Alabama Hill is predominantly a residential neighborhood with single family houses built during the 1960’s and 1970’s. According to the 2000 census, the neighborhood is home to about 3,000 people. The approximately 1,200 housing units in the neighborhood are predominantly of contemporary design and oriented toward views of the bay and city. Broad, curved streets, cul-de-sacs, limited access to arterial streets, and 7,200 square foot lots with a two/one depth/width ratio are common features in the neighborhood.
Whatcom Falls Park at the south end of Alabama Hill provides a wide range of active recreation opportunities in this neighborhood. St. Clair Park and Highland Heights Park are neighborhood parks with recreation facilities primarily for grade school children. The Railroad Trail provides a multi-use trail and greenway corridor with a safe overpass of Alabama Street and connection to Whatcom Creek Trail.
Bakerview is a busy neighborhood in Bellingham, Washington. It is located in an area that is constantly expanding, in close proximity to Whatcom Community College as well as coffee shops and shopping centers in the area. Perhaps the most popular shopping center in the area is Bakerview Square which is considered the best neighborhood center in the area.
It contains a variety of businesses from retail shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and an education center. Examples are the Clearview Eye Care Center, Beauty in the Bead, The Church at Bakerview, and The Charter College. The area is also home to Bakerview Nursery and Garden Center, a landmark indoor and outdoor plant store that is very popular among residents.
The Barkley Neighborhood was created in 2010 as part of the northern neighborhood boundary review project. Approval of a number of large annexations caused several of the north-end neighborhoods to grow very large. Some residents asked the City to review the boundaries of the Mt. Baker, Guide Meridian/Cordata, Meridian and King Mountain Neighborhoods in 2009. As a result, the Mt. Baker Neighborhood was divided into two new neighborhoods in 2010, Irongate and Barkley.
The Barkley Neighborhood contains 814 acres located primarily south of Sunset Drive and north of the Roosevelt and Alabama Hill Neighborhoods. It has a mix of land uses, including a regional scale commercial development at the Sunset/I-5 interchange (Sunset Square). The focal point of the neighborhood however, is the Barkley Urban Village development located around the Woburn/Barkley Boulevard intersection. This development is one of the first urban villages to be built in the city. It includes a mix of industrial, retail, professional offices and residential development.
Residential development in the neighborhood was facilitated by the mid-1990’s construction of Barkley Boulevard from Britton Road to Orleans Street. This opened up the west-facing slope of Alabama Hill where a number of subdivision have been built. Barkley Boulevard is flanked by new homes with expansive city and bay views as it winds up Alabama Hill.
The existing character of the neighborhood, as well as the presence of open space areas, trails and view corridors continue to be valued by neighborhood residents. Careful consideration in developing zoning designations and in reviewing projects for zoning compliance should continue to emphasize and preserve these characteristics.
The Birchwood neighborhood contains large lots, mature landscaping, and narrow streets, which lend a rural atmosphere to the neighborhood. Apartment complexes have been constructed in the multifamily zoned areas primarily along Northwest Avenue and W. Maplewood. In addition, there is a commercial area located near the intersection of Northwest, W. Maplewood and Birchwood Avenue that provides services to the Birchwood, Cornwall Park and Columbia neighborhoods.
Other significant features of the neighborhood include the Bellingham Golf and Country Club, the Squalicum Creek Greenbelt, Bellingham Technical College and Shuksan Middle School.
Birchwood Park provides neighborhood amenities including a playground, basketball court, picnic shelter and open play field. Shuksan Meadows, adjacent to Shuksan Middle School, provides a playground and half-court basketball near the apartment complexes. Squalicum Creek Park is a new community park acquired with Beyond Greenway Levy funds. The master plan for this 42-acre park includes lighted ball fields, multi-use fields, playgrounds, picnic shelters, enclosed pavilion building and an off-leash dog park. Little Squalicum Park, located just outside the neighborhood boundary, provides salt water frontage on Bellingham Bay. The Bay-to- Baker Trail and greenway connects Little Squalicum, Birchwood and Squalicum Creek Parks.
One of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, Columbia is a wonderful place to call home for nearly 4,000 Bellingham residents. The overwhelming majority of the approximately 1,600 residential structures (5% of total city housing) within this neighborhood are single family. The housing is attractive and well maintained, with narrow tree-lined streets and mature landscaping. The southernmost portion of the neighborhood, identified as the Eldridge Historical District, contains many large, historically significant homes.
