Mercer Island’s East Seattle heritage is chock full of milestones– it’s considered the first real neighborhood on the island; it contained Mercer Island’s first church, hotel, library, post office, store and restaurant. When C.C. Calkins constructed his hotel in East Seattle in the 1890s, the expectation was that it would be “the leading place of interest in Western Washington.” President Benjamin Harrison stayed at the Calkins Hotel in 1891.
While none of those milestone Mercer Island establishments remain and green areas occupy the land where ferry docks once stood, East Seattle is still a neighborhood steeped in rich history. The homes in this residential neighborhood range from charming bungalows to luxurious waterfront properties. Because of the age of East Seattle, the streets were built in a grid-like pattern with alley-ways and street end parks. There are numerous public water access points. Want to watch Seafair activities from the island? East Seattle is the place to be Seafair weekend, home to several view points facing toward the lake events.
There are four developed Landings in East Seattle, the most of any neighborhood on Mercer Island. Typically, a Landing is one of the several developed “street ends” on Mercer Island where a street ends right at Lake Washington. These Landings provide excellent waterfront access for recreation like wildlife viewing, picnicking, swimming/wading, kayaking and canoeing. Please note that no lifeguards are on duty at any of the Landings.
By Lisa Lewis. Copyright 2012 WRE/Mercer Island.