S Angelo Street

This street, which runs not quite a tenth of a mile from Ellis Avenue S in the west to 13th Avenue S in the east, was named by Angelo Boitano after himself as part of Boitano’s Supplemental Addition to the City of Georgetown in 1906. (Incidentally, if I ever had the opportunity to name a street after myself, I would call it Lukoff, not Benjamin.)

There isn’t much on the internet about him, but apparently he was interested in chestnut growing, and was in a bad buggy accident in 1908.

July 19, 1908 article in The Seattle Times on buggy accident that injured Boitano
July 19, 1908 article in The Seattle Times on buggy accident that injured Boitano

S Carstens Place

This short street — just over 300 feet long — runs from Airport Way S in the east to Corson Avenue S in the west. It was established in 1903 as Carstens Street, part of Carstens’ Addition to Georgetown, “filed for record at the request of Thomas Carstens on the 4[th] day of June 1903 at 49 Min. past 9 A.M.” This is the first time I’ve seen the actual time of filing on a plat!

Thomas Carstens, born in 1865 in Husum, Germany, near Denmark, came to the Pacific Northwest in 1884, and in 1890 established a butcher shop with his brother, Ernest, which later grew into the Carstens Packing Company.

Carstens Packing Company Matchbook
Carstens Packing Company matchbook. Photo by Oliver Hammond, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Clinton A. Snowden, author of History of Washington: The Rise and Progress of an American State, wrote in 1911 of Carstens:

Mr. Carstens, besides being president of the Carstens Packing Company, is president of the Tacoma Wheat Land Company, president of the Pacific Oil Mills, and director of the National Realty Company of Tacoma. He is a member of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Seattle Commercial Club, Arctic Club of Seattle, Seattle Manufacturers’ Association, Duwamish River Improvement Club, Tacoma Commercial Club, and Tacoma Chamber of Commerce.

Prefontaine Place S

This street, which runs just under 400 feet from Yesler Way and 3rd Avenue S in the northwest to S Washington Street and 4th Avenue S in the southwest, cutting a skewed diagonal through the block, is named for Father Francis X. Prefontaine, Seattle’s first Catholic priest. In 1870, he founded Seattle’s first Catholic church, Our Lady of Good Help, on the block Prefontaine Place cuts through today.

Postcard of Father Francis X. Prefontaine and Our Lady of Good Help, first Catholic church in Seattle

NW Esplanade

More common in older cities like London (Aldgate, Cheapside, Crosswall, Eastcheap, Houndsditch, Lothbury, Minories, Moorgate, Poultry, Queenhithe, St. Mary Axe, and Walbrook, just to name those that merit a Wikipedia article of their own), single-word street names are a rarity in Seattle. NW Esplanade is one of them. It was platted in 1924 as part of the Golden View Addition, and its extension in 1927 as part of the Loyal Heights Annex.

NW Esplanade runs just over half a mile along the Puget Sound shoreline from Triton Drive NW in the northeast to just shy of the northern boundary of Golden Gardens Park in the southwest. For those who might not know, the word means “a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water where people may walk.”

Prosch Avenue W

Thomas Prosch, who named Conkling Place W after his mother, didn’t neglect to name something after himself. Prosch Avenue W runs about ¼ mile from W Barrett Street in the north to 13th Avenue W in the south. It appears as Prosch Place in Prosch’s Queen Anne Addition to the City of Seattle in 1909.

Thomas Wickham Prosch, 1890
Thomas Wickham Prosch, 1890
Portion of Prosch's Queen Anne Addition to the City of Seattle, 1909
Portion of Prosch’s Queen Anne Addition to the City of Seattle, 1909

Conkling Place W

This street runs just over a thousand feet from 10th Avenue W and W Bertona Street in the northwest to 8th Avenue W and W Dravus Street in the southeast. It was named after Susan Conkling Prosch, mother of Thomas Prosch, who filed Prosch’s Queen Anne Addition to the City of Seattle in 1909. (Prosch was a noted local journalist and historian, who didn’t neglect to name Prosch Avenue W after himself.)

Susan Conkling Prosch, 1897
Susan Conkling Prosch, 1897

Conkling Place was one of the streets retained when George E. Morford and Gertrude Keen Morford filed their plat of Queen Anne Park in 1926. The Queen Anne Historical Society has an extensive article on the latter subdivision, which was among those in Seattle with all-too-common racial restrictive covenants, in this case excluding Blacks and Asians.

Portion of Prosch's Queen Anne Addition to the City of Seattle, 1909
Portion of Prosch’s Queen Anne Addition to the City of Seattle, 1909.

Delridge Way SW

This street runs nearly four miles from Chelan Avenue SW, SW Spokane Street, and W Marginal Way SW in the north to 16th Avenue SW and SW Roxbury Street in the south — all the way from the Duwamish Waterway to the southern city limits. It was given its current name in 1940 — before then, it had carried the names of Youngstown Place, 21st Avenue SW, 22nd Avenue SW, McKinnon Place SW, 23rd Avenue SW, and 24th Avenue SW. As The Seattle Times explained on May 14, 1940, “Delridge” came from “the dells and ridges through which the thoroughfare runs,” and had been “suggested by West Seattle community organizations.”

Edgar Martinez Drive S

This street runs ¼ mile from 1st Avenue S in the west to 4th Avenue S in the east. West of 1st, it’s S Atlantic Street — its original name — and east of 4th, it’s the beginning of Interstate 90. It is part of State Route 519, a short highway that connects I-90 to Washington State Ferries’ Colman Dock.

Edgar Martínez was a member of the Seattle Mariners baseball team from 1987 to 2004. This stretch of S Atlantic Street was renamed in his honor the year he retired.

Edgar Martínez at bat, September 15, 2004, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:E_Martinez.jpg
Edgar Martínez at bat, September 15, 2004. Photographs by Galaksiafervojo, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Now — why is it Edgar Martinez Drive S instead of S Edgar Martinez Drive, since east–west streets in Seattle have their directional designators at the beginning? I asked Paul Jackson this in 2005. Jackson, who was then the Seattle Department of Transportation’s manager of traffic, signs, and markings, responded:

I appreciate your desire to see our City’s sign system remain consistent.… But ultimately, there is nothing requiring such a naming convention in the Seattle Municipal Code.… In this case, those proposing the street name change wanted to see Edgar Martínez’s name out front. Because this is only a three-block stretch of street (from 1st Avenue S to 4th Avenue S), and does not have any addresses along it, the decision was made to veer slightly from the typical naming convention. The term “drive” was agreed upon to evoke Mr. Martínez’s batting skills at the plate.

W Jameson Street

This street runs, interrupted by the BNSF Railway, for half a mile from 32nd Avenue W and W Government Way in the west to 23rd Avenue W in the east.

J.A. Jameson, of the New York bank Jameson, Smith & Cotting, was a director of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway. Daniel Hunt Gilman, who filed the plat of Gilman’s Addition to the City of Seattle in 1890, was a founder of the SLS&E, whose tracks, via the Northern Pacific and Burlington Northern, are now part of BNSF.