While visitors come to see Pike Place Market or the skyline from the Space Needle, Seattle’s neighborhoods have much to offer for both residents and visitors alike.
George Dorffel sold real estate in Seattle during the late 1800s. By 1887, Dorffel and his wife, Otilda Ulin, chose the name Ravenna for its natural area, which is known today as Ravenna Park. The park is half a mile of wooded ravine that connects two picnic areas north of the University District.
A Kentucky couple, William W. Beck and Louise Beck, settled in the area in 1889 and bought 400 acres of land surrounding Union Bay. As developers, the pair platted house lots and founded a Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the neighborhood.
While the Becks lived on what is today known as Candy Cane Lane, a street of houses full of whimsical character, they contrast with Ravenna’s early days as a remote suburb with few buildings.
A five-minute walk from Ravenna Park sits Ravenna Brewing Company, 5408 26th Ave. N.E. In addition to offering hot mulled wine, Ravenna Brewing Company also offers Snowmotion – a malt profiled brew with notes of chocolate, dried food and rye spice.
Because it’s advised to eat before drinking alcoholic beverages, Ravenna Brewing Company hosts food trucks, such as Oskar’s Pizza, Off the Rez and Theo’s Gyros, among others. A private event space known as the Conservatory can host parties of up to 100 and includes a heated indoor space with a large garage door that can remain open.
The University District, or U-District, is a quiet neighborhood with tree-lined residential streets that is home to many professors and students. U-District served as north Seattle’s vibrant main street for the first half of the 20th century and included department stores, boutiques, restaurants, movie palaces and concert halls.
By the late 1950s, the construction of I-5 altered the landscape by bringing an increase in economic activity; in 1956, University Village opened.
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture was founded in 1885 by the Young Naturalists Society, which was a group of curious teenagers who were inspired by seeing Seattle transform before their eyes. In December of 1879, the group began gathering objects to document to the world. By 1885, the society raised enough money for a small building to house their collection.
Located at 4303 Memorial Way N.E., the museum acquired its current name in 1962 in recognition of Judge Thomas Burke. Burke was a highly respected judge, successful businessman and civic activist in Seattle. Burke and his wife, McGilvra, shared a great interest in Native American culture and were among the earliest collectors of Northwestern Native art.
While many of their collections are housed at the museum, the museum also offers special exhibits.
Roosevelt received its name from President Theodore Roosevelt, who visited Seattle. Following his death, Seattle residents remembered his visit; Roosevelt High School was named in his memory, and 10th Avenue became Roosevelt Way. A naming contest in 1927 made the “Roosevelt neighborhood” name official, according to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association.
Significant development and change has taken place since 2008, when regional voters endorsed Sound Transit’s 2 ballot measure. During planning, community members rejected plans for a site station near I-5 and urged for a station to become a fixture of the neighborhood. This led to the development of thousands of new housing units, and several new businesses.
In 1997 Chef Muhammad Uddin took on the challenge of turning around a struggling Indian restaurant in Roosevelt. The project included overhauling the menu, bringing back lost patrons and reclaiming the reputation of the restaurant. The restaurant was closed down for remodeling and creating a brand-new menu, and in 1998 Bengal Tiger was born.
Uddin turned Bengal Tiger into one of Seattle’s premier Indian restaurants. Uddin’s family is originally from Bangladesh and Bengal and brings many northeast Indian influences to his cooking, including homestyle recipes. Located at 6509 Roosevelt Way N.E., a popular dish on the menu is Madras Curry, which is named for the southeastern city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
On April 21, 1950, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Bon Marche store at the Northgate Station, 401 N.E. Northgate Way, a neighborhood shopping mall. This ribbon cutting marked the opening for the new shopping center, which is the country’s first regional shopping center to be defined as a mall.
Northgate Shopping Mall dominates the Northgate neighborhood and currently has 25 stores including Barnes & Noble, Seattle Kraken Team Store, Nordstrom Rac and Ulta Beauty, among others. Several restaurants sit within and near Northgate Shopping Mall, including Azteca Mexican Restaurant, Red Robin and Stanford’s.