Seattle’s CID placed on list of endangered places

May 9, 2023, 3:05 PM

CID endangered...

Seattle's Chinatown-International District (CID) was named one of the country's 11 most Endangered Historic Places in 2023. (File Photo)

(File Photo)

Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID) was named one of the United States’ 11 most Endangered Historic Places in 2023, with calls from community leaders to give more oversight in the construction of a new Link Light Rail Station.

The neighborhood is the first place in Washington to make the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s most endangered list since it began in 1988.

Debate rages over proposed Sound Transit stations in the CID

The area is the only one in the continental U.S. where Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, African American, and Vietnamese communities settled together and built one neighborhood, according to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Historic Preservation group says that the neighborhood has faced serious challenges since it was created, with racism and construction dividing the neighborhood, and destroying community landmarks. Most of the Seattle CID’s Japanese neighborhood disappeared during World War II, with the neighborhood being sliced in two by Interstate 5 and historical buildings lost to the downtown transit tunnel.

The neighborhood made the list for endangered places this year due to the large-scale development projects of the Link Light Rail expansion, which has stirred up controversy in where new stations can be built to not disrupt the culturally diverse neighborhood.

Transit Equity for All, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Wing Luke Museum are part of a coalition advocating for a more transparent, equitable process that reflects careful decision-making and centers the voices of the CID,” the National Trust for Historic Preservation said in the announcement. “The coalition, which includes community organizations, businesses, residents, and supporters, wants to ensure that Sound Transit mitigates construction impacts on the neighborhood, keeps the community connected to regional transit improvements, and minimizes displacement from the CID.”

Sully’s wild Link Light Rail ride to the Mariners game, was it worth it?

Sound Transit continues to study possible options for a new station. Its final environmental impact statement is set to be released early next year.

Washington Trust and its partners said they hope that drawing the public’s attention to Sound Transit’s plans around the CID will help ensure that the agency will find ways to reduce the effects of construction and minimize people being displaced from the neighborhood.

Other endangered sites include Jamestown, Va., home to North America’s first permanent English settlement, Nashville’s music row, and the Minidoka internment camp in Idaho.

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Seattle’s CID placed on list of endangered places