Seattle Asian Art Museum
Blazed by a wagon road in the 1870s and clear-cut in the 1880s, Capitol Hill received its name in 1901 — until then it had been Broadway Hill. Stories about where the name came from vary, but hopes of moving the state capitol here and/or the promotion of real estate dreams are the most accepted ones.
Volunteer Park came to be named in 1901 in honor of the local boys who signed up for the Spanish-American War, and it evolved after the Olmsted firm was hired in 1903 to create a citywide plan for greenspace and boulevards.
The construction of Interstate 5 in the early 1960s cut the Hill off from downtown. The neighborhood started its recovery in the 1970s as it became home to Seattle’s gay and lesbian population.
The Hill’s countercultural roots have attracted developers, adding a new layer to the bohemian element that gave the Hill its charm in the first place.
Capitol Hill features more than a dozen of what some call the “lungs of the city.”
• Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave. E. — A sprawling 48 acres is home to a water tower and its 107 steps to the top of a panoramic view of the city and a diorama depicting the Olmsted park-building legacy. It is also home to the Seattle Asian Art Museum and Volunteer Park Conservancy.
• Cal Anderson Park — Bordered by East Pine Street, East Denny Way, 11th Avenue and Nagle Place, this park is 11 acres, with Bobby Morris Playfield occupying the park’s south end, which includes restrooms, basketball hoops and tennis courts.
• Louisa Boren Park, 15th Avenue East and East Olin Place, features a spectacular scenic viewpoint of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. A trail leads down the hill to Interlaken Park, 2451 Delmar Drive E., 51.7 acres of woods and trails that are popular with bikers, hikers and joggers. This is at the extreme north end of the hill.
• Miller Playfield, 400 19th Ave. E. — This playfield is 7.6 acres of soccer fields, a water spray for kids, restrooms, all fields and tennis courts and site of the Miller Community Center.
• Roanoke Park, 950 E. Roanoke St. — A mellow, 2.5 green acres perfect for a picnic.
• Bellevue Place, 1.4 acres, is a grassy slope overlooking Lake Union across Interstate 5, stretching from Melrose Avenue East to the overpass at Lakeview Avenue East.
• Belmont Place, Belmont Place East and Belmont Avenue East.
• Tashkent Park, 511 Boylston Ave. E.
• Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery, 1200 E. Howe St., has 526 graves of Civil War veterans and their wives.
• St. Mark’s Greenbelt: 1500 Lakeview Blvd. E., creates a buffer between the hill and I-5 with dense vegetation and trails, one of which is accessible in the St. Mark’s Cathedral parking lot, 1245 10th Ave. E.
• Seven Hills Park, 1514 E. Howell St.
• Perugia Park is another converted parking lot at 200 Summit Ave. E., which includes public gardening, pathways and benches.
To order a full color brochure of
Seattle Parks go to www.seattle.gov/parks.
• Take the 107 steps to the top of the Volunteer Park water tower for panoramic views of the city.
• Lake View Cemetery, 10th Avenue East and East Galer Street, is the resting place of many of Seattle’s big names, including city pioneers like Arthur Denny, Princess Angeline (daughter of Chief Seattle) and Bruce and Brandon Lee.
A cemetery map is available at the offices across the street from the main entrance on 15th Avenue East. www.lakeviewcemeteryassociation.com
• The Loveless Building, where East Roy Street meets Broadway, is an architectural grace note. Olivar restaurant — originally the Russian Samovar restaurant that opened in 1931 many incarnations ago — still has the old murals painted by Vladimir Shkurkin depicting scenes from a Pushkin fairy tale.
• Next door to the Loveless Building stands the D. A. R. headquarters. Nearby at 750 Belmont Ave., check out what is considered the first luxury-apartment house designed by Frederick William Anhalt. This is all part of the Harvard-Belmont Landmark District.
• Temple De Hirsch Sinai, 1511 E. Pike St, is one of the city’s most vital religious sites.
Engaging the Mind