Queen Anne

Queen Anne

Queen Anne is the tallest of the named hills in the Seattle area, and its convenient location to downtown also makes it one of the most significant. Named for the style of architecture of many of its buildings, the neighborhood is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Seattle, having been settled by the Denny Party, Seattle’s founders. Queen Anne has three major parts. Lower Queen Anne, also known as Uptown, is the section at the bottom of the hill on the south side. The other two parts are the top of the hill and the ‘Fremont Side’ or the north side, which fittingly borders Fremont. To the east of Queen Anne is Westlake and to the west is Interbay.

Lower Queen Anne is adjacent to Belltown (the north end of downtown) and contains the Seattle Center, in as much as that could be a part of a neighborhood. The area is known as a major home to the arts. At the north edge of Seattle Center is McCaw Hall, known for the Seattle Opera as well as the home of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company. Other parts of Seattle Center host the Intiman Theater and Seattle Children’s Theater. Around lower Queen Anne are also ‘On the Boards’ and a variety of other theater companies. It is also a big area for nightlife and restaurants. It is a vibrant, bustling area with easy access to downtown, making it a popular residential area. Apartment buildings are the predominant structure for housing.

As you go up Queen Anne Hill, single family homes become the preferred housing choice, and the houses themselves get bigger and bigger. Upper Queen Anne is a wealthy neighborhood and the nice restaurants and fancy boutiques that pepper the commercial area along Queen Anne Avenue speak to that. Over the other side of the hill, the wealth calms down again, and small single-family homes and multi-unit housing is again the norm on the Fremont side. This area borders the Fremont Cut of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and is home to Seattle Pacific University.

The entire Queen Anne neighborhood is rife with beautiful parks, though the ones at the top of the hill, such as Kerry Park offer especially spectacular views of the entire city when the sky is clear. At the bottom of the hill, Counterbalance Park adds a little quirk to an otherwise unexciting place.

One of the most remarkable buildings on Queen Anne is the now defunct Queen Anne High School. The imposing building that towers over the top of this high hill is a classic looking high school that fell out of use with the loss of population on Queen Anne in the 80s. It has recently been converted to upscale condominium housing.

Queen Anne is one of the few neighborhoods that have not undergone major changes in the recent years, in part because it is an old and long established neighborhood.