“Oh, I live in Wahh-ling-fuhhd, dahling.” Well, forget it! The Seattle version of Wallingford is definitely not snobbish, nor will it cost you millions of dollars. But English accents are welcome.
The neighborhood takes its name from a rich landowner who possessed almost the entire area from Green Lake down to Lake Union. It was annexed into the city in the 1890’s and began to grow once a trolley was built to connect downtown with Green Lake.
In 1906, a large industrial area was developed where coal was turned into gas–the area now known as Gasworks Park. Despite the fact that it spewed ash and sparks everywhere, the neighborhood continued to grow, attracting schools, businesses, and homes. By 1920, Wallingford was known as one of the more popular and fastest-growing spots in Seattle.
Wallingford has a nice mix of down-home, been-here-forever places (Dick’s Burgers
and the Durn Good Grocery
, for example) and trendy, hot-for-fall places, like Molly Moon
ice cream and Tilth
. The busiest area is along 45th Street, which is always bustling with activity as people visit the ever-changing lineup of restaurants, bars, and shops. Farther from the action lies the residential area with some pretty cool old homes.
Activities and Attractions
As we mentioned earlier, there is tons to do along 45th Street. The Guild Theater, a two-screen cinema originally built in 1919, is still a popular attraction for moviegoers. Before the show, try out the Wallingford Pizza House for one of their famous “dome” pizzas–you have to see it to understand it. Afterwards, pop into Murphy’s Pub for a nightcap.
The Wallingford Center, an old school building that was recently renovated to house apartments and retail spaces, is a big attraction. Year-round, head inside for a look-see around all of the gift shops, and make sure you grab a Trophy cupcake while you’re there!
Gasworks Park is also a major landmark in the area. Learn a bit of history while touring the old plant, or maybe try your hand at kite-flying at the top of the hill. This is also a perfect place to hang out on the 4th of July, where you can picnic and watch the fireworks.
Of course you can’t talk about Wallingford without giving a nod to that iconic QFC sign. They recently remodeled the building, but kept the sign. A good thing, too–otherwise The People may have revolted.
Homes in Wallingford
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If you’re like me, the word “Wallingford” brings to mind a snobbish million-dollar estate in England somewhere.