When the George Washington Memorial Bridge (more commonly known as the Aurora Bridge) was opened in 1932, a stretch of Aurora Avenue N, unconected to the highway, remained underneath its north approach. This remained the case for 73 years, until its name was changed to Troll Avenue N in 2005. The street — only two blocks long, from N 34th Street to N 36th Street — was renamed as part of the Fremont Neighborhood Plan, which called for the Fremont Troll, located at 36th and Aurora, as a “unifying theme” for the neighborhood, and to improve wayfinding — someone unfamiliar with the area looking for the 3500 block of Aurora Avenue N, say, would be likely to find themselves on the bridge instead of the local street.
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.