Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill


Beacon Hill is like a small town within a city, towering over Seattle’s industrial zone and the Rainier Valley. To the west is I-5, Georgetown, and Boeing Field. Just below I-90, the northern edge of the hill is crowned with the grand and distinctive 1933 Art Deco building that was formerly a hospital and, later in the century, headquarters for Amazon.com before their move to South Lake Union. The hill is actually made up of smaller neighborhoods: North Beacon Hill, Mid-Beacon Hill, Holly Park, and South Beacon Hill. When Seattle’s light rail system was built, a tunnel was dug through the middle of the hill, linking downtown Seattle with the Rainier Valley. The station is nearly 16 stories down and is full of colorful and innovative contemporary art that gives riders the feeling of being underwater rather than underground. Inside the tunnel, Bill Bell’s remarkable “Lightsticks” installation flashes playing cards, random words, or semaphore flags when trains enter and leave the station. Many homes on the hill, particularly to the north, were built in the early 1900s and are excellent examples of Craftsman bungalows and “Seattle box houses.” Beacon Hill has a huge Asian population and is jam-packed with Asian restaurants, grocery stores, churches, and shopping centers.