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Seattle’s historic districts: Harvard-Belmont Landmark District


Horace Chapin Henry’s home is no longer standing, but it was the first of mansions. | Photo via MOHAI

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Hey, Seattle. We’re back for round three of our historic districts walkthrough.

In case you’re just joining us, we started this journey about two months ago as a means for City Editor Alina to learn a bit more about our town (she’s a Seattle newbie, relatively speaking). We marched through Fort Lawton and soared over Sand Point, but now we’re taking a leisurely stroll in Harvard-Belmont.

Harvard-Belmont is a quiet, but distinguished neighborhood situated on the west slope of Capitol Hill. It’s founding goes all the way back to the early 1900s, but it only became a historical district in 1980.

Flashback ⏳

The Harvard-Belmont neighborhood has attracted some of Seattle’s most influential and wealthy families + individuals. The first among them was Horace Chapin Henry, a railroad builder who settled down in 1901. Behind him followed names like David Denny, Sarah Yesler, and John Leary.

Because these early residents could afford to hire their own highly-regarded architects, Harvard-Belmont’s buildings have a noticeable lack of consistency in style — ranging from Tudor to Northwest Regional. This affluence is the same reason the neighborhood never became a “streetcar suburb” — families could buy the newly-invented automobile.

Lay of the land now 🌳

The landmark district encompasses 34 acres within Capitol Hill and its 98102 zip code. The hilly topography of the area lends itself to stunning views of Lake Union, the Olympic Mountains, and the Puget Sound. The neighborhood also bumps up directly against Volunteer Park and the cemetery where movie star Bruce Lee is buried.

The 98102 zip code — which includes Portage Bay + Eastlake, too — is home to about 20,000 Seattleites and 14,000 housing units. The median age is 33, which skews just underneath Seattle’s average at 35.

Digs for sale 🏡

Nearby biz + things to do 📋

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