(Ed note: This history originally appeared on Rob’s local history blog, Ba-kground. If you’re interested in Seattle history or old clocks, it’s worth a read, as is his book, Lost Seattle. Rob graciously allowed us to repost this here.)
Below is a lookup table for name changes from the 1870s to the present day in neighborhoods north of Lake Union in Seattle: Brooklyn (west U District); Latona; Wallingford (originally Edgewater); Fremont; part of north Queen Anne; and part of eastern Ballard.
The data north of Lake Union
Here is a link to the data as a csv, shared with creative commons license.
This is a continuation of work on the list of all structures built in Seattle in 1890. Along the way I’ve created a lookup table for the major Seattle rename in 1895; for Ballard; and for West Seattle, Georgetown, Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley. These renaming tables are available in one package downloadable from figshare.
Like the Ballard list, this was created by hand. I was unable to find an ordinance changing the street names after the annexation of north Seattle in 1891. Instead I relied on plat maps like this one for the Lake Union Addition via the Washington State Digital Archives; the 1893 Sanborn map available through the Library of Congress; and the 1912 Baist map posted by Paul Dorpat and Ron Edge. Plus, of course, lots of coffee.
Thackeray Place should not exist in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
It runs north from NE 42nd St to NE 50th St, between 2nd Ave NE and Latona Ave NE. It’s a block east of Dick’s on 45th.
42nd St, 50th St, 1st Ave, and 5th Ave are the boundaries of the 1889 Harrison Heights Addition to the City of Seattle (annexed in 1891). J. A. Gould and Anna L. Gould, the owners, had the civil engineers draw a simple box around their property and didn’t bother to make their streets match those adjacent.
But when the streets were renamed and woven together in the 1890s, 1st and 2nd Avenues bent west at 42nd while Latona, 4th and 5th bent east. Space for an extra road was left in between: Thackeray Place.
The Goulds were apparently fans of literature. They riffed on Latona Addition’s Lincoln Street by naming their east-west streets after Presidents Grant and Garfield. But they gave their north-south streets names unique to their plat: Dickens, Scott, Thackery [sic], Cooper, Milton, and Kingsley.
I presume that’s Charles Dickens, Walter Scott, William Makepeace Thackeray, James Fenimore Cooper, John Milton, and Charles Kingsley.
John Milton is the only from the list that wasn’t writing in the 1800s, so I wonder if there is a lesser-known Milton from that time?
The bigger question is why Thackeray was kept. Perhaps City Engineer R. H. Thomson was a fan.
Do you have a favorite Thackeray novel? Should I start with the Book of Snobs?
Eastern Ave North is the most eastern of the “North” avenues in Seattle.
It is at an interesting nexus that has changed over time.
It was originally named East Street in the 1883 Lake Union Addition plat by Ballard, Stone, Andrews and Burnett. As you may have guessed, it was the street most east in the addition. That plat, along with Magnolia, north Queen Anne Hill, Fremont, Wallingford, Latona, Brooklyn, and Montlake were all annexed into Seattle in 1891. Sometime apparently after 1893 and before 1895 East Street was renamed Eastern Avenue.
(I see it in an 1893 Sanborn map, but it is not mentioned in the 1895 street renaming ordinance. Of course there was at least one other East Street in that ordinance, which became 20th Ave and 20th Ave S. I haven’t found another ordinance covering this area of Seattle)
The streets running perpendicular to Eastern Avenue are labeled North until one block east. Then they are labeled Northeast. The first avenue east of Eastern is First Avenue Northeast. So the streets east of First Avenue Northeast are Northeast as well. Eastern Avenue and the avenues west are North.
But until 1961, Eastern Avenue North was simply Eastern Avenue, its perpendiculars North, streets to the east were East, and avenues to the east were Northeast.
Say that ten times fast.
Wallingford’s Park Division of Green Lake is interesting and tragic. It’s an early GL plat.
Since it was filed in November 1889 we need to think of both streetcar-inspired demand for remote single family homes, and the demand created by displaced Pioneer Square residents from the Great Fire and the people that flooded the city as it rebuilt.
Two things make it interesting to me. First, Wallingford named two short streets after his wife Arabella and his daughter Emma though neither street exists now. Coincidentally, my great, great grandfather Fred Stroud worked for Wallingford and my gg grandmother was Arabella Stroud, sharing the name of his employer’s wife.
The streets were removed separately. First Arabella Place was removed in a replat of the northeast corner of the addition. The curved streets of the addition needed to be reworked to match Hutchinson’s Division to the north. Removed by 1912. Then Emma Place was erased in the creation of Interstate 5.
Interstate 5 also completely erased the second interesting part of the plat. Wallingford had many curving streets in his small addition, and at the soft corners he put in a fan-like spread of wedge shaped lots. 1936 aerial photos show that many of these were combined for large lots, but in particular the fan on the north corner of the intersection of Maple Leaf Pl, Emma Pl, NE 74th St, and 9th Ave NE (removed for I-5) still had most of the fan intact.
The neighborhoods on either side of I-5 do have many off-kilter streets, but there’s nothing like the rolling streets of Wallingford’s Park Division. East Green Lake Way and Woodlawn curve, but to match the shoreline of the lake.