Pioneer Square, Seattle
Pioneer Square is a neighborhood in the southwest corner of Downtown Seattle, Washington, USA. It was once the heart of the city: Seattle's founders settled there in 1852, following a brief six-month settlement at Alki Point on the far side of Elliott Bay; the early structures in the neighborhood were wooden, nearly all burned in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. By the end of 1890, dozens of brick and stone buildings had been erected in their stead; the neighborhood takes its name from a small triangular plaza near the corner of First Avenue and Yesler Way known as Pioneer Place. The Pioneer Square–Skid Road Historic District, a historic district including that plaza and several surrounding blocks, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Like all Seattle neighborhoods, the Pioneer Square neighborhood lacks definitive borders, it is bounded by Alaskan Way S. on the west, beyond which are the docks of Elliott Bay. Because Yesler Way marks the boundary between two different plats, the street grid north of Yesler does not line up with the neighborhood's other streets, so the northern border of the district zigzags along numerous streets.
In some places, the Pioneer Square–Skid Road Historic District extends beyond these borders. It includes Union Station east of 4th Avenue S. and several city blocks south of S. King Street; the settlement's importance was guaranteed in 1852, when Henry Yesler chose the site for his lumber mill, located on Elliott Bay at the foot of what is now Yesler Way, right on the border between the land claimed by David Swinson "Doc" Maynard and that platted by Arthur Denny and Carson Boren. Much of the neighborhood is on landfill: in pioneer times, the area between First and Second Avenue, bounded on the south by Jackson Street, extending north to Yesler Way was a low-lying offshore island; the mainland shore followed what is now Yesler Way to about Fourth Avenue ran southeast, at an angle of about 45 degrees to the current shoreline. Inland were steep bluffs, which were smoothed away by regrading in the late 19th and early 20th century. Yesler Way Mill Street, is the main east-west street through the Pioneer Square neighborhood.
South of the square itself, it was the dividing line between Maynard's original claim and Boren's. It became "the Deadline", the northern border of the "restricted district," Maynardtown "Down in the Sawdust", "South of the Slot", "Below the Line", the Lava Beds, the Tenderloin, White Chapel, or "Wappyville", where low entertainment and vice were long tolerated. One of the earliest names, one that stuck well into second half of the 20th century, was "Skid Row". Henry Broderick, approaching his 80th birthday in 1959, wrote of the neighborhood south of Yesler, "erhaps never in all history not in America, has there existed such a massive collection of the demimonde grouped in a restricted area." There were "parlor houses" with marquees, celebrity madames—among them Lou Graham, Lila Young, Raw McRoberts—and piano "professors". Scrupulous in their dealings, the parlor houses were tolerated by the city at the time, but there were the far more controversial "crib houses" such as the Midway, the Paris and Dreamland near the corner of Sixth Avenue South and King Street.
Each had a hundred or more cubicles—"cribs"—and they were not known for any particular honesty in their dealings. The city health department conducted inspections and attempted to keep venereal disease under control, but the state of medicine at the time was not such as to give them any great chance of success. Besides the brothels there were "an ungodly mixture of dives, dumps... pawnshops, hash houses, dope parlors and... the et cetera that kept the police guessing." Box houses part theater, part bar, part brothel, as did all sorts of gambling. Police only dared enter the neighborhood in teams; the only safe haven in the neighborhood was the saloon "Our House", which rented out safe deposit boxes. In 1870, Father Francis Xavier Prefontaine founded Seattle's first Catholic Church, the Church of Our Lady of Good Help in the heart of this district, at Third Avenue South and Washington Street. Two decades Lou Graham opened the city's most famous parlor house diagonally across the street. Father Prefontaine is commemorated by a street in Prefontaine Place.
