This Ballard street is named for Boyd J. Tallman (1858–1932), who became a superior court judge in 1900. Originally from Pennsylvania, Tallman came to Walla Walla in 1885 and moved to Seattle two years later. That same year, he, along with Thomas Burke, William Rankin Ballard, and John Leary, founded the West Coast Improvement Company, which filed the plat of Gilman Park in 1889. Almost all of the street names were changed when Ballard was annexed to Seattle in 1907, but five streets that paralleled the Salmon Bay shoreline and one that ran perpendicular to it, as opposed to following the cardinal directions, were left alone: Shilshole Avenue, Ballard Avenue, Leary Avenue, Tallman Avenue, Barnes Avenue, and Ione Place.
Tallman Avenue NW goes ⅕ of a mile from NW Market Street just east of 20th Avenue NW to 17th Avenue NW just south of NW 52nd Street and NW Ione Place.