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.
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.