The name "Wallingford Hill" for the area begin to appear in real estate advertisements in The Seattle Times and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer by 1908 as the Wallingford Avenue streetcar line was complete. By 1912, the Wallingford name for the neighborhood gained traction as it was used to brand two area churches: Wallingford Church (1414 N 42nd Street) and Wallingford Hill Baptist Mission (1929 N 45th Street). Prior to this point, "Wallingford" only appeared in city directories as a surname or a street address. In 1913, a newly constructed joint fire and police station at the southwest corner of N 45th Street and Densmore Avenue N, was named Wallingford Fire and Police Station (NRHP listed in 1983). The Wallingford name most likely came from John Wallingford, Jr., who was among the early developers that purchased one of the large tract of land north of Lake Union in 1888.
By the end of 1909 the Seattle Times reported that nearly 300 homes had been erected in Wallingford Hill district and by 1925 it was estimated that more the 50,000 people lived in the district. Seattle's population had boomed in the 1920s and residential construction responded with the volume of construction. During that time Wallingford experienced a significant effort to infill its plats. Initially there were no apartment zones in the district and it remained single-family for the most part. Apartment construction was eventually allowed in the late 1920s, which provided greater density to the growing neighborhood. Many three- to four-story apartment blocks were constructed near streetcar lines. Commercial construction also fleshed out key commercial corridors in the neighborhood, including N and NE 45th Street, Stone Way N, and the corner of N 40th Street and Wallingford Avenue N, a key transfer point, just south of the historic district, between the Wallingford and Meridian streetcar lines.
Adapted from: Katie Pratt, co-founder; Spencer Howard, co-founder, Northwest Vernacular, Inc., Wallingford-Meridian Historic District, nomination document, 2022, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
42nd Street North • 45th Street North