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Beacon Hill, Seattle
Seattle Neighborhood
I-5 & Downtown Seattle from Beacon Hill
I-5 & Downtown Seattle from Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill Highlighted in Pink
Beacon Hill Highlighted in Pink
Country United States
State Washington
County King
City Seattle
City Council District 2
Time zone UTC−8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Zip Code
98108, 98118, 98144
Area Code 206

Beacon Hill is a hill and neighborhood in southeast Seattle, Washington. It is roughly bounded on the west by Interstate 5, on the north by Interstate 90, on the east by Rainier Avenue South, Cheasty Boulevard South, and Martin Luther King Junior Way South, and on the south by the Seattle city boundary. It is part of Seattle's South End.

The neighborhood has a major population of Asian Americans and African Americans and is among the most racially diverse in Seattle. It was formerly home to the world headquarters of Amazon (at the Pacific Tower) and present home to the Seattle Division of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Puget Sound Health Care System.

History and demographics

Seattle - Beacon Hill - 2336 15th S - 04
The Turner-Koepf House is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Duwamish call the hill "Greenish-Yellow Spine" (Lushootseed: qWátSéécH, pronounced QWAH-tseech), probably referring to the color of the deciduous trees that once grew thickly on the hill. Early settlers named it Holgate and Hanford Hill after two early settlers, John Holgate and Edward Hanford, who settled in the area in the 1850s and are commemorated to this day by South Holgate and Hanford Streets on North Beacon Hill. A later arrival, M. Harwood Young, named the hill after the Beacon Hill in his hometown, Boston, Massachusetts.

Beacon Hill was nicknamed "Boeing Hill" in the 1950s and 60s due to the number of residents who worked in the nearby Boeing airplane factory. The term fell out of use when many Boeing employees joined the general exodus to the suburbs, and Asian immigrants took their place. Today the neighborhood is majority Asian, as can be seen by the many Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino businesses along Beacon Avenue South. However, the area remains racially diverse, as shown by the 2000 United States census: 51% Asian, 20% white, 13% black, 9% Hispanic/Latino and 7% other. The census also showed the total Beacon Hill population to be 22,300. Neighboring Rainier Valley also shows a similar diversity.

Landmarks and institutions

  • Pacific Medical Center (PacMed) located at the northern tip of Beacon Hill. Formerly a marine hospital, the building served as headquarters to for ten years.
  • Jefferson Park: Golf, lawn bowling, skate park, Beacon Mountain Playground, tennis courts, open space and more. Golf professional Fred Couples was raised in the neighborhood and Jefferson Park was his home course as a teen.
  • Beacon Food Forest is one of the nation's largest food forest projects in the United States and will be breaking ground in 2012, adjacent to the west side of Jefferson Park.
  • Comet Lodge Cemetery (1895)
  • Dr. Jose Rizal Park: views to the west overlooking downtown, Elliott Bay and Olympic Mountains; start of bike path to I-90 bridge, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, Eastgate
  • El Centro de la Raza, a civil rights and community service organization, in the former Beacon Hill School built in 1904
  • Seattle - Beacon Hill First Baptist Church 02A
    Beacon Hill First Baptist Church
    Beacon Hill First Baptist Church: a designated historic landmark Tudor Revival building built in 1910, designed by notable architect Ellsworth Storey
  • The Frank D. Black property: designated landmark river rock structures built in 1914
  • Cheasty Greenbelt/Cheasty Boulevard Trail
  • Beacon Hill Station of Sound Transit Light Rail, located at Beacon Avenue South and South Lander Street
  • Beacon Hill branch of the Seattle Public Library, reopened in a new building and location in 2005
  • Beacon Hill International Elementary School, a K-5 school that offers bilingual and diverse programs

Nearby neighborhoods

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