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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 |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

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:
The SCHOONER Project:
The Hon. Jan Drago
Seattle City Council
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

Republican Hill Climb from Eastlake to the top of Capitol Hill near Melrose, ca. 1913
Courtesy Lawton Gowey

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  Welcome To The Education Resource!

New Resources Examine
Early Transportation and Settlement

HistoryLink's newest curriculum, People on the Move: Early Travel in Washington State, uses local history as a lens through which to view and examine United States history, particularly westward expansion and the role of improvements in transportation and travel.

Using HistoryLink's new Seattle-to-Walla Walla Map, four theme-related HistoryLink Elementary essays, support materials, and links to additional resources, this complete curriculum guides students as they explore the early history of Washington through transportation and settlement. Based on Washington State Social Studies Education Standards and Classroom-Based Assessments for elementary and middle grades, the curriculum requires textual and map analysis to explore how the landscape and natural resources influenced non-Native settlement.

The People on the Move curriculum was created as part of a Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation and Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to record and interpret the historic transportation corridor between Walla Walla and Seattle, including many wagon routes and two early historic highways, the Sunset and Inland Empire.

HistoryLink worked with Fennelle De Forest Miller Consultants, Environmental Science Associates, and Manastash Mapping to reconstruct the historic wagon and highway routes and incorporate them into GIS maps. The data gathered will be included in the state's WISAARD database and accessible online.

To describe how local economies changed and grew over time, HistoryLink historians have added to this data information about cities and towns along the route and stories of Native peoples and early settlers. Full-length essays were added to and were combined with the GIS map to create a printed map, which is available at cultural institutions along the route. Coming soon to the App Store is a Wagon Roads iPhone app that includes a section of Kid Questions designed to spark conversation between children and families as they explore these important routes.

Image: Roadster along Sunset Highway, ca. 1910s Postcard, Courtesy