The Vuecrest subdivision is located on the original Patrick Downey homestead. The Downey family is pictured above in a photograph dated from 1921. The property was sold by the Downey family following World War II. It was subsequently subdivided by real estate developer R. E. Rogers in 1947. Vuecrest is important in Bellevue's history because it was one of the first modern subdivisions in the area. Through protective deed restrictions, it continues to retain much of its original character.
Read an article, with photographs, on the Downey Homestead property here.
The early history of the Vuecrest property was as Patrick Downey's 160-acre homestead. In1882, Downey built his first cabin at the approximate location of 101st Avenue and NE 12th Street. Downey raised strawberries and had a dairy farm. Later, the property was leased to Japanese American farmers prior to the evacuation and internment of Japanese Americans in 1942.
Developer W.E. Rogers and real estate broker James H. Barber formed four companies to develop the area. The original deeds were recorded on April 25, 1947. At that time specific protective restrictions were drawn up for Vuecrest, which was touted as "Seattle's finest suburban development located in Bellevue, Washington".
The streets were laid out in a winding fashion to take maximum advantage of the views. Street names reflected past uses (such as Vineyard Crest) and the natural character of the landscape (such as Hilltop Road and Evergreen Drive).
Restrictions included a prohibition on splitting lots, which average about 12,000 square feet in area. There was also a limitation of 20 feet on the height of structures, with some limited exceptions. The Vuecrest Community Organization was informally organized in 1947 and incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 1952. The Vuecrest Community Organization (now known as the Vuecrest Community Association) continues to play an active role in the community planning.
(original text from Bellevue Historical Society)