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    Dec212011

    Capitol Hill

    The Capitol Hill neighborhood is a long ridge that basically overlooks downtown Seattle. Capitol Hill is located in the heart of the city, and is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Seattle and has evolved into one of the most popular nightlife scenes as well. In 1872, the pioneers cleared a wagon road through the forest to a cemetery at its peak (later named Lake View Cemetery). Then the hill was logged off in the 1880's. Then James Moore (1861-1929), the chief developer of Capitol Hill gave the hill it's name in 1901. Before that it was called Broadway Hill.

    Today Capitol Hill is a vibrant community with a thriving business district along Broadway Avenue, 15th Avenue East and 19th Avenue East. It is home to Volunteer Park and the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral and many other churches, Seattle University, Seattle Central Community College, Cornish College for the Arts, Richard Hugo House (a center for writers) as well as dozens of shops, restaurants, coffeehouses, and most of Seattle medical offices and hospitals.

    For a view of Capitol Hill and a review of its history one may begin by climbing the 107 steps to the observation deck of the Volunteer Park water tower that since 1907 has stood at the summit of the 444-foot high hill. There to enjoy is a lavish exhibit not only of Volunteer Park history but also of the entire Olmsted Brothers legacy of parks and boulevards that the famous landscaping firm designed for Seattle in the early twentieth century.