The People :           Vibrant, Young, Newcomers, Immigrants, Children

The Place:              Quaint, Old Fashioned, Family Neighborhood, Young Energy

The Architecture:  Picturesque, Queen Anne Cottages, Romantic gables,

                                   Tiny Palladian windows, Pyramid roofs, Spindles and Front Porches


Southeast Yakima has always been about historic structures filled with new faces. We work hard for a living.  We love it here where the past is the future.

   Southeast Yakima was one of the first neighborhoods of early North Yakima. It was the rural area on the east edge of town, filled with small farms on the east to the river and a rapidly developed cottage suburb built 1900-1915 closer to the new town's center. This is where the respectable lodging houses were located; where the blacksmiths, carpenters, painters, ferriers, small retail merchants, and government workers found a room to let or a small house to rent or own.  The diversity of income and ethnic background of early SE residents was amazing. By 1910, people from every state and territory of the USA and over 25 foreign nations lived here. 

History and the present blend seamlessly in Southeast Yakima.  It is today, and always has been, the newcomer neighborhood; a place to settle for new citizens. Southeast is the place where many city visitors [from wine country to the nearby convention center] walk and drive to see Yakima’s history. Housing in Southeast Yakima is eclectic, affordable and, especially at the north end, quite historic.


We are home to a rare example of an intact vernacular working class neighborhood from the end of the Victorian era of house styles.  Not grand scale, just charming, practical and live-able.  The exact type of neighborhood that Smart-Growth advocates describe for new urban development.  Built on a grid, sidewalks, planting strips, utility service and garages accessed from the alley, connected by urban transit, walkable and bike-able.

Mansions are saved but small historic pyramid houses disappear.  We are so fortunate that this housing stock is still here. Most late Victorian, small scale neighborhoods in the USA have been lost to urban redevelopment, tear-downs for "affordable housing" apartments and inappropriate residential infill. 

Our neighborhood is an historic resource, and a community asset. It is also very vulnerable because there are many who falsely believe that a cheaply built new house is better than a renovated old house.  A properly renovated historic home will, time after time, contain of higher quality materials and be better built than a modern 'new' home.  They just don't grow old growth wood or produce detail work like that anymore. 

Yesterday we were a neighborhood of emigrants and the children of emigrants. Today we are a neighborhood of immigrants and the children of immigrants. The median age in most American neighborhoods is in the early 30's, in South East Yakima the median resident age is 16-17 years old.  Our challenge and our hope is our youth.


Union Commons Viewed from the North End

[imagine this as  barren, weedy, graveled lots 30 years ago]

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