Stroll by the eclectic retail and historic buildings in one of Seattle’s most walkable family-friendly neighborhoods.
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What is now Wallingford Center at this intersection was built in 1904 as the Interlake School. In the 1970s the school was closed and became vacant until it was renovated into Wallingford Center. The top floor has studio apartments and the other floors have retail and restaurants. The sculpture pole near the intersection, Wallingford Animal Storm, was commissioned in 1985 and depicts wildlife in the area.
Head east along the south side of N 45th St, passing various shops, restaurants, and bars. You’ll also pass the Guild 45th Theatre, which was built in 1919 as a live stage venue named the Paramount Theatre. The name was changed when the Paramount opened downtown in 1928, and The Guild added a second screen in 1983. The Guild Theatre has been chosen by Francis Ford Coppola for test audience screenings.
Continue on this side of 45th St for several more blocks. At the intersection with Thackeray Ave N, cross to the north side of 45th St and go west.
At Sunnyside Ave N, turn right. After just a couple blocks, you’ll come to the Home of the Good Shepard, built in 1906 to be a Catholic Girls School. In the 70s, the land was proposed as the site of a shopping center, but that was rejected by local residents and the building was transferred to Historic Seattle. The building is currently used by schools and other non-profit organizations.
Walk around the left side of the building. Look for a path that will take you to through the Good Shepherd P-Patch and through the Meridian Playground. Turn left and go south along Meridian Ave N.
You’ll pass by a few more nice, historic homes in the neighborhood before turning right on N 45th St. Continue back through the heart of Wallingford. Toward the edge of the neighborhood near Stone Way is Archie McPhee. Archie McPhee was in Ballard from 1983-2009 and is a popular place for bacon-flavored toothpicks, Mr. T voice-boxes, and other novelties.
Cross 45th St and go south along the east side of Stone Way. After two blocks, turn left on N 44th St to walk towards Seattle’s old Lincoln High School, which was closed as a high school in 1981 and is now a temporary home to other Seattle schools while their own buildings are being restored.
Turn right on Interlake Ave N and then turn left on N 43rd St. You’ll pass the Wallingford Playfield on your right.
Turn left on Wallingford Ave N to head back toward N 45th St. You’ll soon see Wallingford Center on your right and pass by some more retail on your left. At 45th St, you’ll see the large WALLINGFORD sign of the QFC. When QFC took over this supermarket from Food Giant in the late 90s, the neighborhood protested the grocer’s plan to ditch the “FOOD GIANT” sign and so QFC re-used many of the letters to identify the neighborhood. This brings you back to our starting point and the end of the walk.
highlights: retail and restaurants, parks, historic schools, nice homes with greenery, many benches available
lowlights: heavy motor vehicle traffic on 45th can be loud, some interactions with motor vehicles entering surface parking lots or driving on cross-streets.