Columbia Neighborhood residents enjoy the use of Elizabeth Park, which is viewed as a valued community asset. Other parks within the neighborhood include Carl Lobe and Lorraine Ellis Parks with facilities for younger children and families. Squalicum Creek Greenway forms the northwestern border of the neighborhood and there is easy access to Squalicum Creek Park, in the adjacent Birchwood Neighborhood.
The Cordata Neighborhood is situated in the northern area of the City and is bordered by Meridian Street to the east, West Bakerview Road to the south, and extends to the City limits to the north, west and southwest. The Cordata Neighborhood was formed in 2010 when the boundaries of the Meridian and Guide Meridian/Cordata Neighborhoods were redrawn to acknowledge the area’s changing character, environment and demographics.
Such factors leading to these changes included the increase in residential development and population, presence of Whatcom Community College, the concentration of professional commercial, institutional and industrial uses along Cordata Parkway, and the area’s close proximity to one of Bellingham’s regional commercial areas within the adjacent Meridian Neighborhood.
The Cordata Neighborhood contains a variety of land use zoning designations consisting of Public and Planned: Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Institutional. Development within these designations is regulated under the Cordata Business Park Planned Unit Development (PUD) and the City’s Land Use Development Code, which identifies the development and design standards needed to preserve and protect the character and qualities of the neighborhood area.
The neighborhood derives much of its character and charm from the diversity of its recreation areas, open space and large, older homes. These well-maintained homes with large lawns give the neighborhood a pleasant, quiet, residential atmosphere. One such house, the Roeder Home, has considerable historic and architectural value and contributes to the neighborhood character. With convenient access to the freeway, and to downtown and outlying commercial areas, a major regional park, Cornwall Park retains a stable, pleasant residential character. Parkview Elementary School is another neighborhood asset, as is the Bay to Baker Trail and Greenway that will extend through the northern part of the neighborhood.
The 70-acre Cornwall Park in the center of the neighborhood provides a wealth of recreation opportunities for this and adjacent neighborhoods.
The Cornwall Park Neighborhood is also home to St. Joseph Hospital, an important regional medical facility and one of the area’s largest employers.
The City Center Neighborhood is the dominant cultural, civic, financial and service center of Bellingham.
The City Center is a collection of smaller “neighborhoods,” each of which has distinct features that reflect historical land uses, topography and geographic location. For example, the Old Town area was shaped by the economics of the port of Bellingham, while the Downtown Core has a long-standing tradition of general retail. Railroad Avenue has a unique identity as well, which in part comes from the very wide street that reflects the existence of a rail line earlier in the City’s history.
• The Civic Center lies along the northern edge of downtown and spans Whatcom Creek. Buildings in this area house City and County offices as well as a variety of other governmental services including the Post Office and Public Library.
• The Arts District focal points include historic buildings containing the Whatcom Museum of History and Art and the Mt. Baker Theater.
• The Hill climb, a ceremonial stairway leading from Holly Street to the Civic Center and the Arts District, also serves as an outdoor amphitheater in Maritime Heritage Park on Whatcom Creek.
• Whatcom Creek Trail runs along the northern border of the neighborhood and provides a pedestrian connector from the waterfront to adjacent neighborhoods
The Waterfront District historically supported industrial uses and commercial fishing. It includes Squalicum Harbor Marina, Zuanich Point Park and commercial/industrial areas primarily managed by the Port of Bellingham. The City and the Port have recently joined forces to create a redevelopment plan for 137 industrial waterfront acres acquired by the Port with homes, shops, offices and light industry, as well as parks and promenades, a healthy shoreline habitat along Bellingham Bay, and a new marina.
The Edgemoor Neighborhood, located in southwest Bellingham, is generally bounded by Cowgill Road on the north, Chuckanut Drive on the east, Briza Court on the south, and Bellingham Bay on the west.
The large lots, mature landscaping and quiet residential character of the Edgemoor Neighborhood are valued assets for its 2,000 residents. The area also has magnificent views of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. The entire southern one-third of the Edgemoor Neighborhood has some of the most magnificent property in the city.
A large, steep, heavily wooded peninsula, commonly known as Clark’s Point, extends into Bellingham Bay, forming the western boundary of Chuckanut Bay. Clarks Point is protected from further development with a conservation easement. City-owned greenway and tidelands provide public access to Chuckanut Bay. Steep slopes follow the edges of Chuckanut Bay, paralleling Viewcrest Road, and, together with Clark’s Point, provide a natural resource amenity.
