Montlake is an affluent residential neighborhood in central Seattle. It is bounded to the north by Portage Bay and the Montlake Cut section of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, to the east by the Washington Park Arboretum, and to the south and west by Interlaken Park. Capitol Hill is on its south and west sides, and the University of Washington lies across the Montlake Cut to the north. State Route 520 runs through the northern tip of Montlake, isolating four blocks from the rest of the neighborhood. Though sports at the University of Washington are often referred to metonymically as “Montlake,” UW sports facilities are not located within the traditional bounds of the neighborhood (but are located on Montlake Boulevard N.E., across the Montlake Cut from the neighborhood).
The neighborhood’s main thoroughfares are Boyer Avenue E. (northwest- and southeast-bound), 24th Avenue E. and Lake Washington and Montlake Boulevards E. (north- and southbound), and E. Lake Washington Boulevard (east- and westbound).
Montlake was primarily developed by John E. Boyer and Herbert Turner (also known as H.S. Turner) from 1903 through the early 1930s. In 1916, the northern boundary of Montlake was fixed by the opening of the New Portage Canal, later known as the Montlake Cut, between Lake Washington and the Lake Union. The Montlake Bridge, a distinctive bascule bridge crossing the Montlake Cut, opened in 1925.
In 1925, a Montlake neighbor made a low offer for a tiny slice of adjoining land. Out of spite for the low offer, the builder built an 860-square-foot (80 m2) house at 2022 24th Avenue E. that blocked the neighbors’ open space. The house is 55 inches (1.4 m) wide at the south end and 15 feet (4.6 m) wide at the north end. The Montlake Spite House still is standing and occupied.