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    Looking down from a Dehavilland Beaver or Otter floatplane circling for a landing on Seattle's Lake Union, you can easily see the wedge shape of the Eastlake neighborhood through the clouds. Bounded on the west and north by the L-shaped Lake Union, on the east by the I-5 freeway and on the south by the Mercer Street corridor, the neighborhood sports neat rows of houseboats nine and 10 deep fingering out into the lake. The houseboats are neighbors to low rise office buildings, trendy restaurants, biotechnology firms, and the remnants of a century old history of lakefront industry. Luxurious upland townhouses rub gutters and garden gates with Victorian houses, the apartment buildings that followed them in the 1920s, and other, modest single-family dwellings.

    The Eastlake neighborhood took on its identity as a streetcar suburb in 1885, when the first horse-drawn streetcar reached the eastern shore of Lake Union.

    The Eastlake neighborhood was first developed in the late 1800's with small homes and businesses along the northeastern edge of Lake Union and south of the University of Washington. Over time, as some of the marine industry moved out, additional houses were placed on floating barges and docks right on the water. These floating homes were initially a low-cost option for folks looking to live a bohemian lifestyle. Today "low-cost" is not a term often associated with the marvelous floating communities still dotting the lake. The past two decades have seen a large influx of townhomes and condos as the latest attempt to bring more affordable housing to a neighborhood still filled with beautiful, classic, and expensive view homes.

    The construction of the I-5 freeway in the early 1960's dramatically impacted the neighborhood on its eastern boundary. And now the I-5 Freeway divides North Capitol Hill and Eastlake. Over the years a lot of effort has been put into keeping the community together with careful street design, parks, and a retail core that work as a bridge between the two sides. An effective Community Council has also served as a great bonding tool for the neighborhood.

    The widely popular public school TOPS is on the east side of Eastlake and it brings in students from around the city for its innovative multi-cultural program. Its playground is also a favorite community park.

    Eastlake is centrally located, close to both the University of Washington and Downtown Seattle, and easily accessed by car, bus, boat, bike, foot, and the new South Lake Union Street Car.