Seola Beach Drive SW

According to Seattle parks historian Don Sherwood’s sheet on Seola Park, this street began as a logging railroad. It was then replaced by the Charles Arey county road (“recently surveyed,” according to an article in the August 26, 1893, Seattle Post-Intelligencer), which was renamed Qualheim Road in 1914 by Carl Olsen Qualheim. It received its current name in 1956 when that portion of Arbor Heights was annexed to Seattle. “Seola” itself was the product of a naming contest:

In 1893, a family named Kakeldy built the first home on the beach.… Before long, children in the vicinity school referred to residents of Kakeldy Beach as the “Cackilty Chickens.”… In 1910 the beach residents sponsored a renaming contest which was won by Mel Miller, friend of the school’s teacher of Spanish, Agnes Quigley; his suggestion: “Se-ola = to know the wave.”

Seola Beach Drive SW begins at SW 106th Street between 28th Avenue SW and 31st Avenue SW and goes ⅞ of a mile south, then southwest, to a dead end at the beach, just past SW Seola Lane.

For its entire length, Seola Beach Drive SW forms the southern city limits of Seattle, separating it from Burien and unincorporated King County (White Center). (Unlike the northern city limits, formed by 145th Street, Seattle’s southern city limits are jagged. If they went due east from Seola Beach, Seattle would encompass large portions of Burien, Tukwila, and Renton; whereas if they followed a parallel set at the city limits’ northernmost point, everything south of Kenyon Street [approximately the north end of the South Park Bridge] would be lost to Seattle.)

Sign reading Privately Owned Beaches, No Public Access at Seola Beach
Seola Beach, April 8, 2011. Unfortunately, this is not a case where a street was platted into the water, creating a shoreline street end; the right-of-way explicitly ends at the fence, and this portion of the beach belongs to the property owners to the south. Photograph by Flickr user NabeWise, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

S Ronald Drive

This street, like Cecil Avenue S and Leroy Place S, was created in 1905 as part of the plat of Southside Garden Tracts, filed by Crawford & Conover, a partnership of Samuel Leroy Crawford (1855–1916) and Charles Tallmadge Conover (1862–1961). It appears to have been named after Crawford’s father, Ronald C. Crawford (1827–1924).

S Ronald Drive begins at S Benefit Street just west of 37th Avenue S and goes 1⁄10 of a mile southwest to Leroy Place S.

Paisley Drive NE

Like Inverness Drive NE, this street was created in 1954 as part of the plat of Jay Roberts Country Club Estates. Again according to Wedgwood in Seattle History,

Roberts gave the names Inverness Drive and Paisley Drive to the development’s two major connecting roadways. These two names referred to places near Glasgow, Scotland, and were meant to convey the idea of castle-like estate properties on a high vantage point.

Street sign, NE 85th Street at Paisley Drive NE in Inverness
Street sign, NE 85th Street at Paisley Drive NE. Photograph courtesy of Wedgwood in Seattle History. Copyright © 2013 Wedgwood in Seattle History. All rights reserved.

Paisley Drive NE begins at NE 85th Street and goes ⅖ of a mile northwest to 45th Avenue NE.

Inverness Drive NE

This street was created in 1954 as part of the plat of Jay Roberts Country Club Estates. According to Wedgwood in Seattle History,

Roberts gave the names Inverness Drive and Paisley Drive to the development’s two major connecting roadways. These two names referred to places near Glasgow, Scotland, and were meant to convey the idea of castle-like estate properties on a high vantage point.

Inverness entrance marker
Inverness entrance marker. Photograph courtesy of Wedgwood in Seattle History. Copyright © 2013 Wedgwood in Seattle History. All rights reserved.

Inverness Drive NE begins at Sand Point Way NE and goes ⅖ of a mile southwest to just south of NE 85th Street, at the north end of the Sand Point Country Club.

Sign at corner of Inverness Drive NE and the Burke-Gilman Trail
Sign at corner of Inverness Drive NE and the Burke-Gilman Trail. Photograph by Wedgwood in Seattle History. Copyright © 2013 Wedgwood in Seattle History. All rights reserved.

