Pinehurst Way NE

This street was established in 1926 as part of the plat of Pinehurst. Originally beginning at 15th Avenue NE and NE 117th Street and going northeast to 17th Avenue NE between NE 123rd Street and NE 125th Street, it was subsequently extended to connect the 15th Avenue NE and Roosevelt Way NE arterials.

Today, Pinehurst Way NE begins at Roosevelt Way NE and NE 113th Street, and goes ⅔ of a mile northeast to 17th Avenue NE and NE 124th Street.

Ad for Pinehurst, The Seattle Times, October 3, 1926
Ad for Pinehurst, The Seattle Times, October 3, 1926

Birch Avenue N

This street was created in 1890 as part of Hunter’s Lake Union Addition to the City of Seattle by Colonel Morton C. Hunter (1825–1896), Civil War veteran and congressman from Indiana. (His son, Frank, was an insurance and real estate man in Seattle, and it was he who requested the recording of the plat.) Absent any evidence to the contrary, I assume it was named for the tree, though it is the only such street in the plat.

Birch Avenue N begins at Halladay Street just east of Aurora Avenue N and south of Canlis, and goes 300 feet southeast to a dead end.

Elm Place SW

This short West Seattle street was created as part of the 1888 First Plat of West Seattle by the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company. Originally Elm Street, it had companions in Oak, Maple, and Laurel Streets, none of which survive.

Elm Place SW begins at SW California Place and goes 300 feet southeast to SW Maryland Place, paralleling Harbor Avenue SW just over 100 feet to its northeast.

Twin Maple Lane NE

This private cul-de-sac at the end of 24th Avenue NE south of NE 60th Street appears, according to an article in the June 19, 1927, edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, to have been established that very year. According to James Bush writing for the Seattle Sun, Ravenna Park (or perhaps a portion thereof) was once known as Twin Maple Park, and

[William Wirt] Beck is officially remembered by two of the smallest civic gestures ever performed. In keeping with the early practice of giving names to small bits of park property, the concrete-covered triangle of land at the intersection of 15th Avenue Northeast and Cowen Place was dubbed Beck Place. And, his beloved Twin Maples Park is memorialized by Twin Maples Lane Northeast, a half-block street where 24th Avenue Northeast meets the park border.

Note that the typos are in the Sun article, not this post — the sign quite clearly says Maple, not Maples.

E Spruce Street

This street, like Alder Street and Fir Street — all, of course, named for trees — originates in the 1872 plat of Terry’s Second Addition to the Town of Seattle, filed by Arthur Armstrong Denny, Henry Leiter Yesler, Erasmus Smithers, and Franklin Matthias, the last two as executors of the estate of Charles Carroll Terry, who was part of the Denny Party of settlers in 1851, and died in 1867. However, it was originally named Cedar Street (duplicative of another in Belltown). It received its current name as part of the Great Renaming of 1895, when Cedar Street, Prince William Street, and Erie Street were all changed to Spruce.

Today, E Spruce Street begins at Broadway and goes nearly a mile east to 25th Avenue, only interrupted once, at Boren Avenue, which it connects to as a pair of stairways. It resumes at 28th Avenue and goes just over ¼ of a mile to Lake Dell Avenue (the portion from Peppi’s Playground through Peppi’s Woods as a stairway). Farther east, there is a couple-hundred-foot-long section at the west end of Euclid Avenue, and then a longer one — almost ⅒ of a mile — from near the east end of Euclid Avenue to E Alder Street. (Its complicated end is the result of platted streets not always matching up with topography, or with where people actually ended up building roads.)

Portion of King County Parcel Viewer showing E Spruce Street right-of-way from Lake Dell Avenue to E Alder Street along with Euclid Avenue
King County Parcel Viewer showing E Spruce Street right-of-way from Lake Dell Avenue in the west to E Alder Street in the east. Instead of the eastern portion of Spruce connecting directly to the western portion, there is a gap; instead, the western portion connects to Euclid Avenue by going through private property.

Fir Street

This street, like nearby Alder Street — both, obviously, named for trees — originates in the 1872 plat of Terry’s Second Addition to the Town of Seattle, filed by Arthur Armstrong Denny, Henry Leiter Yesler, Erasmus Smithers, and Franklin Matthias, the last two as executors of the estate of Charles Carroll Terry, who was part of the Denny Party of settlers in 1851, and died in 1867.

Today, Fir Street begins where 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue meet, a block south of Harborview Medical Center. From there to its end at Martin Luther King Jr. Way 1⅕ miles to the east, it is almost completely uninterrupted, except for the portion west of 11th Avenue being blocked by a retaining wall at Boren Avenue.

Alder Street

This street originates in the 1872 plat of Terry’s Second Addition to the Town of Seattle, filed by Arthur Armstrong Denny, Henry Leiter Yesler, Erasmus Smithers, and Franklin Matthias, the last two as executors of the estate of Charles Carroll Terry, who was part of the Denny Party of settlers in 1851, and died in 1867. (In 1857, Matthias was listed as being a carpenter, originally from Indiana, Pennsylvania; not too long thereafter, he apparently married and had a child with the daughter of Shilshole Curley [native name Saxkla’xid{?}], “head-man” of the shill-shohl-AHBSH village at šilšul on Salmon Bay. This child, Rebecca Lena Graham, later had to sue Matthias’s relatives to be recognized as his rightful heir. You can read more about her on the Yale University Press blog, at Fitz-Henry Family History, and in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly.)

Today, Alder Street begins at the south entrance to the Harborview Medical Center parking garage, its original first few blocks having been obliterated by Interstate 5, and goes ⅓ of a mile northeast and then east to the Children and Family Justice Center at 12th Avenue.* It resumes at 14th Avenue and goes just over a mile to 32nd Avenue. Finally, just west of 35th Avenue, the Lake Dell Avenue arterial becomes E Alder Street, which snakes ⅕ of a mile down the hill to end at Lake Washington Boulevard. It was originally part of a group of streets named after trees — Pine, Alder, Cedar, and Fir — though Pine and Cedar have since become Terrace and Spruce, since they duplicated street names in other parts of Downtown.

* The Alder Street right-of-way technically begins at Yesler Way just west of 6th Avenue, but is unimproved and indistinguishable from the adjacent open space, and the Interstate 5 right-of-way begins on the east side of 6th.