channel Bridge, Mercer Island. Among Bellevue's neighborhoods is the affluent LakeWashington “Gold Coast” district (Medina, Hunts Point, Clyde Hill, and Yarrow Point), whose residents include Bill Gates. South of I-90 the city’s Eastgate neighborhood continues up Cougar Mountain. To the west of Cougar Mountain, Bellevue includes the Coal Creek, Newport Hills, Somerset, and Factoria neighborhoods.
Downtown Bellevue is undergoing rapid change. Over the next few years, the area will see the addition of high-rises and other projects for office, residential, and retail space. 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 Square. Bellevue is the main Eastside hub for each of the regional transit systems, King County Metro and Sound Transit.
Bellevue is home to City University and Bellevue Community College.
The city's schools are in the Bellevue School District, with four main public high schools : Bellevue High School, Newport High School, Interlake High School, and Sammamish High School. All four were included in Newsweek 's listing of the Best High Schools in America in 2005. Bellevue also has two alternative high schools, International School (which also made the list) and Robinswood High School.
At the elementary level, Bellevue is home to the Eastside's only Waldorf Education, at Three Cedars School
Bellevue has the largest percentage of Asian-Americans in the state of Washington (20%). It also has one of the largest foreign-born populations in the state (25%), including sizable Eastern European and Mexican populations. More than sixty languages are spoken by city residents.
Bellevue is the site of the popular annual Bellevue Arts & Crafts Fair, held since 1947 at the end of July.
The biennial Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition draws thousands of visitors to Bellevue's Downtown Park to view up to 46 three-dimensional artworks from artists around the country.
The Bellevue Arts Museum first opened in 1975, then moved to Bellevue Square in 1983. The museum moved into its own building in 2001, was remodeled and re-opened in June, 2005. 'BAM' has a mission to become a national centre for the fine art of craft and design.
The Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art contains one of the largest doll collections in the world—more than a thousand dolls—displayed on two floors of a Victorian-style building.
The KidsQuest Children’s Museum opened in December 2005 and is located in Factoria Mall. It's 10,000 square foot space houses play and discovery areas, exhibits, offices, educational activities and classroom space.
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. A 2006 estimate had the population at 117,000 making it the fifth largest city in the state and the largest on the Eastside.
Some Information courtesy of wikipedia.org
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