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Central Seattle

Earl Lancaster of Earl’s Cuts & Styles, used to be surrounded by other black-owned businesses, and a working-class community. Today, most of those businesses are gone.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Earl Lancaster has been cutting hair at the corner of 23rd and Union for a quarter of a century.

"Some of the highlights have been cutting some of the Sonics, Mariners. Cutting young kids and turn into fathers and cutting their kids’ hair. It’s been amazing," Lancaster said as he glided his clippers along a man's scalp.


Courtesy of Mithun Architects

A coalition of black community groups chose Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, for the ceremonial groundbreaking of a new affordable housing real estate project in Seattle's Central District.

June 19 is the day in 1865 when the abolition of slavery was announced in Texas.

Teacher Briana Nelson would like to have a place of her own in the Central District.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle’s Central District was historically important to African Americans, until many were priced out.


The old Liberty Bank building in Seattle's Central Area before it was demolished. Affordable housing will go up in its place.
Google Maps

There's a new building going up in the heart of Seattle's Central District.

It's a project that could help bring back renters who've been priced out of the neighborhood.


A Lamborghini at the University of Washington. Nearly 2,000 cars in Seattle are listed as having cost more than $80,349 – the current median household income for Seattle.
Flickr Photo/ericnvntr (CC BY 2.0) http://bit.ly/2dla8Pz

The most expensive car in Seattle is a $653,000 Enzo Ferrari (2003). It is registered to someone who lives somewhere downtown. 

It ties with an Enzo Ferrari in tony Medina for most expensive car in King County, followed by a Ferrari F40 in Bellevue that cost $643,000.

Bama Chester and Patsy Tyler have long been fans of the Red Apple grocery store in the Central District, which has held up against the last decade of extreme gentrification.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Red Apple in the Central District doesn’t look like much when you drive by – maybe just another grocery store in an old strip mall.

But it’s at the heart of the Central Area, and the African-American community that once dominated this neighborhood.

Moe Toure runs Toure Apparel in a strip mall on one of Vulcan Real Estate's 23rd Avenue properties.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

For years, the Central District didn’t get much investment. But recently, the city poured money into infrastructure improvements on 23rd Avenue. Then Vulcan bought a city block of real estate along the route. 

The real estate giant is planning 40,000 square feet of retail space and 570 apartments. They’re also planning a second development across the street.


Seattle Food Rescue founder Tim Jenkins picks up food from Stock Box on James St.
KUOW Photo/Matt Martin

Up to 40 percent of food in the U.S. ends up in landfills. Seattle has been trying to tackle the issue with laws that require composting. But that's not enough for one local cyclist.

Tim Jenkins cuts sharply across tracks in the road as he jets through an intersection before the light changes. He has a child trailer attached to the back of his bike. But instead of carrying a small human, Jenkins hopes to fill the cart with food.

John Robert Charlton appears in King County Jail Court in Seattle on Tuesday after being arrested in the slaying of Ingrid Lyne of Renton.
GRANT HINDSLEY/SEATTLEPI.COM

UPDATE 4/13/2016,  4:30 p.m.

The man arrested in the death of a 40-year-old Renton woman was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder.

John Robert Charlton is accused of killing Ingrid Lyne of Renton. On Wednesday, the King County medical examiner's office confirmed that remains found last weekend in Seattle were hers. 

Lyne worked at Swedish Medical Center and was the mother of three daughters.

The 1600 block of 21st Avenue in Seattle's Central District, where human remains were found.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle Police believe the body parts found in a Seattle recycling bin belong to Ingrid Lyne, a Renton woman who’s been missing since Friday night. Police have arrested a man they consider the suspect.

The white garbage bags contained human remains. It was found by a resident on the 1600 block of 21st Avenue in Seattle's Central District.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle police are investigating the discovery of suspected human remains – including a foot with toenail polish – found in a recycling bin outside a house in the city's Central Area.