Another Edgemoor asset is Fairhaven Middle School, which occupies about 13 acres in the northeast part of the neighborhood. Nearby Fairhaven Park provides a wide range of recreational opportunities to neighborhood residents.
Fairhaven was one of three pioneer settlements on Bellingham Bay that merged to become the City of Bellingham in 1904. Fairhaven’s 600 residents live in single-family homes, apartment buildings, and condominium complexes. They can walk to many services, including a grocery store, bookstore, shops, the Fairhaven Village Green, and the Fairhaven Public Library.
At the commercial center of Fairhaven is the Fairhaven National Register Historic District, home to 17 beautiful historic buildings. Many infill buildings, designed to be compatible with local history, have been built in the last several years. The historic and new buildings have provided many local businesses that serve neighbors and folks throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The Alaska Marine Ferry docks twice a week in Fairhaven at the Transportation Center, which also houses the Amtrak Station and Greyhound Bus depot. Padden Creek flows through the neighborhood providing an attractive greenbelt. Marine Park, a 2-acre park on Fairhaven’s waterfront, helps to emphasize the neighborhood’s marine orientation. The Fairhaven Village Green, in the core of Fairhaven, is a hub of activity in the commercial core with concerts, movies, bocce ball, farmer’s market, and folks soaking up the Fairhaven ambience. The South Bay Trail connects Fairhaven with Bellingham’s City Center, Fairhaven Park, and the Chuckanut Mountains.
In August of 2012, the Bellingham City Council approved the Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village Plan; as well as, the zoning and development regulations that will work towards outlining the neighborhood vision and guide redevelopment and investment towards theurban village concept.
Cozied up between Galbraith Mountain and the northwest shore of Lake Whatcom lies the Geneva Neighborhood. The majority of homes on Lake Whatcom have private docks and beach access while the houses spotting the hillside above have views of the lake and Squalicum Mountain in the distance. Most of the houses in the Geneva area have trees and large yards offering more personal space. Galbraith Mountain is a popular destination for mountain bikers. Whatcom Falls Park is also a short drive away offering many trails for walking, jogging or biking. During the summer months Whatcom Falls is a favorite spot for taking a dip and cooling off from the hot summer sun. A 3 mile trail through the beautiful forest makes up The Stimpson Family Nature Reserve. This is the perfect spot for a shaded hike on a hot summer day.
Early residents in Happy Valley settled on small platted lots near Fairhaven and larger “garden tracts” throughout the rest of the valley. A streetcar line connected Happy Valley to Fairhaven’s waterfront along Harris Avenue. By the year 2000, just fewer than 6,000 people called the Happy Valley Neighborhood home, second only to Roosevelt Neighborhood.
With continued growth of Western Washington University (WWU), Happy Valley became a popular location for student housing. Since the late 1960’s, increasing numbers of apartments directed toward student housing have been built, infilling amongst and replacing single family housing. The highest densities of apartments have been built in the north end of the neighborhood, closest to WWU. Much of the southern section of the neighborhood is zoned and developed with single family residences. Happy Valley Elementary and Sehome High School are located in the neighborhood.
Pockets of quiet, undeveloped areas remain. You can still find owls, deer, and great blue herons, see horses grazing or walk to a community garden. You can stroll through wetlands, forests, or meadows, enjoy vistas of the Chuckanut Mountains or Bellingham Bay, or look for fish in Padden Creek. The largest public natural area in Happy Valley is Connelly Creek Nature Area established to preserve Connelly Creek, its associated wetlands and the wildlife habitat they provide. The area is largely forested supplemented by wet meadow habitat. Happy Valley Park on Donovan Avenue provides a small, active neighborhood park with playground, picnic shelter and open field. The Connelly Creek Trail runs through the park and connects to Old Fairhaven Parkway south of Padden Creek.
The Lake Samish Neighborhood gets it name from the approximately 4 mile lake situated in the middle of the neighborhood. To the east is Lookout Mountain, to the south is Blanchard Mountain and to the west Chuckanut Mountain. All of the natural surrounding beautiful gives this area a rustic feeling.
Lake Samish is more often used by the residents of the community as public access is limited. Boating, fishing, paddling and swimming are common activities in the summer months. Samish Park located on the north end of the lake offers a public swimming area, picnic tables, fishing dock, childrens playground and several hiking trails. Camp Lutherwood is also located on the lake on the northwest shore and hosts summer camps and retreats during the summer months.
The lower falls on Whatcom Creek provided energy for the sawmills, which attracted the first settlers to the town of Whatcom beginning in the 1850’s. The brick building located in the 1300 block of “E” Street and the Pickett House, at 910 Bancroft, survives from this early period.
