The Central Waterfront was once the hub of Seattle's maritime activity. Since the construction of a container port to its south in the 1960s, the area has increasingly been converted to recreational and retail uses. As of 2008, several century-old piers are devoted to shops and restaurants. There are several parks, a Ferris wheel, an aquarium, and one over-water hotel.
Some docks remain on the Central Waterfront, under the authority of the Port of Seattle, including a cruise ship dock, ferry terminals, and a fireboat dock. There are many architectural vestiges of the area's past status as the heart of a port, and a handful of businesses have remained in operation since that time.
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