The Belltown neighborhood is located between the downtown core and Seattle Center and is one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. It contains much of downtown Seattle’s residential base and has a mix of music venues, cafes, and unique boutiques. It also hosts live music venues, restaurants, and nightclubs.
Belltown was originally home to a steep hill, but that all changed when Denny Hill was washed into Elliott Bay during the Denny Regrade. The regrade made Belltown one of the flattest and walkable neighborhoods in Seattle with second highest Walk Score in the city at 98 out of 100.
Around 1910, during the silent film era, film exchanges were set up around Third Avenue. Highly flammable nitrocellulose film needed to be stored when not in use and this resulted in the concentration of film exchanges in Belltown. Our Windermere office at 2420 2nd Avenue was once one of these film exchanges. We have two vaults that were used to store this flammable film, and you can still see titles of movies written on the brick walls. The last business of this kind pulled out in 1980.
In the 1970’s, a neighborhood association renamed the area Belltown, after Willliam A. Bell, one of the area’s pioneers. There is an iconic brick building still standing in the area named after William’s son, Austin A. Bell. By the 1980’s, as Seattleites and suburbanites began taking an interest in urban living, condominiums began to appear. The development has continued and is now home to highrise condominium buildings, with several more in the development stages right now.