The York Neighborhood is located west of Interstate 5 and east of Bellingham’s City Center. It is one of the City’s oldest neighborhoods, with many large, well-built homes on sandstone foundations. Several sandstone outcroppings, such as the one at the old Franklin School site (now Harriet Spanel Park), and Rock Hill Park provide the neighborhood with distinctive landmarks. Despite the presence of several larger homes, the majority of the houses are small, and are built on smaller lots of about 4,480 square feet. This creates a rather high population density and lack of open spaces. Historically, the York Neighborhood was perhaps Bellingham’s earliest middle-class neighborhood. Although houses were built as early as 1889, and as late as 1970, the majority of homes were built between 1890 and 1910. The neighborhood contains many examples of fine Victorian architecture.
Historically, it is a neighborhood with strong cohesion and few commercial influences not related to neighborhood needs. Even though it was zoned for multi-family development for many years, the neighborhood has retained a strong single family orientation. According to the 2000 Census, over 2,600 residents live in the York Neighborhood.
Harriet Spanel Park is an old elementary school site located south of Lakeway. A playground and open field provide neighborhood recreation. North of Lakeway, the York Neighborhood Association has worked with the city to establish and develop Rock Hill Park at the end of Iron Street. A small playground and half court basketball provide activity for children. Neighbors have adopted the park and help maintain the flower beds.