More important than individual histories, however, is the collective historical character of the neighborhood. Constructed for the most part in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s, the neighborhood was established as a middle-class community adjacent to the city’s downtown district. Non-residential structures built during the same era of the early 1900’s also contribute to the historic character of the neighborhood. The Great Northern Depot (1927), Aftermath Clubhouse (1914), Roth Block (1890), and First Christian Church site at Girard and A Streets are all on the National Historic Register. The Roeder School (1908), Unity Church (1884), the buildings along W. Holly, and Aker’s Taxidermist (1906) at “I” and Astor – originally the Baptist School of Industries – all have local historic significance.
This neighborhood became run-down in the 1960’s, but neighbors, with the help of the Community Development Block Grant Program, put in new streets, sidewalks, sewer and water lines, and street trees, and retrofitted hundreds of homes.
Today, this diverse neighborhood includes single family homes, small apartment buildings, offices in older homes and new buildings, small parks and the Whatcom Middle School/Battersby Field complex. Attesting to its ongoing popularity, the neighborhood was home to nearly 3,000 Bellingham residents according to the 2000 census.
Maritime Heritage Park, located on Whatcom Creek, defines the southern boundary of the neighborhood and is a popular multi-use park, fish-hatchery, and educational facility. The public can also learn about the life cycle of the salmon and view the large numbers of fish returning each year to the hatchery. The nine block long Old Village Trail was developed as a useful neighborhood connection.
South of Whatcom Creek and east of Interstate 5, the Puget Neighborhood is a study in diversity. The neighborhood is bracketed by industrial uses on the north and commercial uses to the west along Lakeway Drive and Lincoln streets. Single and multi-family residential areas are located on the south and east portions of the neighborhood. Puget and Toledo Hills occupy the southern and eastern parts of the neighborhood and are developed with single-family homes on medium-sized lots. Homes are well cared for and many have excellent Bellingham Bay or Canadian Cascade views. According to the 2000 census, over 4,100 Bellingham residents call the Puget Neighborhood home (6% of total city population, 3rd highest neighborhood).
Civic Athletic Complex, the most active park and recreation facility in the city, is located at the north edge of the neighborhood. This complex includes the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center, Civic Stadium, Joe Martin baseball field, passive wetland areas, the Sportsplex indoor ice and soccer facility, Frank Geri softball fields, walking trails, a skate park, bike jump park, and undeveloped forest land. A trail link from the park to the Whatcom Creek Trail will provide improved access to this facility from other neighborhoods.
Whatcom Creek is a resource of city-wide interest that bisects Bellingham geographically. The Whatcom Creek Trail provides a connection from Lake Whatcom to Bloedel Donovan Park, Scudder’s Pond, Whatcom Falls Park, Civic Athletic Complex, the Civic Center, Maritime Heritage Park, to Bellingham Bay waterfront through several residential neighborhoods.
The Roosevelt Neighborhood is located east of Interstate 5, south of Sunset Drive and north of Whatcom Creek. Within its boundaries the Roosevelt Neighborhood is, in every sense of the word, diverse. Land use ranges from single-family residential to industrial. There are concentrations of old and new housing units. Styles vary from 100-year old single family homes to modern apartment complexes. Though styles vary houses and apartments in the Roosevelt Neighborhood are generally well maintained. The gentle slope along the northern boundary of the neighborhood creates properties with pleasing views of Bellingham and the Bay to the west. Over 6,000 residents (9% of total city population) make Roosevelt the most populous neighborhood in the city.
The Light Industrial area is not without its own mix, with uses ranging from automobile dealerships and warehouses to office development in older homes and in modern new buildings.
The Railroad Trail, which occupies the former Burlington Northern Railroad line, connects Whatcom Falls Park to the South Bay Trail west of Interstate 5. This trail is well used by cyclists and pedestrians and traverses residential neighborhoods, the Fever Creek Wildlife Pond, wetlands, forests and fallow fields, the Barkley Village shopping center, and Roosevelt Elementary School. Not only does this trail provide a recreational experience, but also serves as an important wildlife link to adjacent corridors and open space. The Whatcom Creek corridor, which forms the southern boundary of the neighborhood, and 9-acre Roosevelt Neighborhood Park are also significant attributes of the Roosevelt Neighborhood. Roosevelt Park is a neighborhood activity center adjacent to the Boys and Girls Club and includes a playground, picnic area, basketball court and loop trail.
