Ravenna is a neighborhood in northeastern Seattle, Washington, named after Ravenna, Italy. The neighborhood is mostly residential, with several businesses located along the busiest streets, in addition to University Village Shopping Center. Many of the residents are graduate students at the University of Washington, which is about a mile or two to the south. Its main distinction is the restored Cowen Park-Ravenna Park, which is near the popular walking or biking route between Green Lake and the Burke-Gilman Trail near University Village.
What is now Ravenna has been inhabited since the end of the last glacial period (c. 8,000 B.C.E.—10,000 years ago). The Native American Duwamish (before contact, the Dkhw’Duw’Absh, "the People of the Inside") tribe of the Lushootseed (Skagit-Nisqually) Coast Salish nations had the prominent village of SWAH-tsoo-gweel ("portage") on then-adjacent Union Bay, and what is now Ravenna was their backyard before the arrival of White settlers. The Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway was built c. 1886 along what is now the Burke-Gilman Trail, following what was the shoreline past where the UW power plant and University Village are today. In 1891, a streetcar line followed what is now 15th Avenue NE, then followed near the southern boundary of what is now Ravenna, where the narrow right-of-way remains clearly visible beside the park. Ravenna Boulevard was built in 1903 as a small part of the Olmsted Brothers grand plan for Seattle streets and parks. Ravenna incorporated as an independent town in 1906 toward annexation to Seattle in 1907. Ravenna south of the Burke-Gilman Trail is filled land from dump sites at 26th Avenue, filling the drained Union Bay Marsh and much of Union Bay. University Village (1956) was built on the southernmost reclaimed land in Ravenna.
Ravenna and Bryant are bounded on the west by 15th and 20th Avenues NE, beyond which lies the Roosevelt neighborhood; on the north by NE 75th and 85th Streets, beyond which lie Maple Leaf and Wedgwood; on the east by 35th and 25th Avenues NE, beyond which lie View Ridge, Windermere and Laurelhurst (or Bryant neighborhood in between Ravenna and neighbborhoods east); and on the south by NE Ravenna Boulevard, and NE Blakeley or NE 45th Streets, beyond which lie the University District and sometimes University Village (boundaries are informal). University Village and Calvary Cemetery are in south Ravenna. Bryant, or Ravenna-Bryant, extends the neighborhood east to 45th Avenue, south of 75th Street and north of Sand Point Way. That portion of south-central Ravenna adjacent to the University Village shopping complex is often considered part of the University Village neighborhood, and Ravenna east of 25th Avenue NE is Bryant or Ravenna-Bryant.
The principal arterial is 25th Avenue NE; minor arterials are 15th and 35th Avenues, and NE 65th Street; 40th Avenue NE and NE 55th Street are collector arterials. Besides the eponymous boulevard, its most well-known street is Candy Cane Lane. On the length of Park Road (one block and a little roundabout) residents have been creating an elaborate Christmas display since 1951, bringing bumper-to-bumper traffic to the boulevard on snowy nights. The 20th Avenue collector arterial has become increasingly bike- and pedestrian-friendly with the closure of the park bridge to motor vehicles (1975). Ravenna Boulevard is a popular bikeway.
There are small commercial clusters on 25th Avenue between Blakeley and 55th, on 55th east of 25th, on 65th between 20th and 25th, and along Blakeley. An eponymous grocery has been at the same location on the boulevard since the 1920s. Most emblematic of the neighborhood are Queen Mary, serving Victorian English Tea; the Duchess Tavern (1934), along with the Blue Moon, the oldest still-extant around the University of Washington; and that the only Volvo dealership in town is family-owned and in Ravenna-Bryant.
Bryant is a residential neighborhood in northeast Seattle, Washington. It is bounded by 25th Avenue NE on the west, Union Bay Place NE and NE 45th Street on the south, Sand Point Way NE on the east, and NE 65th Street on the north. The Burke-Gilman Trail runs along the south and east margins of the neighborhood. Much like the Roosevelt neighborhood to the west, the neighborhood takes its name from a school, Bryant Elementary School, located at 33rd Avenue NE and NE 60th Street. The school itself was named after William Cullen Bryant. Bryant Park is located on NE 65th Street at 40th Avenue NE The neighborhood is sometimes known as Ravenna-Bryant, due to its proximity to Ravenna Park.
Most of the commercial establishments in Bryant are along the north side of 55th Street between 25th and 35th Avenues, including many restaurants and shops. The west end is home to an original Kidd Valley location. The Duchess bar on the south side of 55th street is a popular place for patrons to watch the University of Washington football games. Across the street is Queen Mary's, an elegant English teahouse. The neighborhood is also home to a Metropolitan Market, a high-end grocery store, on 40th Avenue at 55th Street.