Seattle Met composite image, VDB Photos, oksana.perkins, and Cascade Creatives/shutterstock.com, Amber Fouts.
In Seattle, “Capitol Hill” can be shorthand for ornate vintage mansions or shiny stacks of studio apartments. Which tracks for an area that packs enough restaurants, bars, small businesses, and civic history to populate an entire municipality. Over the past century, Capitol Hill has assumed myriad identities—auto row, queer community hub, grunge haven, occupied protest zone. Now the neighborhood, which overlooks downtown from across I-5, wages a perpetual battle to retain all that character as development grows more lucrative by the year. In this way (and in so many others) it’s often a microcosm of broader Seattle issues. But make no mistake—Capitol Hill is a culture all its own.