One of the early homes constructed in Ridgecrest is a log cabin built in 1933 from trees logged from the property near NE 155th and 5th Ave NE where it still stands – and is lived in. The original property consisting of 15 acres was purchased for $2,000. My, how times have changed.
The first major housing development in the Ridgecrest neighborhood happened in the mid 40’s as World War II came to an end. Returning soldiers could purchase any one of the 100 houses that were built in 100 days. So many families with school age children moved to the neighborhood that the newly completed Ridgecrest Elementary School had to run double shifts.
The official boundaries of the Ridgecrest Neighborhood are from I-5 east to 15th Ave NE and from NE 145th north to NE 175th. According to the latest US Census, with 6116 residents Ridgecrest is the most populated neighborhood in Shoreline. It also has more single family homes (2175) then any other neighborhood. With that many people, there should be little surprise, that Ridgecrest also can boast having 9 churches and 4 parks. Along with; Shoreline’s only Theatre, only Skate Park and the oldest operating 7-11 in the State of Washington.
Ridgecrest is a primarily a middle income – working class neighborhood. It is multi-cultural and multi-generational. If you have view property, you most likely look at the freeway. The majority of the single family housing stock was built in the late ‘40’s to early ‘50’s on large lots, set well back from the streets. There are few sidewalks and even fewer street lights. According to one resident: “You feel like you’re out in the country in the middle of the city.”
In the ’50’s and 60’s, Ridgecrest had a strong neighborhood organization which owned it’s own park, tennis courts and community club building. Today’s Ridgecrest Neighborhood Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which prides itself in it’s continuing efforts to make Ridgecrest a great place to live, work and play. Through creative partnerships and partial funding provided by Neighborhood Mini-Grants, RNA improvement projects have included; play ground equipment at the elementary school, re-introduction of Pacific Chorus
Tree Frogs in Paramount Park Open Space, a community mural, street banners, a neighborhood bulletin board and more than 150 street trees . We host an annual Spring Gardening Information Meeting and Plant Exchange, organize the Annual Neighborhood Garage Sale Day, participate yearly in the Hamlin Park Halloween Haunt, and this year we held our 14th annual Ice Cream Social [6 ] for 1,300 residents – at which we served 850 Ice Cream Sundaes.
The governing Board of the Ridgecrest Neighborhood Association consists of 4 annually elected officers and 3 appointed board members. Over the past year technology has helped us break new ground. Our contact list of more than 400 email addresses helps us to get the word out about upcoming events, activities and community meetings. Since we set our monthly Board meeting agenda a week in advance, we are able to not only send folks an email reminder about meetings, but are also able to include information regarding agenda items. Our Facebook page had one week in August where we were able to reach more than 1,000 people and we had a single item that reached 124. Through the wonders of technology, we have increased our meeting attendance, acquired new webmaster’s, recruited 3 new Board members, had as many as 14 people attend a BOARD MEETING, signed up 70 volunteers for the Ice Cream Social and got a lost neighborhood dog back to it’s owners in under 5 hours.
The future – anyone’s guess…. But we’re currently at work building new relationships with the businesses in our neighborhood. We just hosted our 1st Open-House for our local business owners, we are featuring local businesses on our Facebook page and creating links to them on our website. Like all of you, we are committed to creating a bigger, better sense of community for all of our members.