Edgar and Anne Neal have been in love with North Capitol Hill almost as long as they've been in love with each other. Their courtship began at...

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Edgar and Anne Neal have been in love with North Capitol Hill almost as long as they’ve been in love with each other.

Their courtship began at Anne’s aunt’s house on Delmar Drive.

When the couple married in 1960, they looked for a home in the same neighborhood.

Just days after their wedding, they moved into their house overlooking Portage Bay — 47 years later, they couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

“Same house, same spouse,” Anne Neal quipped.

“We just decided it was meant to be,” Edgar Neal said.

With plentiful parks, historic homes and quick access to the city center, North Capitol Hill is a coveted address.

The median price of a single-family house in the Seattle area that includes North Capitol Hill was $635,000 in June, up 10 percent from June 2006 according to figures released this past week by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

A typical condo in the area sold for $313,925 in June, up 4.7 percent over the past year.

The North Capitol Hill neighborhood is a pocket — surrounded by some of the city’s most distinctive communities: Montlake, Eastlake and Capitol Hill.

The borders of North Capitol Hill are blurred and everyone who lives here has their own fuzzy definition of where the neighborhood begins and where it ends, although the general consensus is that the southern boundary is East Galer Street.

While still not a household name to other city dwellers, North Capitol Hill is a neighborhood. Just ask the people who live there.

Manhattan native Pegeen Shean moved there 15 years ago because she wanted a neighborhood that was close to downtown — but not too close.

“I enjoy the density. It’s a vibrant place now compared to when I first got here,” said Shean, who’s now president of the North Capitol Hill Neighborhood Association.

The neighborhood may not get a designation on a map, but the streets of North Capitol Hill tell the history of the city.

On top of the hill is Lake View Cemetery, the final resting place of some of the city’s founding families.

Drive through the cemetery and you’ll see headstones and monuments displaying the same names seen all over town on city street signs: Yesler, Denny and Dearborn.

Tucked amid a cluster of homes behind Lake View Cemetery is a Civil War burial ground — the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Park, where both Confederate and Union soldiers are buried.

North Capitol Hill has a host of hidden quirks.

The neighborhood is full of staircases, some easily visible, some not — endless steps connecting North Capitol Hill to the neighborhoods above and below.

Take a hard right around the curve off of East Boston Street and you’ll find yourself on Boston Terrace — a cluster of homes literally hanging off the hillside.

Off Delmar Drive East, barely visible from the street is the entrance to Interlaken Park.

The park is part of the city’s parks plan designed by the Olmsted Brothers, the same family of architects who designed New York City’s Central Park.

Interlaken Boulevard winds through a wooded ravine, dotted with homes and the Seattle Hebrew Academy, the former Forest Ridge school, a Seattle historic landmark.

North Capitol Hill’s only commercial district is a sliver of shops along 10th Avenue East, just south of Roanoke Park.

A nail salon, two pizza places, a dry cleaner and a coffee shop make up the current mix. The strip is anchored by longtime neighborhood staple the Roanoke Tavern.

The only convenience store, the European Common Market, was boarded up several months ago.

Over the years, 10th Avenue has become a main thoroughfare for drivers heading to Broadway or downtown and wanting to avoid congested nearby Interstate 5.

The growth of the two private schools in the neighborhood, Seattle Prep (a high school) and the Bertschi School (an elementary school) has added to the traffic.

Save for the increased traffic and a handful of new homes, Edgar and Anne Neal can point out only one major change to their neighborhood in the past half-century: the intersecting freeways, I-5 and Highway 520.

When 520 sliced through in the early 1960s, it subdivided the neighborhood into small clusters: North Capitol Hill, Portage Bay and Roanoke Park. With the planned expansion of 520, the neighborhood will likely change again.

And this time, it might be for the better, Shean says. Some plans call for a freeway lid with a park on top — something that could really add to the neighborhood, Shean said.