Community Post

Putting the squeeze on the CD?

So my walk to the gym today from the CD to downtown took me by the Barnes & Nobles at Pacific Place. There in the window: A cool looking neighborhood map of Seattle. I’m a self-professed sucker for maps. Love ’em. I lingered. It had areas marked off of our fair city I had never heard of before. Plenty of history behind that I’m sure. (I would have bought it right then, but it was an overpriced $25.)

But something about where I live caught my attention as I studied it, and I snapped a (grainy) shot of what I saw with my cell phone. The map shows the smallest boundaries of the Central Area I’ve ever seen, and in an odd area. It has the southern edge at Union, with Madison on the westernish flank, up to Denny and over to MLK on the east. It marks off Squire Park as being nearly twice the size, and a neighborhood simply called “Garfield.”

We all know people tend to have varying viewpoints about what something’s called and where it ends and begins. It’s a robust, ongoing, intriguing debate. But from what you can make of this, what do you think? Is the CD being squeezed?

0 thoughts on “Putting the squeeze on the CD?

  1. In spite of my fondest appreciation for our hard-working neighborhood group, I’ve never heard anyone in the CD tell a non-CD resident that they live in Squire Park. That only comes up if you’re talking to someone else in the neighborhood who’s fairly involved with the community group scene.

    IMHO, the CD is everything from Madison to I-90, and 12th Ave to 30th Ave.

  2. That is broken up in a very similar fashion as to the one we used from our real estate person.
    It was broken up into the Central, Squire Park, Garfield, Judkins Park and Jackson Place neighborhoods. Except the map we used didn’t have Little Saigon, it was all the International District.
    And to echo Scott’s comment, we’ve never told anyone that we live in Squire Park. It’s the CD!

  3. Let’s extend it a little southward to S. Massachusetts St. The new museum is considered to be in the Central Area.

  4. I see different versions of neighborhood lines all depending on the source. This is the one that I prefer, itdoesn’t break down the “smaller” section ie. Squire Park.
    Are these the boundaries of the Central Area?
    Check URL:

  5. I really think that goes to far. Madison Park, Denny-Blaine, Washington Park, Madrona, Leschi all seem like independent entities to me.

    My basic rule: waterfront properties and those with direct views of the water are not in the CD

  6. I would concur that the B&N map display seems to over-squeeze the CD, especially for neighborhoods like Squire Park, but the Clerk map also seems to overextend the CD depending on how you interpret it. However, not that the Cleck map calls it Central Area, but also shows many sub-neighborhoods within it (Madrona, Leschi, Judkins, Squire Park, etc).

    If you use the green “Welcome to…” street signs that are put up along arterials as quasi-official boundaries then these are some of the boundaries I have noted for some of the neighborhoods:
    – Squire Park: Madison (N boundary), 12th Ave (W boundary) 18th Ave (E boundary)
    – Leschi: MLK (W boundary), I-90 (S boundary), Cherry (N boundary)
    – Madrona: MLK (W boundary), Cherry (S boundary)
    – Judkins Park: Yesler Way (N boundary), 23rd Ave (W boundary), MLK (E boundary)

    Interestingly enough, I have seen several offical or semi-official documents list my part of Yesler Way (E of 23rd and W of MLK) as Madrona, and some as Garfield (as shown on the B&N map), but have never seen any of those green street signs saying “Welcome to the Garfield Neighborhood” as I have seen on the ones listed above. Of course, I have also never seen signs for “Welcome to the Central District” either…

  7. @YeslerWay – howdy, neighbor! I’m close to 23rd and Yesler. It actually stings me a little that, according to the maps, I’m not in the CD – not even in Squire Park. No, I’m in Judkins. Land of domestic assaults and Deuce Eights. It’s only a block or two, and all psychological, but it gets to me. :-)

    I don’t tell people what specific neighborhood I live in because to most of Seattle, the CD is still off the map. If they have any awareness at all they divide it into “the cool part” (north of Union and west of 26th – walking distance to Cap Hill bars) and “the demilitarized zone” (anything south of say Pine).

    I find it amusing that your profile places you in “Leschi” yet you live W of MLK. Since when is that Leschi? :-D I personally am dreaming of the day when Leschi annexes my area.

  8. these communities and not neatly. And, where is Madison Vally? OH, that is what is labelled Central? Geez. How infuriating!

    I think the Central area/district includes Madrona and Leschi, at least parts of. Historically these included some blocks to the west of MLK and the community of the Central Area went up over the hill to homes with a Lake view.

