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Seattle Neighborhoods: Republican Hill Climb between Capitol Hill and the Cascade Neighborhood completed on February 25, 1910. Essay 3261 : Printer-Friendly Format

On February 25, 1910, a grand stairway that mounts Capitol Hill from Seattle's Cascade neighborhood, known as the Republican Hill Climb, is completed. The stairway is located between Eastlake Avenue at the bottom and just east of Melrose Avenue at the top. The Republican Hill Climb remains in use for 50 years, until the two lower sections (of its three sections) are removed in the construction of Interstate 5. The top third of the Republican Hill Climb is still (2004) in use.

The stairway mounted the hill in three sections. At the top of each section there was a landing and the barrier of a curving wall where the stair split into two to circumvent it, becoming one stair again on the other side.

In the 1960s, most of the Republican Street Hillclimb was removed for the freeway, for as a city engineer explained. "Freeway traffic moves at relatively high speed without interference from cross-movements. Pedestrians, who are a constant hazard to city driving, are entirely removed."

And so, nearly, was the Cascade Neighborhood removed from Capitol Hill. No longer could a pedestrian climb the hill from Eastlake Avenue to Capitol Hill. What was sacrificed was a very invigorating connection between the two neighborhoods.

Paul Dorpat, "Republican Hill Climb," Seattle Now & Then Vol. 2, 2nd Edition (Seattle: Tartu Publishers, 1988), Story 79.

Travel through time (chronological order):
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Related Topics: Seattle Neighborhoods | Environment | Roads & Rails |

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Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

This essay made possible by:
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Republican Hill Climb from Eastlake to the top of Capitol Hill near Melrose, ca. 1913
Courtesy Lawton Gowey

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HistoryLink is currently conducting an extensive effort to reach as many educators as possible this fall. The scope and depth of our website continue to grow, and the benefits to Washington students and teachers have increased significantly as new content and updated features are added. We are proud to provide resources for all ages and all educational situations, and HistoryLink should be the starting point for all social-studies research projects that focus on aspects of the history of our state. now offers more than 6,800 original, sourced essays including biographies, Cyberpedias, Timelines, and People's Histories. Teachers and students will find essays enhanced with audio and video clips and a suite of essays that have been translated into Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, and Chinese. Map-based apps bring location-specific historical information to iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.

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Image: Ballard High School football players, Seattle, September 1954. Courtesy Museum History & Industry.