There are two stories as to why city officials changed the name from Broadway Hill to Capitol Hill. Some say that the original developer’s wife simply liked the way it sounded, while others think he hoped that the state would actually move the capitol to that area. In its early days, the neighborhood was certainly ritzy enough to be the political center of the state. Huge houses were built, which led to the nickname of “Millionaires’ Row” in one area. After World War II, a great number of apartment buildings were constructed, changing the demographics. These two cultures are still reflected today.
Capitol Hill is funky and fast-paced, with an endless number of cool blocks to explore and, unfortunately, a limited number of parking spaces. During the day, markets, boutiques, and salons are a big draw. Nightlife is hopping with clubs, bars, and music venues, and you’ll often find coffee shops that moonlight as cocktail lounges. Individuality and fashion statements are encouraged, and there always seems to be some sort of block party or community forum to encourage residents and visitors to mix and mingle.
Since the area is known for its music scene, make sure to check out a concert at one of the venues like Neumo’s, pick through a record store like Sonic Boom, or do the extreme and attend the Capitol Hill Block Party in July. You can also say hello to the Jimi Hendrix statue on the corner of Broadway and Pine. If you’re into film, see a movie at the Landmark Harvard Exit – a classic building turned into theaters. Despite being one of the most densely populated areas of the city, Capitol Hill also has a surprising amount of green space, including Volunteer Park, Cal Anderson Park, and Interlaken Park, not to mention the Washington Parks Arboretum on the northeast corner.