Located east of Interstate 5 at the southeastern edge of the city, abundant open space and wooded areas make the Samish Neighborhood a pleasant and relaxed place to live. The country-like atmosphere created by the natural beauty of the landscape, complement the modest older homes and the newly developed areas on the eastern slopes. Many of the homes are well kept and located on large lots. Approximately 2,800 people call this neighborhood home.
Lake Padden Park is a citywide attraction with playground, picnic shelters, softball fields, non-motorized boating, fishing, miles of trails, and 18 hole golf course. In the Samish Neighborhood, there are values associated with amenities of the Samish Crest Greenway corridor including scenic views, the wooded backdrop for the area, plant and animal life, the relief from crowding, and the recreational opportunities afforded by the land.
It’s physical location on Sehome Hill is a big part of the Sehome Neighborhood’s character. Sehome Hill is a steep bedrock formation rising 650 feet from Bellingham Bay with a northeasterly bearing series of ridges reflecting the underlying rock formations. While there are relatively level “bench” areas without views, much of this neighborhood has excellent views of Bellingham to the north, over Bellingham Bay, or toward Mount Baker in the east. Sehome is also one of Bellingham’s older neighborhoods. Much of the area is within the former Town of Sehome, one of several towns, which consolidated near the turn of the century to become the City of Bellingham. Over 80 percent of the housing in the Sehome Neighborhood is over 20 years old, and much of it is at least 50 years old.
There are many large, architecturally impressive houses of historical value in the older residential part of the neighborhood. The Sehome Hill National Historic District encompasses older homes south of Maple, north of the Sehome Hill Arboretum. All residential areas have mature landscaping and there are several tree-lined arterials, which are highly valued by the residents. Being one of the City’s older and more centrally located residential neighborhoods, approximately 90 percent of the neighborhood is developed, and the population density is among the highest of the city’s neighborhoods. Over 3,500 people reside in the neighborhood in a mix of single and multi-family structures.
The 165-acre Sehome Hill Arboretum is a prominent open space/natural area that defines the southern and western borders of the neighborhood. It is owned and managed jointly by Western Washington University and the City of Bellingham and includes walking trails and dramatic views of Bellingham Bay. Both Laurel and Forest & Cedar are neighborhood parks which feature playgrounds, half court basketball, and open lawn areas for informal play.
Located at the eastern edge of the city on Lake Whatcom, the Silver Beach neighborhood was platted into small lots and developed many years ago. As a result of this pattern, there is a wide variety of ages and styles of housing in the neighborhood. The majority of the housing is in good shape and the fact that people take pride in the area is reflected by the well-landscaped lots and well-maintained homes throughout the neighborhood. The neighborhood has miles of shoreline along Lake Whatcom, which provides beautiful views, tremendous recreational opportunities, and a unique setting. Over 3,000 Bellingham residents are proud to call this neighborhood home.
Located on Lake Whatcom, 20-acre Bloedel Donovan Park is one of the most popular parks in the city. The park provides boating access to the lake, swimming area, playground, basketball and volley ball courts, open play field, a multi-purpose building with gymnasium and meeting rooms, a smaller building for meetings and classes, and a pre-school.
Big Rock Garden on Sylvan Street is a formal, landscaped garden with a collection of rhododendrons and Japanese maples. It is also the location of the annual sculpture show. Walking paths wind through the gardens. An adjacent open space area includes trails that connect to Silver Beach Elementary School. In addition, the city maintains several access points to Lake Whatcom at Connecticut Street, Donald Street, and the Silver Beach DNR property. Part of the Railroad Trail and north side of Whatcom Falls Park are in the Silver Beach neighborhood.
Located west of Interstate 5 at the southern edge of the city, the South Neighborhood is home to over 1,500 Bellingham residents. The large areas of undeveloped property and significant natural features help define the character of the neighborhood.
Chuckanut Mountain rises steeply from Chuckanut Creek in the southernmost part of the neighborhood. Chuckanut Bay is another resource within the neighborhood, which is an historic site as well as a unique natural recreational resource of city wide significance. There are also several water bodies within the neighborhood, which are used and valued by residents. These include Hoag’s Pond, Chuckanut Creek, and the marsh area along the interurban right-of-way. Development in the South Neighborhood has been limited by these physical restrictions and has occurred in small residential pockets, primarily in the more developable parts of the neighborhood. Most of these areas are developed at a low density with housing which is a mixture of ages and conditions, with the exception of multifamily housing in the northern portion of the neighborhood. Chuckanut Village perhaps epitomizes the historical character of the area with the image of a small, secluded Puget Sound fishing village. Fairhaven Park and Rose Garden is a city park within the South Neighborhood which is highly valued by the residents of this and adjacent neighborhoods, as well as by citizens throughout Bellingham. Located on Padden Creek, this 17-acre area is part of the city’s heritage of community parks.
