wallWallingford is a neighborhood in north central Seattle, Washington, named after John Noble Wallingford (died 1913). The QFC supermarket at the corner of N 45th Street and Wallingford Avenue N may be regarded as the center of the neighborhood.

John Noble Wallingford was a major local landowner and real estate speculator; at one time his holdings included most of what is now Wallingford and extended north as far as Green Lake. He travelled considerably up and down the West Coast of the United States and lived for a time in Alaska.

Wallingford’s business district extends along N 45th Street from Stone Way N in the west to Sunnyside Avenue N in the east and features many small shops, three banks, a pharmacy, a few taverns and bars, the two Guild 45th movie theaters, the Wallingford Center (the former Interlake Elementary School, now turned into shops and apartments), and numerous restaurants (including the original Dick’s Drive-In, founded 1954).

Public spaces include Gas Works Park, Meridian Playground, and Wallingford playfield. Gas Works Park on Lake Union borders the Burke-Gilman Trail and provides a panoramic extension into Lake Union, with a playground in planning as part of the 2009 parks levy. Meridian playground features a former Roman Catholic home for wayward girls called the Good Shepherd Center, now a shared community space run by Historic Seattle. Major tenants include Seattle Tilth, Meridian School, the Wallingford Senior Center, and the Chapel performance space which features the Wayward Music Series . Wallingford playfield borders recently renovated Hamilton International Middle School and features views and a wading pool open in summer months. To the north lies Lower Woodland Park, which features athletic fields, a skate park, tennis courts, and connections to the Woodland Park Zoo and Greenlake. The University of Wallingford began in 1984. It was started to provide Religious training and Social Gospel Care to the neighborhood. It is located in the Seattle First Church of the Nazarene, behind Dick’s on 45th.

Wallingford is home to several community organizations. The Wallingford Neighborhood Office, located behind Tully’s (now closed — new occupant TBD on the northeast corner of Meridian Avenue N and N 45th street) helps organize local events. The Wallingford Community Council meets the first Wednesday every month in the Good Shepherd Center and engages the community with government organizations. Sustainable Wallingford is a residents group dedicated to sustainable living. Seattle Tilth runs the public gardens and plant sales at the Good Shepherd Center. Solid Ground (formerly The Fremont Public Association) is colocated with the Wallingford Branch of the Seattle Public Library and runs a food bank and family support services. The Wallingford Boys and Girls club provides a safe, social space for kids and teens along 45th, while the Wallingford Senior Center provides a safe social space for older folks.

Just south of N 45th is the former (Abraham) Lincoln High School, closed in 1981, now used primarily to house public schools “in exile” while their own buildings undergo major renovations: Ballard High School was rebuilt in 1997-1999, Roosevelt High School (Seattle) in 2004-2006, Hamilton Middle School in 2008-2010, and McDonald / John Hay Elementary Schools beginning in 2010.

Like neighboring Fremont (and, indeed, most Seattle neighborhoods), Wallingford’s boundaries are not fixed, but they may be thought of as Stone Way N to the west, beyond which is Fremont; Lake Union to the south; Interstate 5 to the east, beyond which is the University District; and Woodland Park and NE 60th St. to the north, beyond which is Green Lake.

A secondary concentration of mostly retail businesses on N 55th Street near Meridian Avenue is known variously as Tangletown or Meridian and considered by some to be more closely associated with Greenlake than Wallingford. The likely source for the name Tangletown is the irregular configuration of the blocks, some of which follow the contours of Green Lake, others conforming to the city’s basic grid. Meridian sometimes refers to a wider neighborhood than Tangletown, which refers strictly to the retail district. The region south of N 40th Street is also known as Northlake or SoFo (South of Fortieth).

Major annual events in the neighborhood include the Wallingford Kiddie Parade as part of Seafair, the Wallingford Wurst Festival run by St Benedict’s Church, and the Family Fourth fireworks show at Gas Works Park. Smaller events include Seattle Tilth’s chicken coop tour and the Wallingford Neighborhood office’s garden and home tours.