First Hill is one of the city’s seven hills and was the first neighborhood to be settled outside of the downtown core beginning in the 1870s.

Share story

Population: 8,681

Location: First Hill is bounded approximately by Interstate 5 to the west; East Pike to the north; and 12th Avenue to the east; and James Street to the south

Why people move to this neighborhood: Also nicknamed “Pill Hill” for the three major hospitals and numerous medical facilities that occupy much of the neighborhood, First Hill is just east of downtown. One of its greatest advantages is its location — it’s a short walk to nearly everything the downtown core has to offer and is also close to public transportation and major highways. It’s filled with businesses, apartment buildings, some shops and restaurants, and has a few attractions like the Frye Art Museum, St. James Cathedral and Seattle’s Town Hall. It’s also close to the many shopping, dining and nightlife options in Capitol Hill just north. Seattle University occupies the eastern edge of the neighborhood.

Distance from downtown Seattle: Half a mile — uphill

School district: Seattle Public Schools

Major employers: Virginia Mason Hospital; Harborview Medical Center; Swedish Medical Center; Seattle University

Housing: Mainly apartment buildings of various shapes and sizes, including some high-rises, as well as a select few single-family homes tucked among the buildings and busy streets.

Walk score (out of 100): 97

Transit score (out of 100): 98

Bike score (out of 100): 74

Historical facts: First Hill is one of the city’s seven hills and was the first neighborhood to be settled outside of the downtown core beginning in the 1870s. It was a relatively short commute to the city below, though its steep climb on the way back up also garnered the nickname “Profanity Hill.” In the 1880s the neighborhood emerged as a retreat for the elite, attracting wealthy residents including art collectors, lawyers and businessmen.

Recreation: The Frye Art Museum offers free admission and a fine collection of 19th and 20th century art. The towering St. James Cathedral is a beautiful renaissance-style church that attracts worshippers and tourists alike and is also the largest religious structure in Seattle. Shopping and dining options can be found along busy Madison Street (as well as some strewn throughout the neighborhood) and in the hip Pike-Pine corridor and Capitol Hill neighborhoods just north.

Zillow Home Value Index: $324,300 (as of January 2016)

Zillow Rent Index: $1,887 (as of January 2016)