This street, which is nowhere longer than a couple of blocks long, begins at 54th Avenue S in the east, just west of Andrews Bay and Seward Park, and finishes up at Corson Avenue S in the west, just east of Interstate 5.
According to Lucile Saunders McDonald, writing in The Seattle Times on January 1, 1956, it is named for Pearl Josephine Hulbert Faurote (1883–1981), granddaughter of Joseph and Catherine (Henderson) Dunlap (of S Henderson Street). I listed her as the street’s namesake when I originally posted this article. However, S Pearl Street is quite a bit north of Dunlap’s Plat of Land on Lake Washington — about 2¼ miles from Henderson. The name appears to have originated in Hillman City Division № 8, filed in 1903. As of May 19, 2021, neither I nor Valarie Bunn nor Rob Ketcherside nor Matt McCauley — who first called my attention to the fact that McDonald’s assertion was unsourced — have been able to find a connection between the Hillmans and anyone named Pearl. Nor does there appear to be any particular connection between the Hillmans and the Dunlaps or Hulberts, other than their all being active in Seattle real estate.
It seems, then, that the origin of Pearl Street should be regarded as an open question.
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.