eastEastlake is a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, so named because of its location on the eastern shore of Lake Union. Its main thoroughfare is Eastlake Avenue E., which runs from Howell Street at the northeast corner of Downtown north over the University Bridge to the University District, where it connects to Roosevelt Way N.E. and 11th Avenue N.E. A second thoroughfare is Boylston Avenue E.; as an arterial, it parallels Interstate 5 for the four blocks between E. Newton Street to the south and E. Roanoke Street to the north, acting as an extension of Capitol Hill’s Lakeview Boulevard E.

Eastlake is bounded on the west by Lake Union; on the north by Portage Bay, beyond which is the University District; on the east by Interstate 5, beyond which is Capitol Hill; and on the south by E. Garfield Street, beyond which is the Cascade neighborhood.

Victor Steinbrueck wrote of the neighborhood in 1962 that it was “progressing from a generally mediocre residential community to one of apartments and small business and offices.”[1]

The neighborhood contains a mixture of residential buildings, both houses and apartments, and small businesses, especially on Eastlake Avenue. Though populated by all manner of Seattleites, Eastlake is a particularly attractive location for people with ties to the University of Washington, which can be reached quickly by a number of bus routes. The neighborhood is also home to, among other things, stores, restaurants, the original Red Robin gourmet burger restaurant(now closed), a bakery, and numerous houseboats.

Near the north tip of the neighborhood is a pseudo-Norman French building known as the Martello, which the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods characterizes as “one of Eastlake’s most significant buildings.” Built as a private home in 1916, it was remodeled in the 1920s by Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt as a furniture store. For many years it was a tavern, later a bar, called Rapunzel’s;[2] it is now Romio’s Pizza.

The annual Eastlake Shake fair (renamed Lake Fest in 2006) is held in a closed-off section of Franklin Avenue E. between E. Roanoke and E. Louisa Streets on the playground of the TOPS@Seward public school. The fair features live music, local vendors, and—a neighborhood favorite—the Eastlake Shake Pet Parade.

In 2006 a group of Eastlake residents and friends transformed the E. Louisa street end on Lake Union into a park whose focus is a pétanque court called the Eastlake Boulledrome. Built from granite curbs recycled from Pioneer Square and pitching mound material from Safeco Field, it is now the “home field” for the Independent Petanque Club of Eastlake. The project cost $15,000, which was awarded from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund.

Current notable Eastlake residents include wealthy insurance magnates-turned philanthropists Matthew and Julie Hancock, retired four-star General Andrew J. Kelly, and 2002 America’s Cup runner-up Elleson Schurtz.

Eastlake is also home to Seattle’s highest concentration of houseboats, the likes of which were made famous in the 1993 film Sleepless in Seattle. Their architectural styles range from the bohemian-eclectic to exuberant stucco-modern. New construction of houseboats taking place on Fairview Ave. E. is underway, with the slips alone often selling for over $1 million.