By the end of 1889, Seattle had become the largest city in Washington with 40,000 residents. That same year, the Great Seattle Fire resulted in the complete destruction of Pioneer Square. However, the economy was strong at the time, so Pioneer Square was rebuilt. Many of the new buildings show the influence of the Romanesque Revival architectural mode, although influence of earlier Victorian modes is widespread; because of drainage problems new development was built at a higher level burying the remains of old Pioneer Square. Anticipating the planned regrade, many buildings were built with two entrances, one at the old, low level, another higher up. Visitors can take the Seattle Underground Tour to see. Just before the fire, cable car service was instituted from Pio
Denny Triangle, Seattle
The Denny Triangle is a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, USA, that stretches north of the central business district to the grounds of Seattle Center. Its flat terrain was a steep hill, taken down as part of a mammoth construction project in the first decades of the 20th century known as the Denny Regrade, another name for the neighborhood on the regraded area; the name Denny Triangle, referring to the northeastern portion of this regrading project, is a term that has gained currency as this neighborhood has seen increasing development in the first decades of the 21st Century. As with most Seattle neighborhoods, the Denny Triangle has no formal borders; the Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas defines the Denny Regrade as bounded on the north by Denny Way, on the southwest by Third Avenue, on the southeast by Olive Way, with a small eastern border on Interstate 5. A 2009 map from northwestplaces.com treats the term "Denny Regrade" as synonymous with Belltown and shows both names as referring to a triangle bounded on the north by Denny Way, on the southwest by Western Avenue, on the southeast by Stewart Street.
A map on downtownseattle.com agrees on the northern boundary at Denny Way, but splits this area into "Belltown" and the Denny Triangle and gives both a less regular shape. They divide Belltown to the southwest from the Denny Triangle to the northeast, with the border running along Fifth Avenue but including a small number of properties along Denny Way west of Fifth Avenue as being in the Denny Triangle, they mark the southwest border of Belltown as a block closer to the water and draw a more ragged southeast border: west of Fifth Avenue, Belltown extends south only to Lenora Street, while east of Fifth Avenue the Denny Triangle is bounded in its westernmost block by Virginia Street and by Olive Way, with an eastern border on the same small piece of Interstate 5 as the City Clerk's map. Seattle is located on an isthmus between Lake Washington on the Puget Sound on the west; the north-south orientation of the lake and of the city's many hills is the result of glaciation. The terrain was first gouged by south-moving glaciers, when they retreated, was marked by mounds of rock debris left in their wake.
Denny and Queen Anne Hills are two of those north of. Denny Hill was removed in a series of regrades beginning in 1898 and ending in 1930; the Denny Regrade project was the removal of Denny Hill, one of the proverbial seven hills of Seattle. It ran east from First Avenue between Denny Way. Hill and street were named after the Denny family, who were among the city's earliest white inhabitants; the First Avenue regrade was started in 1897 and completed on January 6, 1899. From 1902 to 1911, the hill was sluiced into Elliott Bay by pumping water from Lake Union using hydraulic mining techniques, in a series of regrades along Pike and Pine Streets, Second Avenue, the massive Denny Regrade No. 1 which regraded everything remaining between Fifth Avenue and the waterfront. In 1929–30, Denny Regrade No. 2 removed the final pieces of the hill east of Fifth Avenue using steam shovels. Eugene McAllaster, Denny Regrade consulting engineer Regrading Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce online article: Top Projects of the Century in Washington State: #7, Denny Regrade Biography of Eugene L. McAllaster, 1866-1946 at the Wayback Machine, Denny Regrade consulting engineer Guide to the Seattle Engineering Department Denny Hill Regrade Photograph Album 1904-1929 Belltown-Denny Regrade -- Thumbnail History Seattle Photographs Collection, Denny Regrade - University of Washington A page about Denny Hill from geologist and writer David B.
