Utah Avenue S

Like Colorado Avenue S, this street was created in 1895 as part of the plat of Seattle’s tide lands. As I wrote in that post,

As Seattle expanded to the south, it became obvious that Commercial Street (1st Avenue S) would not be the westernmost street east of Elliott Bay. Fortunately, instead of using zero or negative numbers, they went with states: the first street west of 1st was named Utah, and the next, Colorado. (Some perpendicular streets were named Alaska, Vermont, Connecticut, Texas, Massachusetts, etc. There doesn’t appear to have been any particular order.)

Utah Avenue S begins at S Atlantic Street and goes 1⅐ miles south to S Hinds Street, the block between S Stacy Street and S Lander Street, in front of the Starbucks Center, being closed to motorized traffic. There is another short segment between Denver Avenue S and S Alaska Street, and a final one that stretches ⅓ of a mile from S Hudson Street to S Findlay Street.

Sears building, 1918
The most famous structure on Utah Avenue S was built between 1912 and 1915 as the West Coast catalog distribution center for Sears, Roebuck and Company. It was once the largest building west of the Mississippi River. This photograph was taken in May 1918.
Starbucks Center, 2016
A Sears retail store opened in the building in 1925. The distribution center closed in 1987; Starbucks made the building its world headquarters in 1997, and the retail store closed in 2014. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Coolceasar, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

High Point Drive SW

This street was named after High Point, originally developed by the Seattle Housing Authority in 1942 as defense housing and redeveloped in 2004 (see SW Bataan Street and Lanham Place SW for more history). I appear not to have mentioned in either of those posts why the development was so named — as one might guess, the city’s highest point (520 feet) is there, at the corner of 35th Avenue SW and SW Myrtle Street.

High Point Drive SW begins at 30th Avenue SW and SW Juneau Street and goes nearly ⅔ of a mile south to Sylvan Way SW and SW Holly Street.

High Point Community Center from 34th Avenue SW, April 2011. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Architectsea, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Arboretum Drive E

This street in the Washington Park Arboretum was, like E Foster Island Road, originally unnamed. It received its current name in June 1957. The Arboretum itself was established in 1934 on the western half of a tract that had been logged by the Puget Mill Company; the eastern half became the gated Broadmoor neighborhood and golf course (see Broadmoor Drive E).

The street, which begins at Lake Washington Boulevard E opposite the Washington Park Playfield, goes nearly a mile north to E Foster Island Road just west of the north entrance to Broadmoor. All but the very northernmost portion, which leads to the Graham Visitors Center, has been closed to motorized traffic for over a decade.

Arboretum Drive E, October 2017. Photograph by Flickr user Steve Ginn (public domain).

Duwamish Avenue S

This street was created in 1895 as part of the Seattle Tide Lands plat. As I wrote in S Spokane Street, “Streets in this plat that were not extensions of already existing ones, such as Commercial Street, were named after letters of the alphabet, American cities, American states, prominent local politicians, and places in Washington”; these last included Chelan, Duwamish, Kitsap, Klickitat, Queets, Quilcene, Quileute, Quinault, Spokane, Vashon, Wenatchee, and Whatcom, the ones in italics still existing today. It seems strange to me that the Duwamish name would have been applied to such a short street, it being the name of Seattle’s principal river (dxwdəw) and indigenous inhabitants, the Duwamish Tribe (dxʷdəwʔabš), but there you have it. At least it still exists.

In “Elliott Way” just a placeholder name, I quote an email I wrote to the Seattle City Council and the Waterfront Seattle Program in December 2020 which read, in part, “I urge you… to name [Elliott Way] something else. The Duwamish people, for example, have Duwamish Avenue S named for them (actually more likely for the river…), but it is an insignificant street 2/10 of a mile long hidden under the Spokane Street Viaduct and the Alaskan Freeway. Perhaps Duwamish Avenue would be a better choice, if the tribe approved?” I still think this would be a good idea (and it would give us another naming opportunity as well). They did respond favorably, said they had been thinking along the same lines, and as of January 2022 “continue to coordinate with the tribes and other partners on a proposed name.” I hope they come up with something soon, as what is still being referred to as Elliott Way is due to open by year’s end!

