In the early 1970s, when the Latino population was growing in the Seattle area, Spanish speaking patients had difficulty finding health care options. There were other obstacles besides the language barrier and racism. For many, coming from a rural background or from another country entirely meant being lost in a new urban setting. To meet the need for bilingual, community based health care, local Latino leaders and health activists formed Sea Mar Community Health. This organization, established in 1978, opened its first health clinic in South Park. Today, Sea Mar operates health related facilities across the state — but South Park is still their headquarters.
The original Sea Mar clinic, at 8720 14th Ave South, is still open and active. Originally built in 1951, it has always been a medical clinic. The first owner, a local physician, sold the building to Sea Mar when he retired in 1978. The exterior has been heavily remodeled but there are still some Midcentury Modern elements visible, if you look carefully.