Humbler beginnings are hard to come by. In its early days, Greenwood (then called Woodland) was known for its wet, marshy landscape and, frankly, its cemetery. As demand for land grew and the trolley lines made their way north, the cemetery was transplanted to Crown Hill and the building began. By the 1940’s, Greenwood Avenue was known as the “Miracle Mile” because of its plethora of shops, pharmacies, banks, restaurants, and even a department store. The bog threatened to swallow up some of the lower houses, but the annexation of Greenwood into the city of Seattle provided much needed infrastructure changes that kept the neighborhood from sinking back from whence it came.
Today, Greenwood’s business district remains as successful as it was decades ago. The area around 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue is booming with coffeehouses, antique stores, bars, and eateries, along with a community theater. The community hosts many events that appeal to families and urbanites alike. Things tend to quiet down at night, which makes this the perfect place to live if you like to be on the move during the day and a homebody when the sun goes down.
Activities and Attractions
Let’s start with the major events that Greenwood hosts every year. There’s the Greenwood Car Show every June, and the beloved Seafair parade in August—complete with the Seafair Pirates and a synchronized motorcycle routine by the local police force. Monthly art walks showcase not only local artists, but give you a chance to tour all of the interesting businesses along Greenwood Avenue.
The Taproot Theatre is still going strong despite being damaged in a fire in 2009. One of the largest mid-size theatre companies in Seattle, their mission is to “create theatre that explores the beauty and questions of life while providing hope to our search for meaning.” They accomplish this by putting on plays on their main stage, offering classes to budding actors of all ages, and by traveling to schools and clubs to perform on the road. They even have their own café now!
Other worthy stops include the Greenwood library, newly renovated and a pleasant space, Top Ten Toys, one of the coolest toy stores in the city, and Green Bean Coffeehouse, which devotes equal time to making a great community as it does making a great latte. Try Mr. Gyros for a pita wrapped around something amazing, or go to Naked City Taphouse for a cold brew and yummy dinner. The latest hot spot is Chuck’s Hop Shop – proudly deemed “The Land of a Thousand Beers”. It also features a rotating schedule of daily food trucks – making it the perfect spot for a quick bite and a beer! And if you have a sweet tooth, the case of homemade truffles at Chocolati Café is sure to make your cavities ache for more.
Homes in Greenwood
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Greenwood has risen from the bog of its past (literally!) to become a busy, family-friendly, affordable neighborhood.