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.

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