Lake Park Drive S

Like S Mount Baker Boulevard and Hunter Boulevard S, this street was created in 1907 as part of the plat of Mt. Baker Park, an Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by the Hunter Tract Improvement Company along with Rollin Valentine Ankeny and his wife, Eleanor Randolph Ankeny. It was so named for connecting the north end of the neighborhood to Lake Washington at Mount Baker Beach.

Aerial of Mount Baker Park, March 18, 1971
Aerial of Mount Baker Park, March 18, 1971. Lake Park Drive S is just east (toward the bottom of the photograph) of the green swath at center. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier 78115

Lake Park Drive S begins at the intersection of S McClellan Street, S Mount Baker Boulevard, Mount Baker Drive S, and Mount Rainier Drive S, and goes ⅓ of a mile north to Lake Washington Boulevard S.

Lake Shore Drive S

This street, created in 1926 as part of the plat of The Uplands (S Upland Road), was so named because it runs along the Lake Washington shoreline just south of Seward Park.

Full-page ad for The Uplands in The Seattle Times, September 27, 1925
Full-page ad for The Uplands in The Seattle Times, September 27, 1925. Lake Shore Drive is at the lower right-hand corner of the plat.

Lake Shore Drive S begins at Seward Park Avenue S and S Hawthorn Road and goes ¼ mile south to S Eddy Street.

S Corgiat Drive

This street was created in 1905 as part of the Corgiat Addition to Georgetown (then an independent town), filed by John Corgiat (1858–1936) and his wife, Caroline Genasci Corgiat (1866–1954).

Born Giovanni Domenicio Corgiat in Italy, John was a real estate investor who, according to his Seattle Times obituary, was also notable for “establish[ing] the Louvre Restaurant, the first French-Italian eating place in Seattle, in 1888.” (It was destroyed the next year in the Great Seattle Fire.) He was also apparently involved in a number of legal cases relating to the explusion of restaurateur John Cicoria from the Joseph Mazzini Society in 1907: not only the lawsuit demanding Cicoria’s reinstatement in the Italian-American fraternal organization, but one in which the society succeeded in making him pay its legal fees, and three libel suits — one which Cicoria won against Corgiat, and two which Corgiat filed against The Seattle Times and the Message-Vero-Italo-Americano with Cicoria as co-defendant in each. The suit against the Times was dismissed at Corgiat’s request; I haven’t been able to find any more information about the other.

John Corgiat, from his obituary in the Seattle Times, December 10, 1936
John Corgiat, from his obituary in the Seattle Times, December 10, 1936

Originally Corgiat Street, S Corgiat Drive begins at the railroad tracks just east of Airport Way S and goes 300 feet northeast to just past Ursula Place S, at which point it turns northwest and becomes S Corgiat Drive (not in the original plat). From there, it goes ⅖ of a mile to S Albro Place, just west of Interstate 5.

Shoreline Park Drive NW

This street was created in 1964 as part of the plat of Shoreline Park Estates. The subdivision was presumably named for Carkeek Park, which surrounds it on three sides and features a long Puget Sound shoreline.

Advertisement for Shoreline Park Estates, The Seattle Times, September 20, 1964
Advertisement for Shoreline Park Estates, The Seattle Times, September 20, 1964. The address and phone number of Royal Homes Realty — 14802 Westminster Way N., Seattle 33, EMerson 4-5180 — would today be Shoreline, WA 98133, 206-364-5180, because of the incorporation of Shoreline in 1995; the mandatory use of ZIP Codes by bulk mailers, which began in 1967; the transition to all-number calling, which was completed in Greater Seattle in 1972; and the mandatory use of 10-digit dialing, which began in Greater Seattle in 2017.

Shoreline Park Drive NW runs about 275 feet between NW 118th Street and NW 117th Street. The developers dedicated a walkway west of NW 117th Street to the public; this connects to the Grand Fir Trail, one of Carkeek Park’s many trails.

E Park Drive E

This street, like W Park Drive E — its twin on the other side of Montlake Boulevard E — was created in 1908 as part of Montlake Park, an Addition to the City of Seattle, and was named after what is now East Montlake Park.

