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    Maple Leaf

    Although Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood started to be developed in the 1890s as a dream of real estate developers, the hilltop community northeast of Green Lake was slow to grow. The last half of the twentieth century saw dramatic changes to the area, but Maple Leaf remained a stable home to middle-class families.

    In 2001, Maple Leaf was a rough triangle bounded by Northgate Way, Interstate-5, and Lake City Way NE. In 1894, the area appears on maps as a plat by real estate promoters and was called the Maple Leaf Addition to the Green Lake Tract. The name may have come from the Maple Saw Mill that operated to the east on Lake Washington or from some maple trees that once grew in the area. The first residents organized the Maple Leaf School District in 1907. When the Seattle Water Department built a drinking water reservoir on the hill in 1912, they called it the Maple Leaf Reservoir.

    The area remained a quiet residential community, somewhat cut off from Seattle by politics and geography. Although population and construction growth has been relatively slow, Maple Leaf is true to its name in plant growth. Hundreds of mature trees canopy the yards and streets, many of them planted years before the homes appeared. The lush greenery and strong community are but two of the features that helped Maple Leaf earn recognition as the Neighborhoods USA "Neighborhood of the Year" in 1986. Additional features include a number of popular parks, playgrounds, churches, cafes, and taverns. A few blocks around the corner from the Northgate Shopping Mall hides another area treasure, the Northwest Puppet Center home to the world-renowned Carter Family Marionettes. The Maple Leaf area also has two public schools, Sacajawea and Olympic View Elementary, and two private schools, Saint Catherine and Fairview.