Named for its position as the first hill one encounters from Downtown Seattle toward Lake Washington, First Hill offers the convenience of being near Downtown but also offers a sense of retreat from the city pace. First Hill had it's beginnings as Seattle's first true residential neighborhood in the 1890's, and today is the city's most diverse neighborhood in terms of the variety of housing stock and the mix of businesses found in the area.
First Hill is home to Swedish Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, and Virginia Mason Medical Center, as well as several excellent schools. Since 1898, First Hill has been the home of the private Jesuit Seattle University. Seattle Central Community College is another excellent option for students, and Seattle Central is committed to creating a learning environment that is accessible, diverse, responsive, and innovative. Also located on the hill are Northwest School and Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences--two highly regarded private schools--and the Catholic O'Dea High School, as well as several churches that have become city landmarks: Trinity Episcopal Parish Church, St. James Cathedral, and Seattle First Baptist Church.
In July 2010, Frye Art Museum in First Hill was voted on of America’s best free museums. The Frye Art Museum has been carrying on the legacy of its founders and bringing free art to the larger Seattle community since 1952.
The First Hill Streetcar line is underway, and will connect diverse and vibrant neighborhoods on Capitol Hill, First Hill, and in the Chinatown/International District, while serving medical centers (Harborview, Swedish, and Virginia Mason) and higher education (Seattle Central Community College and Seattle University).