High Point Drive SW

This street was named after High Point, originally developed by the Seattle Housing Authority in 1942 as defense housing and redeveloped in 2004 (see SW Bataan Street and Lanham Place SW for more history). I appear not to have mentioned in either of those posts why the development was so named — as one might guess, the city’s highest point (520 feet) is there, at the corner of 35th Avenue SW and SW Myrtle Street.

High Point Drive SW begins at 30th Avenue SW and SW Juneau Street and goes nearly ⅔ of a mile south to Sylvan Way SW and SW Holly Street.

High Point Community Center from 34th Avenue SW, April 2011. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Architectsea, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

S Graham Street

This street was named for Walter Graham (1828–1919), who came to Seattle in 1853. Three years later, he married Eliza Mercer, second daughter of Thomas Mercer (Mercer Street, Mercer Island), though she unfortunately died six years later. With his third wife, Elizabeth Crammond (or Crommon), he had a daughter, Nellie, who later married David Thomas Denny II, son of early settler David Thomas Denny (Denny Way). Graham’s brother, David, came to Seattle four years after his brother, and was one of the city’s first schoolteachers. He ended up marrying Eliza Mercer’s sister, Susannah.

Graham sold some of his southeast Seattle land in 1865 to Everett Smith, who filed the plat of Brighton Beach in 1890 on which what was then Graham Avenue appeared. He once owned what is today Seward Park on Bailey Peninsula, which was previously known as Graham’s Peninsula.

He was present at the Battle of Seattle in 1856, and is pictured below with fellow survivors Ira Woodin and Carson D. Boren (Boren Avenue).

Ira Woodin, Carson Boren, and Walter Graham, November 3, 1905
Ira Woodin, Carson Boren, and Walter Graham at Alki Point, November 3, 1905

S Graham Street begins in the east at Wilson Avenue S and goes 2⅒ miles west to Swift Avenue S and 20th Avenue S, just east of Interstate 5. After a short segment between Corgiat Drive S and 16th Avenue S just west of the freeway, it next appears in West Seattle. Betwen 16th Avenue SW and 22nd Avenue SW, it alternates between roadway, stairway, and pathway, and there is a similar situation between 25th Avenue SW at Delridge Way SW and High Point Drive SW at Bataan Park. SW Graham Street begins again at High Point Drive SW and SW Raymond Street and goes 1¼ miles to its end at 50th Avenue SW,

Lanham Place SW

Like SW Bataan Street, Lanham Place SW is part of High Point, originally developed by the Seattle Housing Authority in 1942 as defense housing and redeveloped in 2004. The name was originally applied to SW Lanham Way, and was preserved while some other names, including SW Snow Court, Cycle Lane SW, and MacArthur Court SW, were eliminated. It was named for Fritz G. Lanham, Texas congressman, who sponsored the Lanham Act that created the Defense Homes Corporation.

Today, Lanham Place SW begins at 32nd Avenue SW and SW Raymond Street and goes ¼ mile southeast to 31st Avenue SW, Sylvan Way SW, and SW Morgan Street.

SW Bataan Street

High Point, originally developed by the Seattle Housing Authority in 1942 as defense housing, was redeveloped in 2004. It was reconnected to the street grid, and as part of the process some street names, including SW Snow Court, Cycle Lane SW, MacArthur Court SW, and Bataan Place SW, were eliminated. (They are still visible in the city clerk’s geographic indexing atlas, which was created before the redevelopment and has not been updated.) No one appeared to care much about the loss of Snow, Cycle, or MacArthur (named for General Douglas MacArthur, who had recently evacuated to Australia when the fall of the Philippines seemed imminent).* The loss of Bataan, named for the World War II battle that took place on the Bataan Peninsula on the island of Luzon, was another story, however, and SW Eddy Street was quickly renamed SW Bataan Street, enabling the city to continue to “memorialize and honor the 10,000 American and Filipino soldiers who lost their lives in the Bataan death march.”

* See the August 7, 1943, Seattle Times article ‘City’s Wartime Additions Inspire Some Monickers’ for the story behind the street names in High Point, Rainier Vista, and other Seattle Housing Authority projects.

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.”