Queen Anne Profile
Within walking distance of Downtown Seattle is the community of Queen Anne. Both a neighborhood and named hill, Queen Anne is the highest named hill in Seattle. The neighborhood earned its moniker from the prominent Queen Anne architectural style that dominated the hill in its earliest days as a neighborhood.
Queen Anne is technically divided into the 4 sub-neighborhoods North Queen Anne, East Queen Anne, West Queen Anne and Lower Queen Anne (also called Uptown). These 4 sub-neighborhoods are bordered by the Belltown neighborhood to the south, Lake Union to the east, the Fremont Cut to the north and Magnolia neighborhood to the west.
While this hill neighborhood is quite steep– seven of the twenty steepest streets in Seattle are located in Queen Anne, along with 120 pedestrian staircases—it’s not the highest point in the city. However, the steep incline of the area is something to keep in mind when considering Queen Anne real estate. A local architect and cartographer, Thomas Horton, created the “Map of the (oft) Pedestrian Public Stairs of Queen Anne Hill.” This map shows the location of 120 staircases which run up and down Queen Anne hill. The map is offered for sale at Queen Anne Books and through the Queen Anne Historical Society. Horton spent the summer of 2007 hiking and mapping the stairways because no other public record of them existed outside of the Seattle Department of Transportation. The various architecture styles of the staircases, the city views they offer and their “ ’hidden in plain sight’ quality” make them a fun urban hike.
One of the main thoroughfares in the Queen Anne neighborhood are the streets that make up the Queen Anne Boulevard, an iconic community landmark created in the early 1900s. Dubbed the “Crown of Queen Anne,” the 3.7 mile loop rings the top of the hill and includes portions of the following streets: 5th, 7th, 8th and 10th Avenues West; Bigelow Avenue North; West Blaine, McGraw, Wheeler, Fulton and Raye Streets; Smith, McGraw, and Wheeler Streets; and West McGraw and McGraw Places. The views from Queen Anne Boulevard are unparalleled and the loop retains the historic, park like setting both locals and visitors adore. Because the homes and shops residing in Upper Queen Anne also reflect the area’s historic charm and offer sweeping views, they mesh together really well with Queen Anne Boulevard. The whole vibe created contributes to Queen Anne’s “best neighborhood” status.
Queen Anne Avenue North is another main thoroughfare in the neighborhood that connects Lower Queen Anne to Upper Queen Anne. Upper Queen Anne’s main commercial district is located on this road, as are several note-worthy Seattle restaurants. Locals often refer to Queen Anne Avenue North as the Counterbalance, because of the counterweights built under the street for moving street cars up the steep incline in the neighborhood’s earlier years.
Lower Queen Anne is a bustling, fun area that has the Seattle Center sitting at its feet. Trendy restaurants offering cuisines from around the world are especially plentiful in Uptown. It’s a popular neighborhood for young, urban professionals who enjoy the city’s nightlife. Upscale condo living is an attractive residence option in this sub-neighborhood.
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