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Uptown Seattle
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Seattle officially changes neighborhood name from Lower Queen Anne to Uptown

Uptown's SIFF Cinema. (Ashlyn G, Flickr Creative Commons)

Seattle City Council passed a resolution Monday, officially recognizing the neighborhood previously known as Lower Queen Anne as Uptown.

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The Uptown area houses Seattle Center, Climate Pledge Arena, SIFF Cinema, and a collection of neighborhood bars and restaurants. A coalition of businesses sought to end confusion over labeling of the neighborhood, which can often vary depending on who you ask.

“Even though Uptown is one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, too many continue to misidentify it,” a public commenter said during Monday’s full council session. “That only works against the community’s efforts to distinguish itself as a center for art, culture, eclectic restaurants and shops, and its diverse residents.”

In practice, the resolution will have all Seattle city departments uniformly label the neighborhood as Uptown rather than Lower Queen Anne.

The hope is that with the passage of Monday’s resolution, the city can also help expedite the process of ensuring that mapping and wayfinding surfaces are unified in their labeling of the Uptown area, and to allow businesses to consistently market themselves.

Perhaps more than that, residents and businesses are looking to unify the neighborhood’s branding in a post-pandemic world.

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“In the next six months, we hope to see the return of visitors to Seattle Center and new fans from the entire region for events at Climate Pledge Arena,” another commenter detailed. “To reduce confusion and unnecessary traffic and getting people to this regional asset, we need help updating mapping and wayfinding services.”

The bill was sponsored by Councilmember Andrew Lewis, whose district includes both Upper Queen Anne and Uptown.

Lewis saw the bill as a chance for Uptown to “forge a unique and separate identity from the Queen Anne neighborhood.”

“The name Uptown is the suitable brand to really put a stamp on this dynamism, to recognize it as this community moves forward, and to really shape a future for that corner of the city,” he said shortly before the council approved the resolution on Monday.

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