The new names of Capitol Hill

On CHS, we are dedicated to place. We focus our conversation on one part of one city. And we give parts of that one part names to help organize the conversation.

You can see the CHS neighborhood names we started with at the top of every page and on this map.

We’ve had a few discussions about updating these labels to better organize what we’re writing about and better describe the areas of the Hill. Here’s one thread. Here’s another.

Some of the issues raised about the current names:

  • Institution Belt is kinda mean
  • St. Marks is a better name for An Historic District
  • I-5 Shores is brilliant and has to stay
  • We need sub-names like Radio Point

Final Answer and jonglix created the map attached to this post to present a potential new organization. It solves many of the issues raised without losing the fun of the original name set.

The only issue I see is the confusion of splitting the parks across different ‘hoods. If I’m writing about nudist jugglers in Volunteer Park, does it get filed under Hilltop North or St. Marks?

So, I propose ratifying the attached map as the new CHS neighborhood map with two modifications:
1) Volunteer Park’s entirety is included in Hilltop North (don’t get all uppity, St. Marks — another option is to add you to Hilltop, too)
2) Cal Anderson/Bobby Morris entirety is included in Broadway.

And I put to the floor a critically important question —
A) Is Cafe Presse’s stretch of 12th Ave Capitol Hill?

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35 thoughts on “The new names of Capitol Hill

  1. Can we add a “South Madison Annex” to include that little stretch of unique and tasty places? Maybe from Madison to Cherry or Marion?

  2. I incorporated some more suggestions here:,-122.31534&spn=0.048245,0.084372&z=14

  3. The Capitol Hill Community Council boundaries, which we were thinking of during the recent elections, are: “The Boundaries of the CHCC shall be I-5 (west), Pike/Madison (south), 24th Ave. (east) and SR 520/Interlaken (north).”

    a) equate map boundaries with CHCC boundaries
    b) color the white bit south of 520 and west of 24th and call it Montlake. I suspect Montlakers will do their own thing, but it’s free to be inclusive.
    c) consider sharing the Pike-Pine area: a couple of people turned up at the election, realized they lived south of the CHCC Pike Street boundary, and (with commendable honesty) upped and left!

    In general hard fixed line boundaries are problems. Can we have fuzzy gradations of color separating the different areas (I suspect that, like text on maps, is beyond Google Maps)?


  4. I thought calling the 15th/Volunteer Park area “Fancy Pants” was just brilliant. I’ll miss that name. Otherwise, I like the new naming conventions.

  5. Miller Park description: Historically part of Capitol Hill but officially in Madison-Miller Urban Village .Single family, some apartments, small commercial strip on 19th.
    Suggested additions: Many new townhomes between John & Madison, several large multifamily neighborhood commercial developments built and planned along Madison.

  6. Brothers and sisters! I urge you to open your arms to the good people of Cafe Presse and Stumptown… let us clasp them to our Capitol Hilly bosom, make them our own, and prevent the scheming neighborhoods to the South from snatching away yon delicious Frenchy snacks.

  7. I’m happy to go with the CHCC boundaries if others agree. Although I do think Montlake is a stretch. Fuzzy boundaries are sorta possible…I can try that too

    Also not sure what, if anything, should be in the descriptions.

  8. Fuzzy will happen. We should draw lines.

    This is not the CHCC.

    The latest map jonglix links to is good even with the sub-Madison annexations. Though I will ask to cut Seneca Slope. Also, the descriptions detract from the art of it all. No need to explain!

    I like the Cafe Presse discussion. Please continue.

  9. OK, I’ll cut Seneca Slope and Squire Park unless some readers chime in from there. I’ll keep Radio Point and extend Pike/Pine south to include Cafe Presse, by popular demand. Might keep “fancy pants” in parentheses for sentimental reasons.
    Final and I can make up a nice new map without descriptions

  10. My mistake, Jonglix correct. CHCC bylaws do say: “SR 520/Interlaken (north).”
    They also refer to a map that nobody has seen recently but which _may_ be in Ann Donovan’s basement!

  11. Edit – I guess its fair to include that strip of restaurants on 12th as a logical extension. Somehow, whenever I read south of Madison I jump to conclusions.

