Best Pocket Neighborhoods: Mount Baker Park

By Sheila Cain


April 1, 2017

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Most days of the week, there’s a steady stream of visitors to the Mount Baker Community Club (2811 Mount Rainier Drive S), located in a 117-year-old building and established in 1909. The community club is arguably the hub of this pocket neighborhood, which draws people from Mount Baker and beyond: toddlers and their parents who attend the Kindiependent series of children’s concerts (Caspar Babypants is a repeat performer); seniors who participate in the SilverSneakers exercise classes; neighbors who come for community meetings.

Photo by Hayley Young
The Saloon is the neighborhood’s newest watering hole

The area around this small neighborhood is notable for its curving boulevards and wide, grassy medians. The renowned Olmsted brothers are to thank for this English village–style landscaping, as well as for the design of Mount Baker Park, just across the street, which offers a picnic area, tennis courts and a recently renovated play area. A pathway winds through the park down to Lake Washington, where it meets Mount Baker Beach and connects with Colman Park, also designed by the Olmsteds’ influential turn-of-the-century landscape architecture firm.

Photo by Hayley Young
Seed pouches on display at The Feed Store

Just around the corner from the community club, Italian restaurant Mioposto draws a crowd in search of morning coffee, or wood-fired pizza for lunch and dinner. A few doors up, relative newcomer The Feed Store, which moved from a smaller space in the same building last October, offers espresso, freshly pressed juices and assorted deli items, along with a small selection of grocery essentials and an impressive collection of gifts from local makers (seeds from Seattle Seed Company, notecards from Pike Street Press, tote bags designed by local resident Connie Coffman). Central Branch Preschool, a Pilates studio and a hair salon round out the offerings here. Modest homes line the streets surrounding the small commercial hub, giving way to palatial estates farther east, with views of Lake Washington and Mount Baker itself.

As night falls in this quiet neighborhood, residents now have a reason to venture out: In February, the owners of The Feed Store opened a new bar, Saloon, in The Feed Store’s old location.

Photo by Hayley Young
The Olmsted-designed Mt. Baker Park

Photo by Hayley Young
A Craftsman-style home that’s typical of the neighborhood

Snapshot: Mount Baker park
At the intersection of S Mount Baker Boulevard and S McClellan Street where it curves into Mount Rainier Drive S, across the street from Mount Baker Park
Average home price: $833,300
Appreciation: 13.5 percent
Walk score: 74/100
School and score: John Muir Elementary (4/10), Washington Middle School (7/10), Franklin High School (6/10)
Public transportation: Metro’s No. 14 bus with service to downtown Seattle comes closest to this commercial hub. A 10-minute walk west to Rainier Avenue S will take you to the Mount Baker light rail station with service to downtown and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. 

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