Celebrate Burien’s 25th Birthday at Community Center on Monday, Feb. 26

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On Monday, Feb. 26, from 5 – 6:30 p.m., the City of Burien will celebrate its 25th birthday at the Community Center.

The City’s first Mayor – Dr. Arun Jhaveri, as well as current Mayor Jimmy Matta and King County Executive Dow Constantine – will speak.

And don’t worry if you can’t attend – The B-Town Blog will be streaming live video from the event on our Facebook page starting at 5 p.m. (NOTE: in order to view the live feed, you must “Like” our page).

The City officially turns 25 on Thursday, Feb. 28, and will be celebrating this milestone birthday throughout the year (perhaps by renting a car, since the minimum age is 25…?).

Its actual “birth date” was Feb. 28, 1993 after voter approval.

Here’s more from the City:

The idea to incorporate came from residents wanting to have a stronger voice in the destiny of their community. Concerns grew as Burien realized they needed a stronger voice and representation in matters concerning the expansion of Sea-Tac International Airport.

“Not only has Burien become a much desired, respected, and established city,” said Dr. Arun Jhaveri, Burien’s first mayor. “But it also provides efficient and cost-effective public services to its more than 50,000 multi-culturally diverse residents, without increasing normal taxes, fees, or compromising its strong vision.”

On Monday, February 26, the community is invited to a reception honoring current and past civic leaders. The event, held at the Burien Community Center between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m., will feature remarks from Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta, Burien’s First Mayor Dr. Arun Jhaveri, and King County Executive Dow Constantine. Guests will also be invited to share their own recollections of Burien’s history in an open mic portion of the event.

“This year, our City Council is beginning a conversation about what the next twenty-five years will look like for our beloved community,” Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta said. “Our anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the legacy left by Burien’s earliest civic leaders, and inspire a new generation to be part of Burien’s future.”

The Monday event is the kickoff to a year-long celebration of our 25th anniversary. The City is partnering with local media and community organizations to incorporate the 25th anniversary theme in community events, on social media, and in special publications throughout the year. The community is invited to celebrate alongside the City by incorporating the 25th anniversary theme into their own events and programs. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Emily Inlow-Hood at [email protected].



  • February 28, Incorporation Day.


  • Groundbreaking and dedication of Lake Burien Memorial Park.


  • City assumes ownership of King County parks properties in Burien City’s first Comprehensive Plan adopted.


  • Annexation of 2,500 residents of Manhattan & Woodside park areas Park Board & Arts Commission formed.


  • Downtown Town Square Task Force begins meeting to plan a Town Square.
  • First annual outdoor concert series held at Lake Burien School Park.


  • Burien’s Skate Park opens.


  • Work begins on SW 152nd Street improvement project.
  • Discover Burien launches.


  • Broadcasting of Burien City Council meetings begins.


  • City Council begins study of possible annexation of North Highline area.
  • Conceptual site plan for 20-acre Town Square development approved.


  • Work completed on removal of south seawall and beach restoration at Seahurst Park.
  • Dedication ceremony held for Burien’s Eagle Landing Park.


  • Dedication ceremony for Mathison Park, the first park development east of 1st Ave S.
  • Groundbreaking of Town Square Park.
  • City Hall moves to new temporary location on Ambaum Boulevard SW.


  • Jacob Ambaum Park opens on Ambaum Boulevard SW.
  • Demolition of former Gottschalk store marks beginning of construction of Burien Town Square.
  • Independent news/event website The B-Town Blog starts publishing


  • City initiates new economic development initiative to build on the “cluster” of medical service providers in Burien.
  • City adopts biennial budget process.


  • New City Hall and Library opens.
  • Town Square Park opens.
  • Radio Free Burien begins broadcasting.
  • Groundbreaking of South Correctional Entity Regional Jail (SCORE).
  • Burien Interim Art Space has year-long run.
  • Work completed on phase one of 1st Ave S. improvement project.


  • Public Works maintenance crews brought in-house.
  • Community Center opens in newly remodeled former library.
  • Burien contracts to begin Burien Animal Care and Control.
  • Annexation of 14,000 Highline residents.


  • SCORE Regional Jail opens.
  • City Council develops, adopts Vision for Burien.
  • Metro/Sound Transit parking garage opens downtown.
  • City’s major arterials are resurfaced.
  • Work begins on phase two on 1st Ave S. improvement project.


  • Community Animal Resource and Education Society (C.A.R.E.S.) opens in Burien.


  • Phase two of 1st Ave S. improvement project completed.
  • Work begins on Seahurst Shoreline Restoration Project, north seawall removal.
  • Burien becomes a Safe Place City.
  • Arbor Day Foundation names Burien a 2012 Tree City USA.


  1. Seahurst Restoration Project concludes and receives Livable Communities Award for “Overall Excellence in Protecting Natural Resource Area”.


  • NERA Stormwater Facility and Miller Creek Greenway Project Phase One concludes.
  • King Country Metro Transit opens shuttle in Burien.
  • Ground breaks on Merrill Garden developments to complete Town Square.
  • Burien Magazine launches.


  • City adopts immigration status ordinance.
  • Cold storage facility opens in NERA.
  • Town Square complete with construction of Maverick Apartments and Merrill Garden complex.


  • City celebrates its 25th anniversary of incorporation.

About the City of Burien
The City of Burien is a vibrant and creative community, where the residents embrace diversity, celebrate arts and culture, promote vitality, and treasure the environment. For more information, visit www.burienwa.gov.

More info from Historylink.org:

Although residents had rejected the idea four times before, unchecked growth, plans for a third runway at Sea-Tac Airport, and a proposal to build a floating bridge through the community generated new interest in becoming a city. The new city consists of approximately nine square miles between Seattle and Normandy Park and between the City of Seatac and Puget Sound and has a population of about 27,700.

Burien was named after pioneer Gottlieb Van Boorian whose name was misspelled to Burien. The idea of becoming a city was presented to voters four times including 1954, 1960, and 1984, but in each case they voted the measure down, the last time by a margin of three to one. The only direct political influence the unincorporated area had on local government was through a single member of the King County Council and the county executive.

Currently, Burien’s population is ~52,000, making it the state’s 24th largest city, just above Lacey (50,384).

To hear some great oral histories about the region from longtime residents, visit the Highline Historical Society here.

Here are some historical documents outlining the origins of our fine city (click images to see larger versions):




The Burien Community Center is located at 14700 6th Ave SW:

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