Beacon Hill is a hill and neighborhood in southeast Seattle, Washington. The municipal government subdivides it into North Beacon Hill, Mid-Beacon Hill, Holly Park, and South Beacon Hill, though most people who live there describe their neighborhood as simply "Beacon Hill." Home to the world headquarters of Amazon.com and the Seattle Division of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Puget Sound Health Care System, the hill offers views of downtown, Elliott Bay, First Hill, the Industrial District, Rainier Valley, and, when the weather is clear, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains. It is bounded on the west by Interstate 5, on the north by Interstate 90, on the east by Rainier Avenue S., Cheasty Boulevard S., and Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., and on the south by Seattle city limits. Homes in the northern part of the hill were mostly built in the early 1900s, and so North Beacon Hill contains many excellent examples of Craftsman bungalows and "Seattle box houses" (a local variant of the Foursquare style).
The hill was originally named 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 has, throughout its history, been home to successive waves of immigrants. In the mid to late 20th century, the district became predominately Asian, and this can still be seen today in the many Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Filipino shops, restaurants, and other businesses that line Beacon Avenue South. According to the United States 2000 Census, the population of Beacon Hill is 22,300, and remains racially diverse: 51% Asian, 20% white, 13% black, 9% Hispanic/Latino and 7% other.
Landmarks and institutions
- Jefferson Park: Golf, lawn bowling, open space
- Dr. Jose Rizal Park: views overlooking downtown
- El Centro de la Raza, in the former Beacon Hill School
- 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 cobblestone structures built in 1914
- Cheasty Greenbelt/Cheasty Boulevard Trail
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