First Hill

The First Hill neighborhood is located south of I-90, separating East Seattle from the north end of the island. It’s one of the neighborhoods containing the “Lid.” What is the “Lid,” you ask? It’s the covered area of I-90 which is a part of the island. There’s a park built on top of the Lid covering the freeway. The Park on the Lid, the island’s only Park & Ride, and the I-90 bike path are all accessible on the north side of First Hill.

This popular walking and biking neighborhood offers some of the most scenic views on Mercer Island. Throughout First Hill, there are stairs and trails which lead to the beach and the downtown business district. The homes which dot First Hill offer stylistic variety, with most of the homes originally built between the 1940s and the 1960s.

First Hill’s free-spirited vibe is contributed to the neighborhood residents of the 1950s who commuted to their jobs in Seattle by hitching rides on the highway to avoid the floating bridge tolls charged back then. San Francisco Bay area residents carry on the tradition today, referring to it as “casual carpooling.”

By Lisa Lewis. Copyright 2012 WRE/Mercer Island.