Central Area Culture District

Seattle, Washington, United States


Neighborhood Type: Mixed-Use

Size: 3.4 Square Miles

Website: https://www.africatownlandtrust.org/

Lead Stakeholder: Africatown Community Land Trust

The Central District is on the east side of Capitol Hill and is considered one of the oldest surviving residential neighborhoods in the city. Throughout its history it has seen many changes in demographics and politics, but has recently seen a period of new construction and community improvement projects which is leading to gentrification and displacement of the historical cultures and fabric of the neighborhood.


The area was first cleared for development in the mid-1800s. It was the ideal place to settle because of its close proximity to the business district. Trees were logged and cable cars were installed, and many homes and buildings were constructed that remain historical landmarks today.

At different times, the area was home to different cultural groups. First were European Americans, then Japanese, Jews, and African Americans. The Central District was an area of racial tension during the Civil Rights era, due to housing discrimination. The Central Area was created by Seattle’s documented practice of “redlining” in which African Americans and others considered minorities were relegated to a certain geographical boundary, and not allowed to live in other neighborhoods throughout the City.

District Photo Gallery

Registration Status