West Seattle sits on a peninsula apart from Seattle. This gives it a special character. You can find this in The Junction neighborhood not far from this week’s drawing at SW Dawson Street and 41st Avenue SW.
Activities at the West Seattle Junction
The Junction is a large business area in West Seattle. It is focused on the intersection of California Avenue and Alaska Street. This sketch is on the backside of the Junction. The Junction has many interesting sights including:
- All-Ways Crosswalk
- One of a few all ways crosswalks in Seattle. At the intersection of California Avenue and Alaska Street people can cross diagonally on the cross signal.
- Easy Street Records
- Easy Street records sells records, CDs and other pop culture. They are famous for live performances by local and national artists.
- Holy Rosary Cathedral
- A large catholic cathedral built from brick. The spire of the Holy Rosary Cathedral is an important feature of the West Seattle Skyline.
History of the West Seattle Junction
West Seattle is the oldest neighborhood in Seattle. The Europeans who would found Seattle spent their first winter at Alki Point in West Seattle.
The neighborhood was isolated for the first 50 years of Seattle’s history. The Duwamish River and the marsh where the Duwamish River entered Elliot Bay cut off West Seattle from the rest of the city.
Then in 1907 two trolley lines made it easy to access West Seattle. The Junction neighborhood is where these two trolley lines crossed. Today plans for a light rail line would end in The Junction.
Design of Seattle’s Roads
Seattle is planned on a grid. Roads that run north south are called avenues. Roads that run east west are called streets. Seattle’s many hills and history have caused interesting changes to this plan though.
Seattle’s road names also have a cardinal direction. This matches one of 10 sections the city is divided into:
- SW – West of the Duwamish river
- S – South of Downtown and east of the Duwamish river
- None – Downtown streets do not have a cardinal direction
- E St. – East of downtown
- E – Between the E St.s and the Montlake Cut
- NE – From the Montlake Cut to the north edge of Seattle
- N St. – Between Downtown and Lake Union
- N – From Lake Union to Seattle’s north edge
- W – Between Elliot Bay and the Fremont Cut
- NW – From the Fremont Cut to north edge of Seattle