Williams, who has published several books of the geography and topography of Seattle
Chinatown–International District, Seattle
The Chinatown–International District of Seattle, Washington is the center of Seattle's Asian American community. Within the Chinatown International District are the three neighborhoods known as Seattle's Chinatown and Little Saigon, named for the concentration of businesses owned by people of Chinese and Vietnamese descent, respectively; the geographic area once included Seattle's Manilatown. The name Chinatown/International District was established by City Ordinance 119297 in 1999 as a result of the three neighborhoods' work and consensus on the Seattle Chinatown International District Urban Village Strategic Plan submitted to the City Council in December 1998. Like many other areas of Seattle, the neighborhood is multiethnic, but the majority of its residents are of Chinese ethnicity, it is one of eight historic neighborhoods recognized by the City of Seattle. CID has a mix of residences and businesses and is a tourist attraction for its ethnic Asian businesses and landmarks; the CID boundaries are defined as 4th Avenue South to Rainier Avenue and from Yesler Way to Charles Street/Dearborn.
The CID is bordered by the neighborhoods of Pioneer Square and SoDo to the west of 4th Ave S. Within the CID are three distinct neighborhoods: Chinatown and Little Saigon; the Seattle Chinatown Historic District, so designated by the U. S. National Register of Historic Places in 1986, is south of Jackson and west of I-5, with Hing Hay Park at its heart. In the present day, Japantown is centered on 6th Avenue and Main Street and Little Saigon's main nexus is 12th Avenue South and South Jackson Street; the CID is served by the International District/Chinatown station on the Central Link light rail system, three stops along Jackson on the First Hill Streetcar: at 5th Ave S, 7th Ave S, 12th Ave S. Chinese immigrants first came to the Pacific Northwest in the 1850s, by the 1860s, some had settled in Seattle. Many of the first Chinese immigrants to Washington came from Guangdong province Taishan; the first Chinese quarters were near Yesler's Mill on the waterfront. According to Chinese oral history, the waterfront was the first Chinatown, where the Chinese dock workers lived.
The influx of Chinese immigrants was slowed by the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. In 1886 whites drove out most of Seattle's Chinese population. However, some took shelter with Native Americans on the reservations while others came under the protection of white employers and a judge; the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 further hindered the community. The Chinese re-established new quarters farther inland, along Washington St. and Second Avenue South. This was the second Chinatown. Land values rose with impending construction of the Smith Tower, the people of Chinatown moved again, to the present and third location along King Street. Only the Hop Sing Tong managed to retain its building on Washington, it sold this building about 2006 in order to purchase the former China Gate building at 516 7th Ave S in the current Chinatown. Near the end of the 19th century, Japanese immigrants began arriving, settling on the south side of the district on the other side of the railroad tracks. Part of present-day Dearborn Street, between 8th and 12th avenues, was known as Mikado Street, after the Japanese word for "emperor."
Japanese Americans developed Nihonmachi, or Japantown, on Main Street, two blocks north of King Street. By the mid-1920s, Nihonmachi extended from 4th Avenue along Main to 7th Avenue, with clusters of businesses along Jackson, Weller and Dearborn streets; the Jackson Regrade began in 1907. As downtown property values rose, the Chinese were forced to other areas. By the early 1900s, a new Chinatown began to develop along King Street. In 1910, Goon Dip, a prominent businessman in Seattle's Chinese American community, led a group of Chinese Americans to form the Kong Yick Investment Company, a benefit society, their funding and efforts led to the construction of two buildings—the East Kong Yick Building and the West Kong Yick Building. Meanwhile, Filipino Americans began arriving to replace the Chinese dock workers, who had moved inland. According to Pamana I, a history of Filipino Americans in Seattle, they settled along First Hill and the hotels and boarding houses of Chinatown and Japantown beginning in the early 1920s.
They were attracted to work as contract laborers in salmon canneries. Among them was Filipino author Carlos Bulosan, who wrote of his experiences and those of his countrymen in his novel America Is In The Heart. By the 1930s, a ` Manilatown' had been established near the corner of King. In 1942, under the auspices of Executive Order 9066, the federal government forcibly removed and detained people of Japanese ancestry from Seattle and the West Coast in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Authorities moved them to inland internment camps, where they lived from 1942 to 1946. Most of Seattle's Japanese residents were sent to Minidoka in Idaho. After the war, many returned to the Pacific Northwest but relocated to the suburbs or other districts in Seattle. A remaining vestige of the old community is the office of the North American Post, a Japanese-language newspaper founded in 1902. Another is the Panama Hotel, proclaimed a National Treasure in 2015 with a prior listing on the U. S. National Register of Historic Places.
