Queen Anne Hill is a neighborhood and geographic feature in Seattle, and is located northwest of downtown. The neighborhood sits on the highest named hill in the city, with a maximum elevation of 456 feet. It covers an area of 2.8 square miles, and has a population of about 32,000. Queen Anne is bounded on the north by the Lake Washington Ship Canal; on the west by 15th and Elliott Avenues West; on the east by Lake Union and Aurora Avenue North. There is some debate as to whether or not Queen Anne includes Lower Queen Anne, also known as Uptown, the area at the southern base of the hill, just north and west of Seattle Center. Whether or not Lower Queen Anne is considered a separate neighborhood matters in setting Queen Anne’s southern boundary, which is either West Mercer Street or Denny Way.
Including all of the sections of the neighborhood, North Queen Anne, West Queen Anne, East Queen Anne and Lower Queen Anne (or Uptown), Queen Anne has approximately 18,000 households and a total population of about 32,000. Queen Anne is disproportionately populated by unmarried, young adults. The population is more racially homogeneous, better educated, and wealthier than Seattle as a whole.
The Seattle World Fair came to Queen Anne in 1962. Named the Century 21 Exposition, the fair expanded on existing Civic Center infrastructure. After the fair, the grounds became the Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Experience Music Project, Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the north terminal of the Seattle monorail, and Key Arena.
The Seattle Super Sonics began playing at the then-Seattle Central Coliseum in 1967. The Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team began playing next door at the Mercer Street Arena in 1977. The Seattle Storm basketball team began play at Key Arena in 2000.
The hill became a popular spot for the city’s early economic and cultural elite to build their mansions, and the name derives from the architectural style typical of many of the early homes. Queen Anne is home to 29 official Seattle landmarks, including 12 historic houses. A group of residences on 14th Avenue West, built between 1890 and 1910, include one of the few remaining
Queen Anne style houses on the hill. Queen Anne Boulevard, which circles the crown of the hill, and some of the original retaining walls complete with decorative brickwork, balustrades, and street lights, are also designated landmarks.
Queen Anne is home to four Seattle public schools, four private schools, and one private university. The neighborhood houses one library listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been named a landmark by Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board.
The Seattle Parks and Recreation department maintains 25 parks on Queen Anne. Perhaps one of the city’s most popular parks, Kerry Park, is located in Queen Anne on Highland Drive. It covers a mere 1.26 acres, but boasts one of the most attractive views of the city, with downtown at the center of focus along with the Space Needle. On clear days, Mount Rainier can be seen in the background. From this point one is also afforded beautiful views of Elliott Bay and West Seattle.