It begins at the east end of E Hamlin Street by the old location of the Museum of History and Industry (currently a staging area for the Montlake Project portion of the rebuilding of Washington State Route 520) and goes 300 feet north to E Shelby Street.

East Montlake Park totem pole, July 2009
East Montlake Park totem pole, carved by John Wallace, July 2009. The pathway is the Lake Washington Ship Canal Waterside trail, which connects East Montlake Park to West Montlake Park along the Montlake Cut. Photograph by Flickr user camknows, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

W Park Drive E

This street was created in 1908 as part of Montlake Park, an Addition to the City of Seattle, and was named after what is now West Montlake Park. It has a twin, E Park Drive E, on the other side of Montlake Boulevard E.

W Park Drive E begins at the west end of E Hamlin Street by the Seattle Yacht Club and goes 300 feet north to E Shelby Street.

West Montlake Park, January 2013
West Montlake Park, January 2013. The body of water is Portage Bay (Lake Union); South Campus of the University of Washington is at right, across the Montlake Cut, and the University Bridge and Ship Canal Bridge are visible in the distance. Photograph by Orange Suede Sofa, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

NW Culbertson Drive

This street was created in 1955 as part of the plat of Llandover-by-the-Sound, filed by (among others) Ralph Glossbrerer Culbertson (1886–1975), a developer, and his wife, Jane R. Effie Redding Culbertson (1884–1976). R.G., as he was known, appears to have earlier been in the storage and moving business, and had “an extensive acquaintance with eight [Canadian] provinces.”

NW Culbertson Drive begins at Hilltop Lane NW and goes ⅓ of a mile west to a dead end overlooking Puget Sound.

Beach Drive SW

Like Harbor Avenue SW, Beach Drive SW was once part of Alki Avenue SW. It became Beach Drive sometime between 1912 and 1920. In contrast to Alki and Harbor Avenues, most of Beach Drive’s beaches are private, though there is a long public stretch at the Emma Schmitz Memorial Outlook, as well as Lowman Beach Park at the south end.

Puget Sound shore looking northwest along Beach Drive with Alki Point in distance, August 2007
Puget Sound shore looking northwest along Beach Drive toward Alki Point, August 2007. Photograph by Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Beach Drive SW begins at Alki Avenue SW just south of Alki Point and goes just over 3 miles southeast to Trail #1 at Lincoln Park.

Signs at Beach Drive SW road end, March 2013
Signs along Beach Drive SW a little under 1,000 feet north of Lincoln Park. The park boundary sign is unofficial. Its placement appears to imply that the tail end of Beach Drive is private, which it’s not. Nor is the driveway (SW Othello Street) on the left. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff, March 10, 2013. Copyright © 2013 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Surber Drive NE

This street is named after William Harvey “Uncle Joe” Surber (1834–1923), who came to Seattle from Indiana in 1859, having spent time in Missouri, California, and British Columbia along the way. Valarie Bunn tells his story in “From Yesler to Wedgwood,” and his Find a Grave page reproduces his biography from Clarence Bagley’s History of Seattle from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. In 1861, he established a homestead in what is now Laurelhurst, on what was then the east shore of Union Bay but is now Yesler Swamp. He was appointed the first sheriff of King County in 1866.

Originally 39th Avenue NE in the plat of Belvoir, an Addition to the City of Seattle, filed by his executor in 1926, it and E 37th Street became Surber Drive in 1939. Today, Surber Drive NE begins at NE 41st Street and goes around 700 feet to NE 38th Street, where it becomes NE Surber Drive and goes nearly 1,000 feet to 42nd Avenue NE.

S Riverside Drive

As you might expect, this street is so named because it runs along the west bank of the Duwamish Waterway. However, it only does so for about ⅖ of a mile, from S Webster Street east of 5th Avenue S to a dead end on the river just north of a path to t̓ałt̓ałucid Park and Shoreline Habitat (formerly the 8th Avenue S street end, just north of S Portland Street). It is by no means a prominent street, contrary to what such a name usually implies (Los Angeles, Manhattan, Ottawa, Spokane). In this way it is similar to Seattle’s S Front Street and S River Street. Why is this?