As I mentioned in my email, Duwamish Avenue S is 2/10 of a mile long, beginning at E Marginal Way S and ending at a Port of Seattle road just south of the West Seattle and Spokane Street Bridges.

Portion of 1895 plat of Seattle Tide Lands showing Duwamish Avenue, as platted from Spokane Avenue (now Street) in the northwest to Seattle Boulevard in the southeast. The visible portion of Seattle Boulevard is now Diagonal Avenue S, Whatcom Avenue is now E Marginal Way S, and Grant Street is now Airport Way S.

Lincoln Park Way SW

This street was named for Lincoln Park, which occupies Williams Point in West Seattle. Originally called Williams Point Park in the Olmsted Brothers’ 1908 report to the city, the 135-acre park was intended to be named Fauntleroy Park. However, when it opened in 1922, it was decided to name it after President Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) instead, according to Seattle parks historian Don Sherwood. This required that Lincoln Beach, just to the north, be renamed Lowman Beach, and that Lincoln Park Playfield on Capitol Hill (named for the adjacent Lincoln Reservoir) be renamed Broadway Playfield. (Today, the entire tract is known as Cal Anderson Park, which contains the reservoir and the once-again-renamed Bobby Morris Playfield. A Fauntleroy Park was finally established in the early 1970s.)

Lincoln Park Way SW begins at Beach Drive SW and 48th Avenue SW and goes ¼ of a mile southeast to 47th Avenue SW between SW Myrtle Street and SW Othello Street. The park begins 500 feet to the south, at the corner of 47th Avenue SW and SW Fontanelle Street.

Aerial view of Lincoln Park
Aerial view of Lincoln Park from the southwest, August 15, 2010. The heated saltwater Colman Pool, which opened in 1941, is visible at Williams Point. Photograph by Flickr user J Brew, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Lewis Place SW

This West Seattle street was created in 1919 as part of the plat of Kirkwood, an Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Isabell A. Kirkwood (1833–1926), who named the nearby Rutan Place SW after her maiden name. The plat document was notarized by lawyer Frank Pardee Lewis (1851–1938), and since I can find no connection to any other Lewis, I assume Kirkwood named it after him. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, Lewis, who lived at the corner of 18th Avenue E and E Denny Way,

…was from Triangle, New York, and moved to Seattle in 1887. He was a prominent attorney with offices in the Lowman Building downtown starting in 1890. He went to the office almost every day until his death in 1938. Mr. Lewis was elected to the Washington State Legislature in 1895; he was also a member of the Scottish Rite Masons.

Lewis Place SW begins at SW Hudson Street between Erskine Way SW and California Avenue SW and goes just over 550 feet northwest, then north, to Erskine Way SW just west of California.

Frank Pardee Lewis, from his Seattle Times obituary, April 12, 1938

Rutan Place SW

This West Seattle street was created in 1919 as part of the plat of Kirkwood, an Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Isabell A. Kirkwood, née Rutan (1833–1926), widow of William W. Kirkwood (1835–1915).

Rutan Place SW goes around 350 feet south from SW Edmunds Street between 44th Avenue SW and 45th Avenue SW to a dead end just short of 45th, though the undeveloped right-of-way does continue to that street.

Tillicum Road SW

This street, which was created as part of the unrecorded plat of R.B. Wark’s 2nd Addition, is named for the Chinook Jargon word tillikum, meaning ‘people’.

Entry for 'tilikum' in A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, Or, Trade Language of Oregon by George Gibbs, 1863
Entry for ‘tilikum’ in A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, Or, Trade Language of Oregon, by George Gibbs (published 1863)

Tillicum Road SW begins at 46th Avenue SW just south of SW Thistle Street and goes ¼ mile southeast to SW Donovan Street, with a short interruption between house numbers 8470 and 8471 on the northwest and 8487 and 8488 on the southeast where the public right-of-way seems to be blocked by a private fence, effectively converting the road on either side into private driveways.

