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Apartments for Rent in Richland, WA

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What do foodies mean by “Northwest cuisine?” Master chefs know; it’s a phrase that describes food originating in the Columbia Basin, a rich agricultural area that supplies an abundance of berries, grains, wines and wild salmon to the tables of the finest restaurants.

The city of Richland, in the southeastern portion of the state of Washington, sits within this rich agricultural area at the confluence of the Columbia and Yakima rivers. It’s known, along with the nearby cities of Pasco and Kennewick, as the “Tri-Cities.”

Richland is returning to its roots as a small farming community. Its population grew from 1,500 to more than 51,000 residents in 1943, when the government built the country’s first nuclear reactor on what is now known as the Hanford Site. The site continues to play a big part in the economy here, as well as the science and technology communities worldwide.

The US Army purchased 640 square miles of the small farming area for the war effort, evicting the 300 residents of Richland and nearby towns, and created a bedroom community for the workers. Now known as “alphabet houses,” the homes were designed by architect G. Albin Pherson. He was given less than 90 days to completely design the entire new Richland community, including streets, utilities, and commercial and residential buildings. Each design was assigned an alphabet letter, hence the nickname. One neighborhood of 162 alphabet houses that have maintained their original appearance, designated the “Gold Coast Historic District,” was named to the National Register of Historic Places in April 2005.

In 1957, Richmond’s real estate was sold to residents, but Richland continued to be a center for nuclear energy and related technologies. After the reactor was shut down, many Richland residents remained at the Hanford site for its environmental cleanup mission. Other related employers include Bechtel National and its waste vitrification plant, and Washington Closure providing waste management and cleanup efforts.

Known as “The Heart of Washington Wine Country,” Richland and the tri-cities region is home to more than 160 wineries within a one-hour drive. The wineries produce world-class wines, and visitors are often greeted by the winemaker and have an opportunity to tour the vineyards.

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