    History link does a pretty good job of personal articles about neighborhoodds.

    Seattle Webtowns just has ‘Central’ with all of our neighborhoods and more:

    The clerk’s office has so many disclaimers, but they are in the ballpark.

    Although being preciously academic, and correctly not wishing to ever usse the proclamations of realtors, there is a pernicious and ignorant effort going on in the wikipedia community to completely ignore historical reality, and the realities of how things need to be categorized…

    Under the category Central District they include alot of the neighborhoods — hint hint they need articles on our neighborhoods!!

    BUT — the CD link takes one to:

    which restricts the area basically to the Garfield community!

    I have argued about this until I got tired

    The nice way to put it is they need help! I think the categories of neighborhoods should be like the Seattle p-i, and Central Area is a whole nother overlay, which doesn’t belong in that taxonomy. It should be recognized and a history written for it.

    If more brave souls will take up the charge and get this stuff fixed on wikipedia — bad as it can be it IS the thing all the search engines bring up — then I will back you up.

  9. Well I was fooling around with the tool when I put down Leschi… plus, I can see the “Welcome to Leschi” sign out my window… I have still never seen a “Welcom to the Central District” sign like I do for the other neighborhoods )in the Central area (noted in my earlier post), or around town (“Welcome to Capitol Hill” at Madison & 23rd, “Welcome to Montlake” at the Montlake Bridge, etc). As a life long Seattlite I’ve always thought of the Central District as a general area with several sub-neighborhoods kind of like Downtown has The West Edge, Denny Regrade, Cascade (or is it SLU now), etc neighborhoods. Garfield was a bit of a surprise to see for my block, but I have seen that on sites like Zillow with defined boundaries similar to what is shown in the picture of the B&N map display (23rd to MLK, Yesler to Union). But the city clerk map apparently labels that same sub-section “Mann”, which I have NEVER heard of before. I know my legal title calls the my area the Henry & Sarah Yesler Addition. I think I will lobby for “West Leschi” or “Leschi Heights”… ;-)

  10. I would argue as a life long Seattlite that the current Wikipedia defintion for the Central District is the most accurate defition that I have ever seen: West of “Cherry Hill” (i.e. 18th Ave), East of MLK, South of Madison/Denny, and North of I-90/Boren. The so called Garfield sub-neighborhood is more limited: East of 23rd, West of MLK, South of Union, and North of Yesler Way on the couple of things I have seen (such as Zillow & the B&N map). City clerk apparently labels this same sub-area “Mann” — whatever that is. Jackson Place and Judkins Park sub-neighborhoods make up the area south of Yesler Way, Squire Park the area West of 18th to 12th, and I guess the area north of Union to Madison/Denny east of 18th and west of MLK is unnamed as a sub-neighborhood from any concensus I have seen — “Minor” (as in T.T. Minor) is the only designation I have seen on the clerk’s map.

  11. Doesn’t go to 18th, but sure does go west of MLK, north of Union and even a bit north of Madison. Actually, I can get together with some contiguous neighbors and we COULD declare ourselves the ‘No Man’s Land’ neighborhood association, have bylaws, draw lines on a map to the area that we distribute a newsletter to, and be a part of the neighborhood association. That is the anarchy of Seattle. I lived in another city where the Neighborhood Commissions were elected in general elections, were a formal part of the government, and had boundaries clearly drawn. Not saying that is better, we have more fluidity, but we also only have some screwed up dynamics when it comes to influence and accountability.

    Madrona boundaries used to go a few blocks west of MLK, so the CD is not an overlay, nor is it completely distinct from other neighborhoods.

    There are two issues: The wiki Seattle neighborhood page implies that the CD contains all the other neighborhoods by virtue of having a link to a page that draws the CD as a smaller area. Possibly because having a categorized list is a fruitless exercise (look at Ballard! on the list).

    The second issue is that they are mixing historical and current information, which makes it impossible to draw maps with boundaries that match the textual descriptions.

    Might there be a historic Central District as contrasting to the Central AREA?

  12. “Mann” may have some connection to the Mann Building, which is the one at 24th and Cherry, where Nova School is located.

  13. The ‘center’ of the Central District was an area that is now Madison Valley, settled by an African American farmer.

    History Link is in the ballpark:

  14. I beleive there is a sign on Madison just east of Piecora’s (about 15th Ave)stating “Welcome to the Central District”. Seems to be nudging Capitol Hill pretty hard, but it’s been there since the 80’s.