Laurelhurst is an affluent residential neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, USA. It is bounded on the northeast by Ivanhoe Place N.E., beyond which is Windermere; on the northwest by Sand Point Way N.E. and N.E. 45th Street, beyond which are Hawthorne Hills, Ravenna, and University Village; on the west by Mary Gates Memorial Drive N.E., beyond which is the East Campus of the University of Washington; on the east by Lake Washington; and on the southwest by Union Bay. Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center is located in its northwest corner. The area has been a part of Seattle since 1910.
In recent years, the neighborhood has been experiencing growth in the retail and customer service sectors due to the successful expansion of the local mall, University Village. However, many neighborhood residents are feeling the adverse effects of such rapid expansion.
Many residents of Laurelhurst try to play down their affluent image, but anyone traveling through this lakefront community with its winding, tree-lined boulevards would know this is not an ordinary working-class neighborhood, but rather one populated by professionals such as doctors, lawyers, professors, and engineers. Today's Laurelhurst is a high-end community of mostly large homes, many with eye-filling views of Mount Rainier and Lake Washington. The neighborhood's proximity to the University of Washington, good shopping, and public transport, have made it one of Seattle's most attractive places in which to live.
Laurelhurst is a tight-knit community with a strong community center and PTA. The Laurelhurst Beach Club is a favorite among children during the summer and is where Bill Gates swam as a boy. Laurelhurst Park and Community Center serves as a gathering place, offering programs and special events including an annual salmon bake held on the first Thursday in August.
Laurelhurst has seen its fair share of celebrities, including Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, who have rented a house on the waterfront; Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was seen at a dinner party hosted by residents Stan and Alta Barer; Gary Larson, creator of The Far Side, who lived in Laurelhurst before moving to Windermere; and musician Duff McKagan, bassist for Guns N' Roses
Despite its WASPy, blue-blood reputation, residents insist Laurelhurst is not pretentious. Nor is everyone a millionaire, though some are and have waterfront mansions to prove it. The median home price in the neighborhood is $785,000, over double the regional figure of $325,000.
Windermere is a well-to-do residential neighborhood named after Windermere in England's Lake District. It is bounded on the north by Magnuson Park, part of Sand Point; on the northwest by Sand Point Way N.E., beyond which is Hawthorne Hills; on the southwest by Ivanhoe Place N.E., beyond which is Laurelhurst; and on the southeast by Lake Washington. The area has been a part of Seattle since 1910.