Coniston Road NE

This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs around 350 feet on either side of NE Windermere Road (so 700 feet total) just southeast of the neighborhood’s main entrance off Sand Point Way NE. It appears to have been named either after the Lake District village of Coniston, in the county of Cumbria, England, or Coniston Water, England’s fifth largest natural lake. Coniston is about 4⅔ miles west of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, after which the neighborhood was named.

NE Penrith Road

This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs just over ⅕ of a mile from Kenilworth Place NE in the west to NE Ambleside Road in the east. It appears to have been named after the Lake District town of Penrith, in the county of Cumbria, England. Penrith is about 18¾ miles northeast of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, after which the neighborhood was named.

NE Keswick Drive

This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs just over ⅓ of a mile from NE Windermere Road and Elleray Lane NE in the southwest to 64th Avenue NE in the northeast. It appears to have been named after the Lake District town of Keswick, in the county of Cumbria, England. Just north of Derwentwater, Keswick is about 13¾ miles northwest of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, after which the neighborhood was named.

NE Ambleside Road

This street in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood runs just under 900 feet from the private Windermere Park in the southwest to NE Windermere Road in the northeast. It appears to have been named after the town of Ambleside, in the county of Cumbria, England. As Wikipedia notes, Ambleside “marks the head (and sits on the east side of the northern headwater) of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake.”

Northrop Place SW

This West Seattle street was created in 1907 as part of the plat of Adams 1st Addition to Fauntleroy Park, filed by John F. Adams (1860–1954) and his wife, Maggie W. True Adams (1864–1941). The document was notarized by Bert Avery Northrop (1880–1963), who was the husband of the Adamses’ daughter Abbie T. Adams (1888–1984). In his Seattle Times obituary, we learn that John Adams was “one of Fauntleroy’s first residents, [who]… came here in 1897. He first was in the grocery business and entered the real-estate business in 1903.… Mr. Adams was known as the ‘mayor of Fauntleroy.’” Meanwhile, Northrop’s Times obituary reports he came to Seattle in 1902 and began practicing law in 1906; he married Abbie Adams in 1909.

Bert A. Northrop

Northrop Place SW begins at SW Thistle Street and goes a block north to SW Southern Street.

Arapahoe Place W

This street was created in 1890 as part of the plat of the Bluff Park Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by Avery Parker of Arapahoe County, Colorado. Originally Arapahoe Avenue, it appears to have been named after that county, whose seat at the time was Denver. (The city was split off from the rest of the county in 1902.) Arapahoe County was itself named in 1861 for the Arapaho, a Native American people whose territory once included the area, but were subsequently forced onto reservations in Wyoming and Oklahoma.

Today, Arapahoe Place W begins at W Dravus Street and goes 450 feet north to just beyond W Prosper Street. It then resumes half a block north at W Bertona Street and goes ¼ mile north to W Emerson Street, along the south edge of Discovery Park.

Ashworth Avenue N

This street is named for William Ashworth (1840–1906). According to the Haller Lake Community Club, Ashworth was born in England, emigrated to the United States in 1861, and came to Seattle in 1872.

Ashworth platted a town called Edgewater on the northern shore of Lake Union.… This area is now roughly the eastern part of Fremont and western portion of Wallingford.… Ashworth served as Edgewater’s only postmaster from 1889 until the area was annexed to Seattle two years later. As real estate development moved northward, so did the street bearing Ashworth’s name. Ashworth continued to live in Edgewater until his death in 1906.

Here is an article by local historian Paul Dorpat on Edgewater, on which it looks like I commented 13 years ago. And we learn both from the HLCC and Valarie Bunn of Wedgwood in Seattle History that the land on which berry farmer Ashworth’s home once stood is now the North Transfer Station (i.e., the city dump).