  12. sorry dudes but cafe presse is on first hill, as is the SU campus i know and love.


    why not just have “first hill” (or to be cute, the ever so lame “pill hill”) be added to the map? it is close enough to the pike pine corridor and to cal anderson that people from first hill probably interact with capitol hill EVERY DAY

  13. At the risk of extreme geeky pedantism. However, learning/fussing about the towers was how I got into the addictive world of neighborhood activism.

    I presume “radio point” refers to the large “radio” towers on Madison. Actually only one of them (KCTS) has radio stations on it (KUOW, KEXP). The other two are principally TV towers.

    So, rather than “radio point” how about “Tower Triangle” as a name?

    (BTW the area in question is part of the [rather dormant] Central Neighborhood Association area.)

    Geekily yours,

  14. the remaining debate mainly concerns the South of Madison area.

    I’ve heard many suggestions for naming the area around the “radio” towers. Does anyone want to second any of them (Radio Point, Tower Triangle, Mad Cap,Union Triangle) ?

    Where to drawn the southern boundary of Pike/Pine: Most are willing to go as far as Union, others might want to stretch it to Spring to include Presse. I think a jog south to Spring is justifiable but don’t want to go any farther into First Hill / Seattle U.

  15. Presse, Lark, Licorous, et c. are all in the spiritual appendix of Pike/Pine. It needs its own tiny spot on the map just for the sake of humor.

    Also: Save “Fancy Pants” and “Little Hill”. Merging parts of “Institution Belt” into the other hoods might be nicer, but let’s not sacrifice accuracy for the sake of politeness.

  16. maybe the parks shouldn’t be part of any sub-neighborhood? Maybe Institution Belt should be named in relation to the park instead?

  17. Radio Point is not part of Capitol Hill. Great name, though, regardless of its inaccuracy. Similarly, Cafe Presse and all other points on 12th south of Madison aren’t on the hill either. A spiritual appendix, sure, deserving of its own name and an occasional mention on a Cap Hill blog, but not part of it.

  18. We’re going to add some of the border states because people will undoubtedly write about the areas here and I want a good filing system. This is all about order, James! Without order, anarchy.

  19. … but at least give Olive/Denny it’s own hood. Are we really going to say that The Elite is I-5 shores and Clever Dunnes is Pike/Pine?

  20. How about this?
    OLIVE: Carve off BROADWAY below Harvard between Olive Way and Olive St. Carve off PIKE/PINE above Pine. Carve off I-5 SHORES below Olive Way.

  21. i propose that, to solve the splitting of volunteer park between st mark’s and the fancy pants, the area within the volunteer park/lake view cometary boarders be declared a separate, neutral area belonging solely to itself with no residential inclusion. that area is, if you will, a sort of “spiritual” center to the hill where members of all of the sub-sections can come together to co-mingle as citizens of the greater cap hill community. also, it would help to organize stories about the goings-on there into their own, easily found section instead of having to search for them within the contents of a sub-neighborhood section.

    also, pike/pine most assuredly extends north to at least e olive st, if not e howell st along harvard.

  22. I moved the boundary south to Olive St so Olive/Denny is now solidly part of the Shores. Olive Way is practically a freeway on-ramp so I think it’s fair enough

  23. I gaze at St. Mark’s from my toilet everyday. Much better than historic district, because my street is one block off of said historic district. This comment is pure fluff, that is all.

  24. “I-5 Shores” is cute and all, but that area has been known as the West slope for many, many years.

    It’s unclear to me what the intent of all this is, but before you go renaming things, it might be wise to check in with some people who have lived here more than a couple years to find out what names are already in use.

  25. Simple answer is that I want a way to organize the content on the site that is useful, descriptive, and, (importantly!) interesting. We should have a little old and a little new.

  26. While I like the spirit, as a practical matter, I need a category to assign park-related posts too and I don’t want to have category bloat of adding categories for each park.

  27. I’m partial to “Radio Point” as the tag for this area because I live there and it sounds cool! To the other James: Radio Point is a state of mind! Even though the towers themselves may not stand on hallowed Cap Hill turf, from afar the towers are a beacon to my Capitol Hill home at 16th & Olive.

    Humbly submit revised “Radio Point” as the area south of Howell between 15th & 19th, with Pine as the southern boundary.

  28. There chimed in! Squire Park is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seattle, and as such deserves to be represented…!

  29. I’m a Montlaker, and our southern boundary is E. Interlaken Blvd according to the Montlake Community Club. Our western boundary is 16th Ave E. Hope that helps with the boundary drawing.