This is another of the many streets created in 1895 as part of the Seattle Tide Lands plat that were named after states, e.g., Utah Avenue S, Colorado Avenue S, S Oregon Street, S Idaho Street, and SW Florida Street.
SW Massachusetts Street begins in West Seattle at the intersection of Bonair Drive SW, 47th Avenue SW, and Sunset Avenue SW, and goes just under ⅓ of a mile east to Palm Avenue SW. It begins again at Ferry Avenue SW and goes just over 450 feet east to Victoria Avenue SW. There is a short segment (just over 400 feet) on Harbor Island east of 13th Avenue SW, and then another one, about the same length, leading from Alaskan Way S to the entrance to U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle. (Here, the street’s directional designation has changed to S, it being east of the Duwamish Waterway.)
S Massachusetts Street resumes at Colorado Avenue S and goes ⅙ of a mile east to Occidental Avenue S. There is a block-long segment east of 4th Avenue S to just shy of the SODO Busway, and then a longer one — about ¼ of a mile — from the SODO Trail to Airport Avenue S.
East of Interstate 5, on Beacon Hill, S Massachusetts Street begins at 11th Avenue S and goes nearly ¼ of a mile east to just past 15th Avenue S, the portion between 14th Avenue S and 15th Avenue S being pedestrian-only, as the right-of-way between the sidewalks has been turned into the Beacon Bluff P-Patch community garden. It begins again just west of Sturgus Avenue S and goes nearly a mile east to just past 31st Avenue S, the portion that runs for half a block west of 17th Avenue S being a pathway. S Massachusetts Street resumes for the last time at 32nd Avenue S and goes ¼ mile east to Lake Washington, where it is a shoreline street end.
Born and raised in Seattle, Benjamin Donguk Lukoff had his interest in local history kindled at the age of six, when his father bought him settler granddaughter Sophie Frye Bass’s Pig-Tail Days in Old Seattle at the gift shop of the Museum of History and Industry. He studied English, Russian, and linguistics at the University of Washington, and went on to earn his master’s in English linguistics from University College London. His book of rephotography, Seattle Then and Now, was published in 2010. An updated version came out in 2015.