Wallingford, Seattle, Washington

From Academic Kids


Wallingford is a neighborhood in north central Seattle, Washington, named after John Noble Wallingford (died 1913). The QFC supermarket at the corner of N. 45th Street and Wallingford Avenue N. may be regarded as the center of the neighborhood; its large W A L L I N G F O R D neon sign is made in part from letters in the old F O O D G I A N T sign that adorned QFC's predecessor for decades.

John Noble Wallingford was a major local landowner and real estate speculator; at one time his holdings included most of what is now Wallingford and extended north as far as Green Lake. He travelled considerably up and down the West Coast of the United States and lived for a time in Alaska, but Seattle in general, and the neighborhood now named after him in particular, remained his major place of investment.

Wallingford's business district extends along N. 45th Street from Stone Way N. in the west to Sunnyside Avenue N. in the east and features many restaurants, about a hundred small shops, two banks, a pharmacy, a few taverns and bars, two movie theaters, the Wallingford Center (a former elementary school now turned into shops), about 15 restaurants (including the original Dick's Drive-In, founded 1954), and (upstairs) condominium apartments. Nearby, just south of N. 45th, is the former Lincoln High School, now used primarily to house public high schools "in exile" while their own buildings undergo major renovations. (Ballard High School was rebuilt in 1997-1999, and Roosevelt High School will be renovated in 2004-2006 if all goes as planned.) Just north of N. 45th is Meridian Park, including the Good Shepherd Center, a former Roman Catholic home for wayward girls.

Like Fremont, Wallingford's boundaries are not fixed, but they may be thought of as Stone Way N. to the west, beyond which is Fremont; Lake Union to the south; Interstate 5 to the east, beyond which is the University District; and Woodland Park and N.E. 60th Street to the north, beyond which is Green Lake. The secondary concentration of mostly retail businesses on N. 55th Street near Meridian Avenue is known variously as Tangletown or Meridian and considered by some to be outside of Wallingford proper. Meridian sometimes refers to a wider neighborhood than Tangletown, which refers strictly to the retail district. The region south of N. 40th Street is also known as Northlake.

Gas Works Park on Lake Union is on a peninsula that juts into Lake Union from Wallingford just south of the Burke-Gilman Trail. To the northwest of Wallingford is Woodland Park, featuring the Woodland Park Zoo and a rose garden.

Annual events in the neighborhood include the Wallingford Wurst Festival and the What's Cookin' In Wallingford food festival, as well as the Family Fourth fireworks show every Independence Day at Gas Works Park.

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