Also as you might expect, it’s for the same reason Front and River Streets are relatively unimportant: the rechanneling of the Duwamish River that started in 1913. Originally Duwamish Avenue in the 1891 plat of River Park, as seen in the image below, Riverside Drive used to curve around a bend in the river. When the river was straightened, the road was cut off right in the middle and became a Riverside Drive to nowhere.

Portion of River Park addition showing Duwamish Avenue (now Riverside Drive)
Portion of River Park addition showing Duwamish Avenue (now Riverside Drive)
Sign at corner of S Holden Street, S Riverside Drive, and 7th Avenue S, May 20, 2013
Signs at corner of S Holden Street, S Riverside Drive, and 7th Avenue S, May 20, 2013. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2013 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Covello Drive S

This hook-shaped street on Beacon Hill begins where S Myrtle Street turns into Swift Avenue S, and goes just over 700 feet north, west, and then south to a point 300 feet to the northwest. It was created in 1967 as the only street in the plat of Covello Estates, filed by S.T. Covello, whose full name appears to be Salvatore Tony Covello (1913–1996). He was the son of Filippo and Josephine (Curreri) Covello, who came to the United States from Italy in 1908. An article in the September 25, 1946, Seattle Times mentions him as the owner of the Hillman City Radio and Electric Company, and one in the March 4, 1956, Times lists him as a candidate for the King County Board of Education.

 

NE Radford Drive

It isn’t often that a vintage newspaper article explicitly states the reason behind a new street’s naming, but when it comes to Radford Drive, we’re in luck. On November 30, 1940, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, under the headline ‘Work started at Sand Point Homes project’, that ground had been broken the day before on a project to house 150 enlisted men, plus their families, from the adjacent Sand Point Naval Air Station. (The project was said to cost $620,000, which is ¾ of the average price of a single home in Seattle today!) Rather amusingly, the air station’s commandant, Captain Ralph Wood, is quoted as saying “the days when the sailor was a bachelor and a derelict have long since passed” as justification for the need for military family housing. The article goes on to say that:

Street entrance to the area will be named Radford Drive in honor of Commander Arthur W. Radford, former commandant of the Sand Point base, who launched the expansion program which has resulted in its present growth.

Arthur W. Radford (1896–1973), who had been appointed commandant in 1939, was promoted to captain in 1942 and to rear admiral in 1943. He became vice admiral in 1945, and was appointed by President Harry S. Truman as vice chief of naval operations in 1948. In 1949, he was made high commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands as well as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and in 1953 he became President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s selection as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired from the Navy in 1957.

Admiral Arthur W. Radford
Admiral Arthur W. Radford

Today, the housing complex, redeveloped in 2001, is known as Radford Court, and is owned by the University of Washington, though some units are available to the public. Interestingly, the entrance to the neighborhood from NE 65th Street is signed Radford Drive NE and is on University-owned land, while the publicly owned street is legally NE Radford Drive, but not signed at all — and the addresses for the complex are on 65th Avenue NE (one of the city streets, the other being NE 64th Street, that connects directly to the property).*

* Yes, NE 65th Street and 65th Avenue NE intersect here. Because of how Seattle’s street naming system works, Windermere and Laurelhurst are the site of a number of similar intersections, including those for 60th, 59th, 57th, 55th, 54th, 50th, 47th, 45th, 43rd, 41st, and 40th.

NW Blue Ridge Drive

This winding, semicircular street runs almost ⁹⁄₁₀ of a mile from 15th Avenue NW and NW 100th Street in the east to Triton Drive NW, NW Neptune Place, and NW 100th Street in the west, descending 300 feet to Puget Sound along the way. Named after the Blue Ridge community, it was established in 1930 as part of the plat of Blue Ridge, an Addition to King County, Washington (rather than to Seattle, as the far northwestern section of the city wouldn’t be annexed until 1953).