Yesler Terrace, Seattle
Yesler Terrace, a 22-acre public housing development in Seattle, Washington was, at the time of its completion in 1941, Washington State's first public housing development and the first racially integrated public housing development in the United States. It occupies much of the area known as Yesler Hill, Yesler's Hill, or Profanity Hill; the development is administered by the Seattle Housing Authority, who have been redeveloping the neighborhood into a mixed-income area with multi-story buildings and community amenities since 2013. The name derives from Henry Yesler, pioneer mill owner. Yesler Way was the skid road on which logs were skidded down to the mill; the southern part of the hill came to be known as Yesler Hill, or Profanity Hill. These names referred to the part of First Hill south of the original King County Courthouse at 8th Avenue and Terrace Street. Razed in 1931, the courthouse site was the western portion of the present-day Harborview Medical Center; the name "Profanity Hill" could have its origins from the cursing of the attorneys and litigants at having to climb so steep a grade after missing the cable car, or because of the slum neighborhood known for its uncouth inhabitants to the south where Yesler Terrace is now situated.
Yesler Terrace is located on the southernmost part of First Hill, along Yesler Way east of downtown Seattle. Uphill across Interstate 5 from Pioneer Square and the International District. Much of the site included Nihonmachi or Japantown until Executive Order 9066 ordered residents to be interned. Yesler Terrace sits on 28 acres with 561 residential units in 68 buildings, many of which are two-story rowhouses. Unlike most public housing developments, residents have their own private yards; as of 2005, there were 1,167 residents. An estimated 38% of households are Asian or Asian American, 40% are African or African American, 11% are White, 3% Native American. Talks of redeveloping the 60-year-old Yesler Terrace, which had become the oldest public housing project in the city, began in 2004 amid similar schemes to redevelop Rainier Vista, High Point and NewHolly into mixed-income neighborhoods. Formal planning on the project began in 2006 with the hiring of a planning team and recruitment for a citizen review panel.
The $1.7 billion redevelopment project of the neighborhood began in 2013, with plans to replace existing homes with 5,000 mixed-income residential units, 900,000 sq ft of office space, 153,000 sq ft of retail and community space. The new development will include at least 561 units for those earning 30% of the area median income or less as well as 290 units for 60% of AMI and 850 units for 80% of AMI; the SHA partnered with developer Vulcan Real Estate, who would buy and develop private parcels, architects Weber Thompson. The first new building, Kebero Court, opened in May 2015 and was followed by the opening of Raven Terrace in February 2016; the project, the largest such redevelopment in Seattle's history, is anticipated to take up to 20 years for the full buildout. The First Hill Streetcar, which began operation in 2016, connects Yesler Terrace to Capitol Hill via Broadway, the International District via Jackson Street. Prior to the start of construction, existing Yesler Terrace residents had organized to oppose any redevelopment plans that would reduce the number of units available to residents with the lowest income.
Yesler Terrace, Seattle Housing Authority. Includes links to pages relevant to the current planning process. Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas: Yesler Terrace
Matthews Beach, Seattle
Matthews Beach is a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. Matthews Beach lies about 2 miles northeast of the University of Washington, about 8 miles northeast of Downtown; the general boundaries of Matthews Beach are: bounded on the north by NE 120th Street and Lakeside Place NE, the Cedar Park neighborhood, on the east by Lake Washington. Neighborhoods in Seattle are informal; the residents living west of Sand Point Way may consider themselves belonging to the adjacent neighborhoods of Meadowbrook or Wedgwood. The residential neighborhood abuts Lake Washington and includes Matthews Beach, a seasonally popular city park with the largest freshwater swimming beach in the city, it is named after John G. Matthews. What is now Matthews Beach neighborhood has been inhabited since the end of the last glacial period; the tu-hoo-beed hah-chu-ahbsh of the Duwamish tribe Lushootseed Coast Salish village was about 1/4 mile north. The Burke-Gilman Trail borders the park on the west and follows the course of the old Northern Pacific Railway line of Judge Burke and Daniel Gilman's Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway.