Today, Ashworth Avenue N begins at N 35th Street and goes ⅔ of a mile north to N 43rd Street. It resumes at N 55th Street and goes ¼ mile north to E Green Lake Way N, then begins again on the north side of the lake at Winona Avenue N and W Green Lake Drive N. From here, it goes another ⅔ of a mile to N 90th Street. Picking up again at N 92nd Street, it goes a further ⅞ of a mile to the Evergreen Washelli Cemetery at N 110th Street. It resumes one more time at N 120th Street and Stendall Drive N and goes 1¼ miles north to the city limits at N 145th Street, becoming a footpath for two short stretches west of Haller Lake. (As with many other North Seattle avenues, the name continues on into Shoreline; Ashworth Avenue N continues north of the city limits as far as N 200th Street, just south of the King–Snohomish county line at N 205th Street.)

Ashworth Avenue N street sign at N 130th Street
Ashworth Avenue N street sign at N 130th Street, September 2012. Photograph by Flickr user Robert Ashworth, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Padilla Place S

This street was created in 1889 as part of the Commercial Street Steam Motor Addition to the City of Seattle. It appears to have been named for Padilla Bay, which lies between Guemes and Fidalgo Islands and the mainland and is about 60 miles northwest of Seattle, as S Orcas Street appears to honor Orcas Island and S Fidalgo Street, Fidalgo Island. Like Orcas Island, it was named after Juan Vicente de Güemes Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, Viceroy of New Spain, who sent an expedition to explore the area in the early 1790s.

Padilla Place S begins at S Homer Street and goes two blocks southwest to S Fidalgo Street, crossing S Orcas Street on the way.

S Fidalgo Street

This street was created in 1889 as part of the Commercial Street Steam Motor Addition to the City of Seattle. It appears to have been named for Fidalgo Island in Skagit County, which is about 60 miles to the northwest, as S Orcas Street appears to honor Orcas Island and Padilla Place S, Padilla Bay. The island itself was named after Salvador Fidalgo y Lopegarcía, who explored the area for the Spanish in the early 1790s.

S Fidalgo Street begins at a shoreline street end on the Duwamish Waterway just west of Ohio Avenue S and goes 700 feet east to E Marginal Way S. It picks up again at 1st Avenue S and goes half a mile east, then southeast, to a dead end just east of Padilla Place S.

S Orcas Street

This street was created in 1889 as part of the Commercial Street Steam Motor Addition to the City of Seattle. It appears to have been named for Orcas Island, largest of the San Juan Islands, which is about 75 miles to the northwest, as S Fidalgo Street appears to honor Fidalgo Island and Padilla Place S, Padilla Bay. The island’s name, per Wikipedia, derives from that of “Juan Vicente de Güemes Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, the Viceroy of New Spain who sent an exploration expedition under Francisco de Eliza to the Pacific Northwest in 1791.” Eliza named the surrounding area Horcasitas, but in 1847 the British, who maintained their claim on the San Juans until 1871, assigned a shortened version — Orcas — specifically to the island. (It is a coincidence that Orcas Island is an excellent location for watching orca whales; the two names are completely unrelated.)

S Orcas Street begins at E Marginal Way S and goes ¾ of a mile east, then southeast, to Corson Avenue S, where it becomes S Doris Street. It picks up again east of Interstate 5 at 15th Avenue S and goes three blocks east to 18th Avenue S. Its longest and final stretch begins just west of 20th Avenue S and goes 2¼ miles east to Lake Washington Boulevard S just west of Seward Park.

Intersection of S Orcas Street and Rainier Avenue S
Intersection of S Orcas Street and Rainier Avenue S, Columbia City, September 2008. Photograph by Flickr user Matthew Rutledge, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

Seward Park Road

This road is named after Seward Park, which occupies all of Bailey Peninsula’s 300 acres, as envisioned by the Olmsted Brothers. The park itself was bought by the city in 1911 and named after William Henry Seward (1801–1872), who was governor of New York from 1839–1842, senator from New York from 1849–1861, and secretary of state under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson from 1861–1869. His negotiation of the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 proved to be a major boon for Seattle, which nearly doubled its population between 1890 and 1900 due in no small part to the Klondike Gold Rush, and remains a gateway to Alaska to this day.