Lois Harris opened the Vogue Coiffure Beauty Salon on 23rd Avenue in 1966. Road construction there has put her in the worst financial situation she's seen yet.
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

Central District business owners will get a chance to tell city officials about the problems on 23rd Avenue on Tuesday. They say a big road project there has scared away their customers. They want a financial bailout, but the city says no.

A mural at the Pratt Fine Arts Center in the Central District of Seattle.
Flickr Photo/404era (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/98YbKR

Bill Radke speaks with Wyking Garrett about his vision to create an Africatown -- akin to a Chinatown or International District -- in Seattle. Garrett sees Africatown as a way to expand and preserve the African-American identity of Seattle's Central District. 

A mural on Jackson Street in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC BY NC ND)/http://bit.ly/1W5d0P4

David Hyde speaks with Vivian Phillips, director of marketing and communication for the Seattle Theatre Group, about her thoughts on saving the African-American identity of the Central District by making it Seattle's next arts and culture district. 

A drive-by shooting has claimed the life of another young, black man in Seattle’s Central Area.

Police said the 24-year-old man was walking his dog when he was hit with multiple gunshots around 7:30 p.m. Thursday near the corner of 26th Avenue East and East Columbia Street.

At Hack the CD this weekend, the focus was on problems facing Seattle's Central District.
KUOW Photo/Jamala Henderson

Damon Bomar wants to create an app that would help people find local odd jobs.

“For me personally it would work because I have a job, but at the same time I need a little more money on the side,” Bomar said. He presented his idea at the second Hack the CD conference in Seattle.

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district.

In District 3, which includes Montlake, Madison Park and parts of Capitol Hill, five candidates are running. We asked them to meet us somewhere meaningful in their district.

Annie Roberts and her daughter Claire Engelhard said race relations, violence and affordable housing are the issues they are most concerned with in Central Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery


Tyler Reedus (right) and Joshua Thomas at the Madison Pub in District 3
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

On a map of Seattle's new City Council District 3, one street stands out. That thoroughfare slashes diagonally through the street grid like a samurai sword: East Madison Street.

Decades ago, you could take a streetcar down Madison from downtown to Lake Washington. Today though, we’ll walk.

Stackhouse Apartments, South Lake Union
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Rents across Seattle have risen dramatically in the past 16 years, according to a KUOW analysis of housing data.

Since 1998, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment has risen 38 percent, measured in 2014 dollars. That’s pushed the average cost to $1,412 per month. 

Edna Daigre, center, teaches a class for older dancers in Seattle's Central Area.
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

Doris Tunney doesn’t even pretend to be offended when you ask how old she is.

“I’m 86,” she says proudly. “I’ll be 87 on March 26.”

Tunney is petite, with cinnamon brown skin, short, curly white hair and perfect posture. Dressed in denim capris and a long-sleeved cotton shirt, this octogenarian is ready to dance.

Employees at Ike's Pot Shop in Seattle's Central District sell marijuana products on their opening day, Sept. 30, 2014.
KUOW Photo/Posey Gruener

Ross Reynolds speaks with  producer Posey Gruener on the scene at the opening of Seattle's second marijuana retail store, Uncle Ike's Pot Shop on 23rd and Union in the Central District.

Marcie Sillman talks with the Technology Access Foundation's David Harris about his idea to get more kids and teens of color interested in tech careers: the Central District Hackathon.

KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

What is it like to be black in the fifth whitest major city in America?

It’s not an easy question to answer.

Seattle’s black population hovers around 8 percent, with more leaving every year.

Google Maps

Beginning next year, as many as 21 marijuana retail stores could be open for business in Seattle — and that's sparked a contentious debate over where these stores can be located.

State rules mandate that retail stores must be 1,000 feet from schools, public parks, libraries and even transit centers. That leaves very few places for pot stores to open. According to the city's preliminary map, in nearly all of central Seattle (including Capitol Hill, First Hill and the Central Area), there are very few places that pot retailers will be able to open up. One of those places is the corner of 23rd Avenue and E Union Street.