The low-lying areas of the park and adjacent neighborhood is a former wetland which surrounded the mouth of Thornton Creek. As with nearby Magnuson Park at Sand Point, most of the wetland disappeared when the Army Corps of Engineers lowered the lake in 1916 by building the Montlake Cut and the Lake Washington Ship Canal; the area south of the main beach was the site of Pan American World Airways' offices and the dock for Pan Am’s Boeing "Clipper Ships"—the world’s first commercial air transports over ocean. The park now boasts a hilly knoll with towering Douglas firs and other trees, picnic tables, a playground, a swimming beach with lifeguards and a diving platform in summer months. Thornton Creek empties at the southern end of the park, rehabilitated to include a wildlife pond, native plants, bird nesting areas; the Thornton Creek watershed has hosted at least five indigenous species of Pacific salmon and trout, has been the subject of daylighting efforts at locations further upstream. Thornton Creek Meadowbrook neighborhood Northgate district Seattle City Clerk: Matthews Beach neighborhood "About the Seattle City Clerk's On-line Information Services".
Information Services. Seattle City Clerk's Office. 2006-04-30. Retrieved 2006-05-21. See heading, "Note about limitations of these data". Brokaw, Michael. "Grounds Department Wetland". North Seattle Community College Grounds Maintenance. Archived from the original on November 15, 2004. Retrieved 2006-04-21. Dailey, Tom. "Duwamish-Seattle". "Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound". Retrieved 2006-04-21. Page links to Village Descriptions Duwamish-Seattle section. Dailey referenced "Puget Sound Geography" by T. T. Waterman. Washington DC: National Anthropological Archives, mss.. Washington DC: US Court of Claims, 1927.. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940.. Recommended start is "Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound" "Matthews Beach". Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas. Office of the Seattle City Clerk. N.d. map.jpg c. 2002-06-17. Retrieved 2006-04-21. Maps "NN-1030S", "NN-1040S".jpg dated 17 June 2002. Note caveat in footer. "Seattle Parks - Matthews". Seattle Parks and Recreation. 2004-08-18. Retrieved 2006-04-21.
History excerpted from Brandt. Enjoying Seattle's parks. Seattle: Greenwood Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-933576-01-3 "Meadowbrook Pond". Seattle Public Utilities. 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-21. Shenk, Carol. "About neighborhood maps". Seattle City Clerk's Office Neighborhood Map Atlas. Information Services, Seattle City Clerk's Office. Retrieved 2006-04-21. Sources for this atlas and the neighborhood names used in it include a 1980 neighborhood map produced by the Department of Community Development, Seattle Public Library indexes, a 1984-1986 Neighborhood Profiles feature series in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, numerous parks, land use and transportation planning studies, records in the Seattle Municipal Archives. Wilma, David. "Seattle Neighborhoods: Lake City -- Thumbnail History". HistoryLink.org Essay 3449. HistoryLink On-line Encyclopedia of Washington State History. Retrieved 2006-04-21. See Bibliography at Lake City for complete list Wilma referenced. "Matthews Beach Park", Seattle Parks and Recreation.