Seward Park Road begins at Lake Washington Boulevard S and S Juneau Street and winds for ⅓ of a mile into the park’s interior, where it becomes a ¾-mile-long loop. (It should not be confused with Shore Loop Road, which runs along the park’s perimeter on the Lake Washington shoreline and is not open to vehicle traffic. Like all park roads in Seattle, Seward Park Road carries no directional designation)

Article in June 11, 1911, Seattle Times on naming of Seward Park
Article in The Seattle Times on the naming of Seward Park, June 11, 1911. William Elder Bailey paid $26,000 to buy Bailey Peninsula in 1889 and the city began to consider it a potential park shortly thereafter. (It had previously been known as Graham Peninsula, after early settler David Graham, and Andrews Peninsula [though no one is sure who this Andrews might have been].) Bailey made it difficult for the city, finally offering to sell it for $430,000 in 1908, but the city ended up acquiring it for a more reasonable $322,000 in early 1911. Read more at HistoryLink.org and Friends of Seward Park.
Aerial view of Seward Park from the south
Aerial view of Seward Park from the south, circa 1965–1966. The Martha Washington School for Girls, (closed 1971, now Martha Washington Park) is in the foreground. Mercer Island and Lake Washington are in the background. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier 192974.
Sign at corner of Lake Washington Boulevard S, S Juneau Street, and Seward Park Road, January 7, 2012
Sign at corner of Lake Washington Boulevard S, S Juneau Street, and Seward Park Road, January 7, 2012. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Fuhrman Avenue E

This street, created in 1890 as part of the plat of the Denny-Fuhrman Addition to the City of Seattle, was originally named Randall Street. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the reason for or date of the name change, but it first appears in The Seattle Times and in the city’s ordinances in 1906. The street and addition were named for Henry Fuhrman (1843–1907), who developed the area with David Thomas Denny (1832–1903) (Denny Way).

Fuhrman, who had come to Seattle in 1890, was a German Jew. According to his Seattle Times obituary, he “came to this country from Germany when a boy.… He was engaged as a mercantile solicitor in the early days, but later started a small drygoods business in Fremont, Nebraska, where he has since become famous as the pioneer wholesale drygoods merchant west of Omaha.… It is estimated that his fortune amounts to at least a million dollars.”

Fuhrman and Charles Cowen (né Cohen) (1869–1926) (Cowen Place NE) are the only Jews I am aware of who have Seattle streets named after them.

Henry Fuhrman, from his Seattle Times obituary, August 23, 1907
Henry Fuhrman, from his Seattle Times obituary, August 23, 1907

Fuhrman Avenue E begins at the north end of Fairview Avenue E, under the Ship Canal Bridge, and goes nearly ½ a mile southeast to E Shelby Street, where it becomes Boyer Avenue E. (A short segment begins about 150 feet to the east of Boyer, heads about 225 feet to the south, and mainly functions as a driveway for a number of houseboats; and another short segment begins at the north end of 15th Avenue E at the E Calhoun Street pathway, heads about 275 feet to the northeast, and serves as a driveway for an apartment complex.)

Sign at corner of Fuhrman Avenue E, Eastlake Avenue E, and Portage Bay Place E, August 24, 2009
Sign at corner of Fuhrman Avenue E, Eastlake Avenue E, and Portage Bay Place E, August 24, 2009. (Portage By Pl is an error; it should read Portage Bay Pl E, as it’s [[Portage Bay] [Place]], not [[Portage] [Bay Place]]. The original Red Robin restaurant was founded at this intersection in 1940. It has since been demolished, but I’ve seen imagery of this sign — including the error — on the walls of other Red Robin locations.) Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2009 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.