Arroyo Park is a natural area city park located along Chuckanut Creek in the southern portion of the South Neighborhood. This 67 acre park is a steep ravine on either side of Chuckanut Creek. The Interurban Trail is a multi-use greenway and trail corridor that runs 7 miles from Fairhaven to Larrabee State Park. The City has acquired over 100 acres of natural open space area along the Interurban Trail.
Located on Bellingham Bay, South Hill is a unique, pleasant neighborhood with several interrelated design characteristics that are appealing to its more than 3,000 residents. The neighborhood has a number of areas with distinguishing characteristics. The Ridgeway area, south of the university on the highest elevations of the hill, has been developed since World War II. In the area below 17th Street, many of the homes were built in the early 1900’s. Homes vary widely in size, architectural detail, and finish materials, and nearly all are very well kept.
Excellent views of Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands, and the Canadian coastal range mountains are widely distributed and highly valued, making South Hill one of Bellingham’s most popular neighborhoods. Views of Mt. Baker and the Olympic Mountains, while less widely distributed are equally highly valued.
Boulevard Park on Bellingham Bay is on of the most popular parks in the city. The newly constructed Taylor Street Dock, south of Boulevard Park, provides an opportunity for strolling and viewing harbor activity for the South Hill Neighborhood residents who have indicated high values for these activities. The highly valued Lowell Elementary School is also an attractive location for neighborhood activity.
Located west of Interstate 5 and north of Whatcom Creek, the Sunnyland Neighborhood is as diverse as any Bellingham neighborhood. Industrial uses (some located in older homes) dominate the southern third of the neighborhood. Multifamily and single family areas surround a neighborhood commercial area at the Alabama/James Street intersection. This neighborhood, home to over 2,200 Bellingham residents, also includes open space and play fields at the reconstructed Bellingham High School, Sunnyland Park, Sunnyland Elementary School and adjacent Memorial Park.
The northern section of the neighborhood contains low density residential uses, and the western part higher density residential uses. The residential character of this neighborhood is generally one of single family two-story older homes, with many families having lived there for many years. Many of the homes in the neighborhood have been well maintained.
Located at the eastern edge of the city south of Whatcom Creek, the Whatcom Falls neighborhood is home to over 2,000 Bellingham residents. The neighborhood is bisected by Lakeway Drive, separating Bayview Cemetery and Whatcom Falls Park from the residential areas of the neighborhood south of Lakeway. Most of the development in the neighborhood is residential in nature, typically developed at about four units per acre density. Large tracts of undeveloped land remain at the southern and eastern portions of the neighborhood.
Bayview Cemetery, Whatcom Falls Park, and Kulshan Middle School site make up the publicly owned portion of the neighborhood. Bloedel-Donovan Park is easily accessed by the neighborhood. The City and County worked together to preserve 60 acres for future park and trailhead development at the end of Birch Street, known as “Lookout Mountain.”
The York Neighborhood is located west of Interstate 5 and east of Bellingham’s City Center. It is one of the City’s oldest neighborhoods, with many large, well-built homes on sandstone foundations. Several sandstone outcroppings, such as the one at the old Franklin School site (now Franklin Park), and “Rock Hill” Park provide the neighborhood with distinctive landmarks. Despite the presence of several larger homes, the majority of the houses are small, and are built on smaller lots of about 4,480 square feet. This creates a rather high population density and lack of open spaces. Historically, the York Neighborhood was perhaps Bellingham’s earliest middle-class neighborhood. Although houses were built as early as 1889, and as late as 1970, the majority of homes were built between 1890 and 1910. The neighborhood contains many examples of fine Victorian architecture.
Historically, it is a neighborhood with strong cohesion and few commercial influences not related to neighborhood needs. Even though it was zoned for multi-family development for many years, the neighborhood has retained a strong single family orientation. According to the 2000 Census, over 2,600 residents live in the York Neighborhood.
Franklin Park is an old elementary school site located south of Lakeway. A playground and open field provide neighborhood recreation. North of Lakeway, the York Neighborhood Association has worked with the city to establish and develop Rock Hill Park at the end of Iron Street. A small playground and half court basketball provide activity for children. Neighbors have adopted the park and help maintain the flower beds.