Exploring First Hill
The First Hill neighborhood in Seattle is commonly referred to as Pill Hill because it’s home of three major health care facilities – Harborview Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, and Virginia Mason Medical Center.
The hill is named for being the first hill one encounters traveling east from downtown Seattle to Lake Washington. First Hill is bounded by Interstate 5 on the west, by E. Pike and E. Madison Streets on the north, and on the south by the International District. The City of Seattle has a conflict about the east boundary – some say Broadway and Boren, while others say 12th Ave. The First Hill Streetcar connects First Hill with the International District and the Capitol Hill light rail station.
Condos and apartments rule as the strongest housing option, and you’ll find classic buildings as they were some of the first built as Seattle grew.
First Hill rose to popularity in the 1890’s as a location close enough to downtown for convenience, but far enough out to offer a sense of retreat for the wealthier residents of Seattle. Among the elite were Charles Frye (whose private art collection is now open to the public at Frye Art Museum), contractor Morgan Carkeek (for whom Carkeek Park is named), and William Boeing, found of The Boeing Company.