The real pronunciation and future of Nagle (Nail?), founding father of Capitol Hill

John Nagle’s name is all over Capitol Hill, though you probably never notice it unless you’re walking down his namesake Place. Nagle was a Seattle pioneer and Capitol Hill landowner who died in 1897. Prior to his death, Nagle’s estate sold 161 acres of his land to the city, which included much of the land that makes up Cal Anderson Park and north Broadway today.

8443523121_64e801da1e_ounnamed (34)The strange stretch of Capitol Hill pavement is about to undergo some major changes as Capitol Hill Station development ramps up in coming years approaching the expected opening of the U-Link light rail extension by early 2016. The first signs of this change are now beginning to show:

Nagle Place Utility Relocation

Starting as early as Thursday, October 30, Sound Transit’s contractor will begin work on Nagle Place between Howell St. and E Pine St. to install underground utilities.

This work will require sawing the pavement, jack hammering, excavation and paving equipment. The project will take approximately one month to complete. Work hours are from 7 a.m. through 6.pm. weekdays.

Once the utility work is complete, crews will restore the area.

During this work, Nagle Pl., between E Pine St and Howell St. will be closed to through traffic.

Residents and patrons should enter Nagle Place at E Pine St. for the duration of the work.

What to expect:

  • Intermittent daytime noise from saws and jackhammers as crews break up concrete to install utilities

  • Sidewalk closures and street parking restrictions near the work zone

  • Traffic delays

  • Access to homes and businesses will be maintained

If, like us, you’ve spent any time searching through city property records, “Nagle’s Addition” should be a familiar term. Every single sliver of land, or plat, in the city is given an official common name, and much of north Capitol Hill is still referred to as a block of “Nagle’s Addition.”

To our surprise, CHS discovered this article which says Nagle’s name is actually pronounced NAIL, not NAY-gul. Whoa!

So, any Nagles out there who care to weigh in? Anyone who lives in the Broadway Building that will now insist on the correct pronunciation of their street? The Capitol Hill that our children — and our future light rail station — inherit depends on it!

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One thought on “The real pronunciation and future of Nagle (Nail?), founding father of Capitol Hill

  1. Sadly, John Nagle ended up in the State Asylum, where he died, at least that’s my understanding. I seem to recall that he married into another one of the early Seattle families who subsumed his land after he was committed. Always sounded a little suspicious to me… Very American Gothic Horror Story…