Image by Google Maps: The following Google Map image shows an updated map of the greater Queen Anne area, complete with the Uptown neighborhood. The Seattle City Council passed a resolution last week declaring Uptown, and not Lower Queen Anne, as the correct name for the longtime neighborhood situated below Queen Anne.
Image by Google Maps: The following Google Map image shows an updated map of the greater Queen Anne area, complete with the Uptown neighborhood. The Seattle City Council passed a resolution last week declaring Uptown, and not Lower Queen Anne, as the correct name for the longtime neighborhood situated below Queen Anne.

Before last week, people searching for directions to Uptown in Seattle using an online map may have been directed to “Lower Queen Anne,” instead.

Now, however, people searching Google Maps, Map Quest or other online mapping services should be sent to just Uptown, eliminating any confusion for tourists and ride-share drivers looking for the neighborhood below Queen Anne in Seattle.

That was just one of the swift changes that have taken place after the Seattle City Council, April 12, unanimously passed a resolution that recognizes Uptown as the correct name for the neighborhood. The resolution directs city departments to refer to the neighborhood as Uptown, as opposed to “Lower Queen Anne,” in all documents, websites and in electronic communications and asks the City Clerk’s office to notify online mapping and location services of the correct name and boundaries, which encompass west of Aurora Avenue North, north of Denny Way, east of Elliott Avenue West and south of Roy Street.

The legislation was sponsored by District 7 Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who lives in Uptown, and promoted by the Uptown Alliance committee, which has advocated for the neighborhood and its interests at the city level since 1999.

Despite the confusion regarding the name of the neighborhood, the City of Seattle has used the name Uptown since the 1990s, when it named the area one of six urban centers designated for concentrated urban growth.

Uptown Alliance President Rick Hooper said the committee launched its effort to have Uptown declared the official name in the city last fall.

With the completion of Climate Pledge Arena on the horizon and more visitors expected to the neighborhood, not to mention a number of transportation projects planned and more residential and commercial developments expected, Hooper said it made sense to pursue a formal name change now, not only to establish consistency, but to educate people about the change.

“I think that Uptown is the correct name,” Hooper said. “I consider it different than Queen Anne.”

In many ways, the two neighborhoods differ greatly, Hooper said. Because it’s an urban center, Uptown is densely zoned for many more apartment complexes than up on the hill, which is primarily zoned single-family residential. Beyond just Seattle Center and the Climate Pledge Arena, a lot more growth is planned for Uptown, whereas development is a lot slower to take shape on the hill.

That’s not to say that Uptown and Queen Anne residents and their respective representative committees — Uptown Alliance and Queen Anne Community Council — don’t share similar concerns, such as with public safety and homelessness, Hooper said. And the Uptown Alliance and Queen Anne Community Council are represented equally on various boards and advisory groups. A change in the name of the neighborhoods won’t impact exiting or future working relationships, Hooper said.

“There are going to be issues that overlap, and when that happens, we’re happy and anxious to work with the community council,” Hooper said.

Hooper and Uptown Alliance member Deborah Frausto admit there will be an adjustment period for longtime residents of Queen Anne or Seattle, who know or refer to the neighborhood as Lower Queen Anne, but they don’t see that as a problem.

“It’s going to take time. It’s going to take education, but we need consistency,” Frausto said about the neighborhood name, especially as Uptown continues to grow. “It’s a transitional time, and that’s OK, but when there are big movers, those will be game changers over time.

“That doesn’t mean that somebody can’t have a real fondness for the name Lower Queen Anne, but that will be their own nomenclature that they use,” Frausto said.

Queen Anne Historical Society President Michael Herschensohn said he didn’t use to buy into the insistence by Uptown Alliance founders that the neighborhood should be called Uptown, rather than Lower Queen Anne. In retrospect, however, he believes it just makes sense. First, the name Uptown was used in the names of various businesses and buildings for quite some time. The Uptown Theater, now the SIFF Cinema Uptown, was built in 1926, and played an integral part of the community’s history, Herschensohn said.

“The names are really already marketing tools,” he said.

Plus, Herschensohn said the name Uptown has been used in many cities as an opposite of downtown, which was the case in Seattle.

“Uptown was always the middle or difference between Queen Anne and downtown,” he said. “It makes sense to call it Uptown. It’s the old-timers who always get jacked about what it’s called.”