Holy Names Academy

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Holy Names Academy
728 21st Avenue East

, ,

United States
Coordinates47°37′34.19″N 122°18′14.94″W / 47.6261639°N 122.3041500°W / 47.6261639; -122.3041500Coordinates: 47°37′34.19″N 122°18′14.94″W / 47.6261639°N 122.3041500°W / 47.6261639; -122.3041500
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
FoundersSisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
CEEB code481100
Head of schoolElizabeth Swift '71
GenderGirls only
Enrollment692 (2017-2018)
Average class size22
Student to teacher ratio14:1
Color(s)Maroon and grey
Athletics conferenceWIAA 3A – Seattle Metropolitan League
Team nameCougars
AccreditationNWAIS, NWAC
NewspaperThe Dome
Tuition$16,992 (2018-2019)

Holy Names Academy is a Catholic private all-girls college-preparatory high school, founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in 1880 and located on the east slope of Seattle's Capitol Hill. It is the oldest continually operating school in Washington state.[1] Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, the school is governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and is under the trusteeship of the Sisters of the Holy Names; a number of religious sisters are on the board or the faculty/staff. The school has been named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education four separate times, and has been multiple times ranked among "America's Most Challenging High Schools" in an annual survey by The Washington Post.[2].


The school was officially founded on June, 15 1880 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Its first pupils were 21 day students, one boarding student, and one music student. Initially it was located in two rented houses at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Seneca Street in downtown Seattle.[3] [4] In 1885 the academy moved to its first purpose-built home, a multi-story structure in the Second Empire style crowned with a tall steeple. It was located on 7th Avenue near Jackson Street in what is now in the Chinatown/International District. An advertisement in Polk's Seattle City Directory from 1895 stated: "Thorough instruction is given in all the English branches, art, music, elocution and modern languages. Plain sewing and every variety of fancy needlework taught without extra charge, stenography and typewriting are among the elective studies."[5]

By 1904 planned regrading works on Jackson Street meant another move for the school to what would be their present home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Construction began in 1906 and was completed in 1908. The building on 7th Avenue was demolished that same year. The architect of the new domed building, designed in the Baroque Revival style, was Albert Breitung. Its design has been preserved over the years with few exterior changes.[6][7]

The adjacent Jeanne Marie McAteer Lee Gymnasium was built in 1990 on what was previously tennis courts. In 2017, the school opened the Mary Herche Pavilion, a 3-story structure that connects the original building and the gym, and features a student commons area, a fitness center for all students and faculty, an expanded cafeteria with outdoor seating, and other improvements.[8]

Holy Names Academy had originally incorporated a boarding school and grade school. A normal school was added in 1908. The normal school closed in 1930, the grade school in 1963, and the boarding school in 1967.[6]


Notable alumnae[edit]


  1. ^ Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering (19 August 2014). "UW CSE hearts Holy Names Academy". University of Washington. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  2. ^ "U.S. high school rankings by state — Most challenging schools". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-10-03.
  3. ^ Douthit, Mary Osborn (ed.) (1905). The Souvenir of Western Women, p. 108. Anderson & Duniway
  4. ^ Michelson, Alan (2015). "Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, Holy Names Academy #1. Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD). Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  5. ^ Michelson, Alan (2015). "Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, Holy Names Academy #2". Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD). Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b Dorpat, Paul (14 January 2007). "Grande Dame, Holy Names". Seattle Times. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  7. ^ Historic Seattle Preservation Foundation (2013). Historic Seattle, p. 3. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  8. ^ Staff (25 September 2017). "Holy Names Mary Herche Pavilion". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  9. ^ Purdue University Department of English. "Venetria K. Patton". Retrieved 19 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Holy Names Academy at Wikimedia Commons