Comment of the Week: It's 'Uptown,' Not 'Lower Queen Anne'

This week's Comment of the Week actually comes from an e-mail we received concerning the correct name of a certain stretch of neighborhood to the north and west of the Seattle Center.

It seems that the group the Uptown Alliance would like to officially ditch the name "Lower Queen Anne" for "Uptown" and the group wants everyone else, including us, to abide, since "lower" Queen Anne implies that the neighborhood is "less than" Queen Anne.

I dug around for a more official stance on the neighborhood's name.

Here's what I came up with.

Officials with Seattle's Department of Planning and Development and the Department of Neighborhoods each came up with similar answers: "We don't know."

Maps provided those departments show, in great detail, the streets, businesses and landmarks of Lower Queen Anne/Uptown, but they don't specifically isolate the neighborhood as a separate entity.

The Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce, however, has a somewhat more definitive answer.

"It's both!" says QACC Director of Marketing Mary Chapman. "There's a group that wants everyone to only call it Uptown. But people still call it both. And that's OK."

The QACC also has a map that, unlike many of the city's, does mark off LQA/Uptown.

And indeed that map lists both names for the area.


The Seattle City Clerk's Office is actually even more authoritative about the answer: It's Lower Queen Anne, plain and simple.


The Uptown Alliance points to businesses in the neighborhood like Uptown Theater, Uptown Espresso, Uptown Eyewear, Uptown Barbershop, and others as proof that this is the correct nomenclature.

Still, a Google search for both names produces far more references to Lower Queen Anne than Uptown.

Here at Seattle Weekly we too have referred to this neighborhood in both ways. Why, just this week on our cover we tease to the Karaoke Korrespondent's column with the line "Uptown's Deepest Karaoke Catalog." But in the actual article Korrespondent Jeff Roman uses "Lower Queen Anne" instead.

So our answer to you, Jean Sundborg, one of the founders of the Uptown Alliance who sent the request to us, is: No, we won't stop calling Lower Queen Anne "Lower Queen Anne." But we make no guarantees that we won't call it "Uptown" sometimes too.

Hell, we may even split the difference and call it "Lower Queen Uptown" just to see if you're paying attention!

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