"Matthews Beach Photo Archive", Information Services, Seattle City Clerk's Office. Walter, Sunny. "Sunny Walter's Washington Nature Weekends: Wildlife Viewing Locations - Greater Seattle Area". Archived from the original on 2005-03-22. Retrieved 2006-04-21. "with additions by Sunny Walter and local Audubon chapters." Viewing locations only. Walter
Wedgwood is a middle class residential neighborhood of northeast Seattle, Washington with a modest commercial strip. Wedgwood is located about two miles north, east, of the University of Washington; the neighborhood is further typical of Seattle neighborhoods in having more than one name and having different, but well-documented definitions of the neighborhood. The misspelling Wedgewood is not uncommon—it is used by at least five businesses and appears in the unofficial City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas—but the origin and spelling of the name are clear: the neighborhood was named after the English bone china-maker Wedgwood, the favorite of the wife of Albert Balch, the developer who named the neighborhood. Balch was the founder of adjoining View Ridge; the area has been inhabited since the end of the last glacial period. The Dkhw'Duw'Absh, "the People of the Inside", the xachua'bsh or hah-choo-AHBSH, "People of a Large Lake" or "Lake People", today the Duwamish tribe, Native Americans of the Lushootseed Coast Salish hunted and traveled through what is now Wedgwood.
The Wedgwood Rock, a glacial erratic boulder 19 ft tall by 75 ft circumference became the intersection of a number of trails through dense, old growth forest that covered what is now Seattle. The neighborhood has adopted Big Rock after it was protected from housing development in 1941; the land that formed the original core of Wedgwood, west of 35th Avenue NE between 80th and 85th Streets, was at one time a wooded ginseng farm. Charles E. Thorpe had cleared a portion of his 40-acre tract north of the Seattle city limits of the time, building a log cabin from the wood of his own trees. By the 1920s, 35th Avenue NE was becoming a thoroughfare with homes and businesses, the electric and sewer grids had been extended to the area, it was becoming too urban for Thorpe's tastes; the Jesuit institution Seattle University paid Thorpe $65,000 for the property, planning to build a new campus there and move north from First Hill. Thorpe left Seattle. One month came the Stock Market Crash of 1929; the Great Depression put.
Thorpe's cabin became St. Ignatius Parish in 1929. By 1940, the Jesuits had decided not to relocate Seattle University, sold Thorpe's 40 acres to Albert Balch at a loss, for only $22,500 a third of what they had paid for the land in 1929. A Catholic presence remains in the neighborhood: the parish of St. Ignatius became the parish of Our Lady of the Lake at its present location on 35th Avenue at 89th Street NE; when Balch obtained the land from the Jesuits, it was still "completely undeveloped treed, with only one structure," Thorpe's cabin. Major development of the neighborhood began during World War II with defense worker housing. Balch and Setzer built 500 homes on 40 acres, constituting the center of today's Wedgwood neighborhood. At the time, the area was north of Seattle city limits. In its first act of community organizing, Wedgwood formed its own Volunteer Fire Department, founded November 11, 1943, absorbed into the city March 20, 1945. During its short life, the volunteer department operated a Ford Model A truck with a pump, based in the garage of a neighborhood home.
In this wartime period, many of the volunteer firefighters were women. Al Balch was a direct descendant of 17th century New England settler John Balch. In tribute to this heritage, he had the firm of Thomas, Grainger & Thomas design the houses in the Cape Cod style; each house was unique in some way, each sold for $5,000. Other portions of Wedgwood have distinct histories of their own. In 1936, Dr. and Mrs. Philip M. Rogers purchased 15 acres between 40th and 45th Avenues NE, from NE 88th Street to NE 92nd Street. Maple Creek flows through this property; until shortly after 1950, they left the land entirely undeveloped, allowing it to be used as a Boy Scout camp. According to Valarie Bunn, at the time "no traffic noise could be heard and no electric lights" could be seen in the area of the camp; the land was developed in the 1950s. The Earl J. McLaughlin Plat was filed in 1907, but at the time there was no city water or electricity in the area. Few lots were sold at that time, those were sold cheaply.
In 1917, Earl J. McLaughlin relocated to Cleveland, where he remained active in real estate for 12 years, before emigrating to Canada; the large P-Patch Community Garden near the west edge of the neighborhood, the adjoining University Prep School and Temple Beth Am are on land that remained a working farm as late as 1965. Wedgwood has Seattle's largest P-Patch; the "P" stood for "Picardo", the family who farmed the land. Just south of the old Picardo Farm is Dahl Playfield. Like the P-Patch, it is former peat bog land, once known as the Ravenna Swamp. In the 1940s houses stood on part of.