Blue Ridge Realty office building, 9925 15th Avenue NW, Seattle
Blue Ridge Realty office building, 9925 15th Avenue NW, July 2021. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff, Copyright © 2021 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Blue Ridge was founded by aviation pioneer William Boeing (1881–1956), founder of what is today The Boeing Company. According to the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project at the University of Washington, marketing of plots began in 1934, and “sales began in earnest in 1938” when this racial restrictive covenant was established:

No property in said Addition shall at any time be sold, conveyed, rented, or leased in whole or in part to any person or persons not of the White or Caucasian race. No person other than one of the White or Caucasian race shall be permitted to occupy any property in said addition or portion thereof or building thereon except a domestic servant actually employed by a person of the White or Caucasian race where the latter is an occupant of such property.

Uniquely, as they note, the restrictions on membership in the Blue Ridge Club, established in 1941 and forerunner of today’s homeowner association, were slightly different:

No Asiatic, Negro or any person born in the Turkish Empire, nor lineal descendant of such person shall be eligible for membership in the Club.

They speculate this restriction on Ottoman citizens and descendants thereof was aimed at Sephardic Jews (Seattle is said to have the third largest population in the country), although if that is the case, I wonder why the restriction wasn’t against all Jews, as was done in Broadmoor and the Sand Point Country Club. At any rate, it would seem to have affected not only Sephardim but Arabs, Levantines, and North Africans in general. These restrictions were finally lifted in 1989, decades after they became unenforceable.

Blue Ridge says that “The development of the Blue Ridge community and the government-engineered policies of segregation brings some controversy to the early days of the neighborhood. However, today Blue Ridge is diverse and welcoming to anyone wanting to share in all that it has to offer.” As the interactive map on the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project page on Blue Ridge shows, though, the covenants had the desired effect — the neighborhood is still around 81% white, 12% Asian… and just 0.5% Black.

As far as being an “exclusive” neighborhood goes, Blue Ridge is more like Windermere than the above-mentioned Broadmoor and Sand Point Country Club; it features a private waterfront park, but all the streets are public, and there are even two very small public parks (Blue Ridge Circle and Blue Ridge Places) plus the wooded Mary Avenue Trail to the southern boundary of Carkeek Park.

Ten or so years ago I saw a Private Property sign at the trailhead, put up by the Blue Ridge Club, but it was gone the next time I visited — I can’t remember if I complained or someone else did. (The woods are private, but the trail is Mary Avenue NW right-of-way.) This wasn’t in the original plat, but according to an old Flickr chat I had with Andreas “Severinus” Breuer, “there was apparently a WPA project approved to install a 30′-wide gravel road between 100th and 110th (apparently now NW Carkeek Park Road).… I imagine the ravine would look quite different if a 30′ gravel road had been put in, so presumably this plan wasn’t carried out. But a 1940 engineering map shows a surveyed ROW from 105th to the Carkeek border, and in Carkeek there seems to be a route that follows the WPA route (Clay Pit Trail > Hillside Trail > Brick Road Trail > Road). Perhaps the trail that exists today was made by the original surveyors or by WPA men?”

NW North Beach Drive

This short street runs just over 750 feet from Triton Drive NW in the west to NE 98th Street in the east, just west of 24th Avenue NW. It was established in 1926 as part of North Beach, an Addition to the City of Seattle; at the time, it extended farther south, but that section is now 26th Avenue NW. The beach being referred to is on Puget Sound, across the BNSF Railway tracks from what is now NW Esplanade.

Although it bears the neighborhood’s name, houses along North Beach Drive are actually only eligible for associate, not full, membership in the North Beach Club, as the community boundary map shows. This is because the club, which originated in 1927 as the Golden View Improvement Club, was formed by and for residents of the Golden View and Golden View Division № 2 subdivisions, platted in 1924 and 1926, respectively. (According to state records, the GVIC was administratively dissolved in 1982 and merged into the North Beach Club [founded 1990] in 2006. [No word on what entity managed affairs from 1982 to 1990.]) In 1930, the club took over responsibility for the subdivisions’ water system from the developer, who as part of the deal deeded 1,500 feet of Puget Sound beach to the organization. It is this private beach, accessible via a short path from NW Esplanade at 28th Avenue NW, that is the North Beach Club’s primary raison d’être today, the water system having been hooked into the city supply long ago. Today’s associate members are the “descendants” of those who were interested in the Golden View additions’ water system 91 years ago but lived outside the subdivision boundaries — including residents of NW North Beach Drive.

