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    Wednesday
    Dec212011

    Mount Baker

    Mount Baker is a beautiful and quiet neighborhood in south Seattle that is somewhat divided into two different areas. The area to the north of South McClellan Street would be considered mostly middle to upper middle class and the area to the east of Mt Baker Park is considered very high end with homes in the millions. The neighborhood's name comes from the view of Mount Baker (standing at 10,781 feet and is seen by looking north over Lake Washington) that is in Whatcom County far to the north. The neighborhood is bounded by Lake Washington to the east, Interstate 90 and then Leschi to the north, Rainier Valley to the west, and Lakewood and Columbia City to the south. The neighborhood has a great community club and a rowing team. Parks on three sides and Lake Washington on the 4th side also surround it.

    Mount Baker also has been the hosts of the annual Seafair Hydroplane races that began in 1950 on Lake Washington in front of the Mount Baker community. This hugely popular event also includes an air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angles, a fireworks show, and other festivities. Franklin High School serves this area.

    Though it is in a major city, Mt. Baker's location on Lake Washington across from the tree-lined shores of Mercer Island give it the unique feel of a more of a small provincial town. That is not to say that Mt. Baker is out of date, far from it. The very active, well-connected community in Mt. Baker takes much pride in its variety of architectural styles. On some streets you will find well-manicured yards and stately houses, and on others you will find an eclectic mix of Tudor style villas, 20th century brick mansions and then a modern designs. Then there are still the occasional project potentials for the budding craftsperson. Mt. Baker is also known for somewhat larger yards, many of which are occupied by beautiful gardens.

    Mt. Baker has a number of green inland parks in addition to its main attractions at the beach. Coleman Park is on the north side of the neighborhood only a few blocks from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park and the Seattle Tennis Center housing the only public indoor tennis facility in the Seattle. On the south end is Genesee Park and the Rainier Play Field. Then nearby on Beacon Hill is the convenient and popular Jefferson Park public golf course.

    Mt. Baker is a good location for parents who want to make sure their children get a high-quality public education. John Muir Elementary gets positive reviews from a majority of parents with children currently enrolled, as does the slightly larger, open-system Kimball Elementary. Franklin High School is the public school option in the area for High School. For private school options, there is the K-8 Zion Preparatory Academy and the small Maxine Mimms School for grades 7-12. Mt. Baker is also the home of the Seattle Kollel center for Jewish learning and the outstanding Seattle Girls School for girls in middle school.

    Mt. Baker is close to a number of busier neighborhoods, so plenty of good food and entertainment is just a stone's throw from the rowing clubs, plus its access to major commuter roadways make the neighborhood ideal for those who work in Bellevue, Redmond, on Mercer Island, downtown or near the airport.