Central District, Seattle
The Central Area called the Central District or CD, is a residential district in Seattle located east of First Hill. The Central District has been one of Seattle's most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods, was once the center of Seattle's black community and a major hub of African-American businesses; the culture and demographics of the Central District have changed throughout many years. It started out as a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. Jewish residents built Temple De Hirsch on Union Street in 1907. Other former synagogues in the neighborhood are the former Sephardic Bikur Holim synagogue, Herzl Congregation synagogue, Chevra Bikur Cholim. A few decades the Central District became a home to Japanese-Americans in Seattle; the blocks between 14th and 18th Avenues and Yesler Way and Jackson Street still retain a strong Japanese presence—the Buddhist Church, Seattle Koyasan Church, Wisteria Park, Japanese Congregational Church, Keiro Nursing Home, the Kawabe Memorial House. During World War II, presidential Executive Order 9066 made possible the removal of American citizens of Japanese descent from the West Coast.
All Japanese residents were taken out of their homes and sent to internment camps. This and many race-restricted covenants to the north and south paved the way for many African Americans to find a new home in the Central District as part of the Second Great Migration to the city in search of employment opportunities in the munitions plants during the war as well as taking advantage of the post-war economic expansion. By the 1970s, Central District became an African-American neighborhood and the center of the civil rights movement in Seattle. In 1970, Blacks made up nearly 80% of the neighborhood's population However, it marked the neighborhood's decline into poverty and crime for another two decades. In the early 21st century, several demographic trends are changing the population of the Central District again. Low-income segments of the population are moving southward toward the Rainier Valley, while more affluent residents, who might otherwise have purchased homes on Capitol Hill, Leschi, or Mt. Baker are moving into the Central District as real estate and rental property become more expensive in the former neighborhoods and commuting times and costs make suburban areas less attractive.
Due to this market pressure, housing in the Central District is mixed, with some homes on the verge of condemnation, others having undergone extensive renovation. Many condemned houses are being replaced by multi-unit condominiums. Easy access to Interstate 5, Interstate 90, Downtown, as well as ample street parking make the Central District an attractive and convenient place to live. Despite the demographic shifts since the early 1970s, many locals still think of the Central District as a predominantly African-American area. One reason for this is that despite the decline in the African-American population, there is black history in the neighborhood, it is home to the Northwest African American Museum. During the early 1960s, the neighborhood was a hotbed for the Seattle civil rights movement. In 1963, civil rights protesters protested against racial discrimination, they participated in a sit-in in downtown Seattle. At the same time, the Black Panther Party used the neighborhood as a staging area for their movement.
As of 2010 the total population of the Central Area is 29,868 with a population, 59.6% White or Caucasian, 21.4% Black or African-American, 9.1% Asian, 0.6% Native American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 3.2% from other races and 6.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race consisted of 7.3% of the population. Linda Emery Jimi Hendrix Quincy Jones Kyle Townsend Bruce Lee Rose McGowan Brandon Roy Isaiah Stanback Sir Mix-a-Lot Kip Tokuda NoClue The Central District's main thoroughfares are its east boundary along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, its west boundaries along 12th Avenue and Rainier Avenue, its'main street' 23rd Avenue and E. Union, E. Cherry, E. Jefferson, E. Yesler Way, S. Jackson. Bullitt Center Ezell's Chicken TT Minor School Washington Middle School Garfield High School Medgar Evers Pool Garfield Community Center Odessa Brown Clinic Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center Chevra Bikur Cholim The Nova Project Washington Hall Central District News 23rdandunion.org, outgrowth of a 2009 KUOW-FM/Hollow Earth Radio documentary project.
See The Corner: 23rd and Union, The Hub, KUOW News, August 26, 2009. Seattle Photograph Collection, Central District - University of Washington Digital Collection