Beacon Hill, Seattle, Washington

Beacon Hill, Seattle, Washington

Beacon Hill is a hill and neighborhood in southeast Seattle, Washington. The municipal government subdivides it into North Beacon Hill, Mid-Beacon Hill, Holly Park, and South Beacon Hill, [cite web|url=
title=Beacon Hill
work=Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas
publisher=City Clerk's Office, City of Seattle
] though most people who live there simply call it "Beacon Hill." Home to the world headquarters of and the Seattle Division of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Puget Sound Health Care System, the hill offers views of downtown, the Industrial District, Elliott Bay, First Hill, Rainier Valley, and, when the weather is good, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains. It is roughly bounded on the west by Interstate 5, on the north by Interstate 90, on the east by Rainier Avenue South, Cheasty Boulevard South, and Martin Luther King Junior Way South, and on the south by the Seattle city boundary. Homes on the northern part of the hill were mostly built in the early 1900s; thus, North Beacon Hill contains many excellent examples of Craftsman bungalows and "Seattle box houses" (a local variant of the Foursquare style).

History and demographics

The Duwamish called the hill "Greenish-Yellow Spine" (Lushootseed: qWátSéécH), probably referring to the color of the deciduous trees that once grew thickly on the hill. [cite book |last= Thrush |first= Coll |title= Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place |year= 2007 |publisher= University of Washington Press |isbn= 0-295-98700-6 |pages= p. 230] Early settlers named it Holgate and Hanford Hill after two early settlers, John Holgate and Edward Hanford, who settled in the area in the 1850s [cite web |url=
title=John Holgate explores the Duwamish River by canoe but does not stake King County land claim during the summer of 1850
author=George Lange
date=November 10, 2000
work=Essay 1749
] and are commemorated to this day by South Holgate and Hanford Streets on North Beacon Hill. A later arrival, M. Harwood Young, named the hill after the Beacon Hill in his hometown, Boston, Massachusetts.

It was nicknamed "Boeing Hill" in the 1950s and 60s due to the number of residents who worked in the nearby [Boeing] airplane factory. The term fell out of use when many Boeing employees joined the general exodus to the suburbs, and Asian immigrants took their place. Today the neighborhood is majority Asian, as can be seen by the many Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino businesses along Beacon Avenue South. However, the area remains racially diverse, as shown by the United States 2000 Census: 51% Asian, 20% white, 13% black, 9% Hispanic/Latino and 7% other. [cite web
title=2000 Census Data: Beacon Hill
] The census also showed the total Beacon Hill population to be 22,300. Neighboring Raininer Valley also shows a similar diversity.

Landmarks and institutions

* Pacific Medical Center (PacMed) located at the northern tip of Beacon Hill. Formerly a marine hospital, now most of the building is leased to

* Jefferson Park: Golf, lawn bowling, open space

* Dr. Jose Rizal Park: views west overlooking downtown, Elliott Bay and Olympi Mountains; start of bike path to I-90 bridge, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, Eastgate [cite web
title=Rizal Park
work=Essay 3168, Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History
author=David Wilma
date=April 5, 2001

* El Centro de la Raza, a civil rights and community service organization, in the former Beacon Hill School [cite web
title=Chicano activists occupy abandoned school that becomes El Centro on October 11, 1972
author=David Wilma
date=August 2, 2000
work=Essay 2588, Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History

* Beacon Hill First Baptist Church [cite web
title=Seattle Landmarks: Beacon Hill First Baptist Church (1910)
work=Essay 3216, Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History
date= April 17, 2002
author=David Wilma
] : a designated historic landmark Tudor Revival building built in 1910, designed by notable architect Ellsworth Storey

* The Frank D. Black property [cite web
title=Seattle Landmarks: Frank D. Black Property (1914)
date=April 23, 2001
author=David Wilma
work=Essay 3226, Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History
] : designated landmark river rock structures built in 1914

* Cheasty Greenbelt/Cheasty Boulevard Trail

* Sound Transit Light Rail station, located at Beacon Avenue South and South Lander Street, due to open in Fall 2009

* Beacon Hill branch of the Seattle Public Library, newly opened in 2005.

Nearby neighborhoods

* Columbia City
* Downtown Seattle
* First Hill
* Georgetown
* Industrial District (see also SoDo)
* International District/Chinatown
* Judkins Park
* Mount Baker
* Rainier Valley
* SoDo



* Merrell, Frederica and Mira Latoszek (2004). "Seattle's Beacon Hill (Images of America)". Charleston: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-2861-7.

External links

* [ North Beacon Hill neighborhood website]
* [ Northwest Beacon Hill / Beacon Alliance of Neighbors website]
* [ Seattle City Neighborhood Map of Beacon Hill]
* [ "Seattle Post-Intelligencer" Beacon Hill Webtown]
* [ South Beacon Hill Neighborhood Council]
* [ Virtual Tour Images of Beacon Hill]

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