Ridge Drive NE

This private road, which lies entirely within the Sand Point Country Club, runs ⅖ of a mile from the main gate at NE 75th Street in the south to the intersection of Fairway Drive NE and Lakemont Drive NE in the north. It is so named for its central location atop the hill that gives the adjacent neighborhood, View Ridge, its name.

As local historian Valarie Bunn explains on her blog, the Sand Point Country Club, founded by Samuel E. Hayes, opened in 1927. As with two contemporaneous developments, Broadmoor and Windermere, its exclusivity was a selling point. An advertisement in the May 5, 1929, issue of The Seattle Times spelled this out more explicitly than usual: “Sand Point Country Club homesites are selling fast… because every homesite owner enjoys forever a close-in retreat from Seattle’s mobs of tomorrow… because every homesite owner is protected in his investment by carefully drawn restrictions against the admixture of objectionable buildings or races.” The racial restrictive covenant covering the neighborhood reads:

No tract shall be sold, conveyed, rented or leased in whole or in part to any Hebrew or to any person of the Malay, Ethiopian or any other Negro or any Asiatic race, or any descendant of any thereof. No tract shall be used or occupied in whole or in part by any Hebrew or by any person of the Malay, Ethiopian or any other Negro or any Asiatic race, or any descendant of any thereof, except only employees in the domestic service on the premises of persons qualified as herein provided as occupants.

Sign at corner of NE 75th Street and Ridge Drive NE, August 25, 2009
Signs at corner of NE 75th Street and Ridge Drive NE, August 25, 2009. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2009 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

Broadmoor Drive E

This street runs just shy of a mile through the gated Broadmoor neighborhood and golf course from its south entrance at E Madison Street at 36th Avenue E to its north entrance at E Foster Island Road.

An article in the May 18, 1924, issue of The Seattle Times noted that “[Broadmoor’s] roadways will not be public streets as in other residential sections of the city,” calling this “one of the unmatched features of this community,” and adds that “certain restrictions have been named both as to the class of residences that may be constructed as well as to those who will be admitted to membership.” The entire community being private was a first for Seattle, and in fact has never been repeated — the Sand Point Country Club was also established in the late 1920s, but was in unincorporated King County at the time and wasn’t annexed until 1953, whereas Windermere, established within Seattle city limits around the same time, was in fact platted as a traditional neighborhood, albeit one with private amenities.

Speaking of those “certain restrictions,” by the way, it seems that even in the 1920s one could not say openly in the press what one really meant. But Broadmoor deeds and their racial restrictive covenants are public record:

No part of said property hereby conveyed shall ever be used or occupied by any Hebrew or by any person of the Ethiopian, Malay or any Asiatic Race, and the party of the second part, his heirs, personal representatives or assigns, shall never place any such person in the possession or occupancy of said property or any part thereof, nor permit the said property, or any part thereof, ever to be used or occupied by any such person, excepting only employees in the domestic service on the premises of persons qualified hereunder as occupants and users and residing on the premises.

Broadmoor: Restricted Residential Park With Golf Course, 1924.
Broadmoor: Restricted Residential Park With Golf Course, 1924. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier 1423.

The origin of the Broadmoor name is not entirely clear. Did it have anything to do with the Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado Springs, which opened in 1918? Or with the moors of Scotland, home of modern golf? The above-mentioned Seattle Times article, which is so similar to one in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer it must have been based on a Puget Mill Company press release, doesn’t say. (My friend, local historian Joe Mabel, notes the best-known Broadmoor in the U.K. is actually a high-security psychiatric hospital founded in 1863.) It may just be that “Broadmoor” was considered to be “elegant.” Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the personal papers of Edwin Gardner Ames, Puget Mill president and one of the developers of Broadmoor along with Grosvenor Folsom and George W. Johnson.