Seattle’s historic districts: Chinatown-International District

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A few folks get into a round of ping pong during the district’s Night Market. | Photo by @missaquino

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Hey there, Seattle. Ready to explore? Welcome to Round 4 of our Seattle Historic District Walkthrough — a look at the Chinatown-International District.

If you’re not really sure what’s happening right now, Editor Alina is still pretty new to Seattle, so we’re getting her caught up with some Seattle history in each of our city’s eight historical districts.

But let’s make like napa cabbage in a bowl of hot pot and dive in.

Flashback ⏳

The community remains the only area in the continental US where Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, African American, and Vietnamese folks settled together and built one neighborhood.

Fun fact for ya — it’s actually home to two historic districts.The City of Seattle first established the International Special Review District in 1973 to “preserve the [...] unique Asian American character.” Ten years later, the Seattle Chinatown National Register Historic District was established within the first district, “testifying to the important contributions of [the district] on a national level.

Preservation efforts for this culturally rich district have been especially important alongside the many impacts of discrimination and segregation its seen throughout the years, as one of the few ethnic neighborhoods remaining in Seattle.

Lay of the land now 🌳

The Chinatown-International District, which occupies 23 acres near Pioneer Square, is currently home to about 7,000 residents. There are 17 different languages spoken in the district, with Mandarin/Cantonese and Vietnamese making up the highest percentage. The median resident age is 46, which skews above Seattle’s median of 35.

The area is well-known for its stunning Asian-influenced architecture and artworks, diverse (and delicious) cuisine, and rich cultural events.

Digs for sale 🏡

Nearby biz + things to do 📋

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