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Maple Leaf, Seattle

Coordinates: 47°41′44″N 122°19′03″W / 47.69556°N 122.31750°W / 47.69556; -122.31750
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Maple Leaf, Seattle
Coordinates: 47°41′44″N 122°19′03″W / 47.69556°N 122.31750°W / 47.69556; -122.31750
CountryUnited States
Zip Code
Area code206

Maple Leaf is a mostly residential neighborhood located in northeast Seattle.


The area that is now the Maple Leaf neighborhood appeared on maps in 1894 as a plat by real estate promoters and was called the Maple Leaf Addition to the Green Lake Tract.[1] The name may have come from the Maple Saw Mill that operated to the east on Lake Washington or from some maple trees that once grew in the area. There is also an apocryphal story that Maple Leaf was so far north of downtown Seattle that it got its name for being near Canada.[2]

It wasn't until after World War II that the entirety of Maple Leaf neighborhood was within the Seattle city limits. Prior to 1954 the city line was located at 85th Street, but after a series of annexations took place the city limits moved to its current location of 145th Street.[3]

Neighborhood of the Year[edit]

In 1986 Maple Leaf was given the title of national "Neighborhood of the Year" by Neighborhoods USA. Seattle Mayor Charles Royer nominated Maple Leaf for the award.[4]

Boundaries and geography[edit]

Although Seattle neighborhood boundaries are unofficial, Maple Leaf lies between Interstate 5 in the west and State Route 522 (also known as Lake City Way) in the east. The neighborhood goes as far north as Northgate Way and as far south as NE 75th Street.[5]

Bordering neighborhoods include Roosevelt neighborhood to the south; Pinehurst and Victory Heights neighborhoods of the Northgate district to the north; Lake City and Wedgwood neighborhoods to the east; North College Park or Licton Springs neighborhood to the west.[6]

The highest point in Maple Leaf, located on 92nd Street and Roosevelt Way, is 466 feet above sea level, making it the third highest point of elevation in Seattle.[7]

Distinctive features of the neighborhood include the water tower and reservoir located at 85th and Roosevelt, plus historic Waldo Hospital at 85th NE and NE 15th, which has since been replaced by an Aegis Living senior housing complex. The water tower is painted with a distinctive coupling of maple leaves viewable from Interstate 5.

Park and reservoir[edit]

The Maple Leaf reservoir was completed in 1910 with the purpose of creating a reservoir for residential and commercial water use.[8] In 2009 the Seattle city government began plans to move the reservoir underground. This was part of a citywide plan to replace all open reservoirs with underground structures in order to improve the quality and security of the water supply and provide new public open spaces on reservoir lids throughout Seattle.[9] In 2013 the 16-acre park was completed.[10]

A busy park with children riding bikes, using playground equipment, and digging in a sandbox, with a blue water tower in the background.
Maple Leaf Playground, near the water tower and the covered Maple Leaf Reservoir that serve as the main recreation area in the neighborhood

Schools and library[edit]


There are two public elementary schools in Maple Leaf which are part of the citywide Seattle Public Schools district.

Along with the two public elementary schools Maple Leaf is home to a handful of private schools.

  • The Fairview School: A K-8th grade school affiliated with the Church of God.[13] The building was built in 1908 and housed a public elementary school for 70 years. After the school closed the site was put up for bid, with the neighborhood fiercely opposing a plan to convert the school to low-income housing units. Originally the site was sold to the Pacific Northwest Ballet but after that deal fell through the Woodland Park Avenue Church purchased the building.[14]
  • St. Catherine School: A Catholic school serving students ranging from K-8th grade. The school was founded in 1941 and was staffed by the Sisters of Providence for 35 years.[15]
  • The Perkins School: A K-5th grade school located on the 9000 block of Roosevelt Way.[16]

The Maple Leaf School[edit]

Although it would be considered outside of the current Maple Leaf neighborhood's boundaries, the Maple Leaf School opened in 1896 near Lake Washington.[17]


The Northgate Library, which is a branch of the Seattle Public Library system, is located on 10500 block of 5th Avenue, across from Northgate Mall. The library and the adjacent community center and park opened in July 2006.[18]


  1. ^ Wilma, David. "Seattle Neighborhoods: Maple Leaf -- Thumbnail History". History Link. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  2. ^ Friedman, Spike. "How Seattle's Neighborhoods Got Their Names". Mental Floss. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  3. ^ Sheridan, Mimi. "HISTORIC PROPERTY SURVEY REPORT: SEATTLE'S NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS" (PDF). City of Seattle. p. 11. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  4. ^ Case, Fredrick (June 26, 1986). "A PRIZE NEIGHBORHOOD - IT'S MAPLE LEAF'S HOME-SPUN CHARM THAT'S ATTRACTIVE". The Seattle Times. p. E1.
  5. ^ "Neighborhood Map". Maple Leaf Community Council. Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  6. ^ "Seattle City Clerk's Geographic Indexing Atlas". City of Seattle. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "We're No. 2! Actually Maple Leaf is a proud No. 3". Maple Leaf Life. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "Periodic Dam Safety Inspection Report" (PDF). Washington State Dept. of Ecology. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  9. ^ "Maple Leaf Play Area Renovation & Reservoir Park Development Parks and Green Spaces Levy Project Information". Seattle City Government. Seattle Parks and Recreation. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "Maple Leaf Reservoir Park". Seattle City Government. Seattle Parks and Recreation. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "Seattle Public Schools, 1862-2000: Olympic View School". Historylink.org. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  12. ^ "Seattle Public Schools, 1862-2000: Sacajawea Elementary School". Historylink.org. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  13. ^ "About the Fairview Church". The Fairview Church. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  14. ^ "Fairview" (PDF). Built for Learning: Seattle Public Schools History. Seattle Public Schools. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 22, 2014.
  15. ^ "Our History". St. Catherine School. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  16. ^ "History of The Perkins School". The Perkins School. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  17. ^ "Seattle Public Schools, 1862-2000: Maple Leaf School". History Link. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  18. ^ "About the Northgate Branch". The Seattle Public Library. Retrieved January 1, 2014.