Northwest NEWS

June 8, 1998

Front Page

Historic Bothell street names brought back

   by Northlake News staff

   BOTHELL--When someone says "I'll meet you at the corner of First and Fir," you'll know to head for Bothell City Hall. Recently, Bothell added the names "First Street" and "Fir Street" to a sign marking the intersection of 101st Avenue N.E. and N.E. 183rd Street in front of City Hall. The names are in bubbles above the real street names.

   The names hark back to an era when Bothell could name its streets as it saw fit. First Street commemorates the first north-south street in Bothell. East-west streets were named after trees such as Fir, Pine, Cedar, Madrona and others. But as Bothell and the region grew, its street names began to clash with King County's numbering system. In the 1940s, a uniform street number system was imposed county-wide and nearly all names, except for Main Street, were replaced.
   The city's Landmark Preservation Board conceived and implemented the idea of putting up the old names again. Other intersections will get new old signs in the coming weeks. Also, display cases will relate the history of original street names. "We hope that the public will be enlightened and entertained by this little bit of Bothell history," said Vicki Somppi, Landmark Board chair. "Bothell is a city rich in historical resources, but not everyone knows where they are or has the time to visit them. We see this as an enjoyable way to bring the past to the people."
   Recently, the City of Woodinville renamed two of its new downtown streets. Honoring the city's heritage as an early lumbering town, N.E. 178th Street has been renamed Mill Place. The name of an old plat on the site of the TRF development was brought back to life in Garden Way N.E.