Seattle Hoods

Top 5 Most Known Areas of Seattle Ghetto

View the most known Seattle hoods, a short tour through the streets of the Seattle ghetto and highlighting areas where, over the years, numerous Seattle gangs have been known to roam. A diverse city of whites, blacks, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, and Asians, there are various hoods scattered throughout the Seattle metropolitan.

Many of these neighborhoods had a reputation from the 1970s to the start of the 2000s, but gentrification has changed the landscape of the streets within the Seattle ghetto, displacing many from the old neighborhoods into places Kent, Federal Way, and more communities further south from Seattle’s inner city.

Seattle Hoods: Central District

During the 1940s, job opportunities helped many families of different ethnic backgrounds to relocate into the city of Seattle for a chance at lucrative employment opportunities and for a possibility of better living conditions. While many minorities were not welcomed, their recruitment were used as tools to help put an end to the local strikes by Seattle’s white workers.

seattle ghetto

Before the mid-1900s, many African Americans, Asians, and other ethnic groups that were not white lived around South Jackson Street, due to redlining and being prohibited from living elsewhere in the city. Jackson Street would later transform into the Asian community of the International District and the African American community of the Central District.

As mentioned, the Central District, once centered around 23rd Avenue, was originally created through segregation and racial discrimination, leading to the city’s black community to be solely based in the Central District during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Many worked in the few wartime positions that were available, together with employment in the shipyards, on the railroad lines, and as laborers or servants.

Following the city’s strong Black Panther and Civil Rights movements, the streets began to take over. With gangs truly forming during the 1980s and 1990s, the Central District would become one of the first neighborhoods of Seattle gangs. Eventually Bloods and Gangster Disciples would claim territory in the neighborhood. Cherry Street, Union Street, VHP (Valley High), and more became some of the most known of the Seattle hoods in the Central District.

Seattle Hoods: Yesler Terrace

A former representation for the Seattle gangs of the Bloods, Yesler Terrace became notorious by the 1980s, with a reputation that reigned throughout the Pacific Northwest. Formerly sitting on the border of Central District and known its beef with Central District hoods like the Union Street Hustlers, Yesler Terrace was a former mixed, or integrated, housing complex, the first in the country to do so.

An illustration of an example and a resemblance of the old Yesler Terrace

Built by the start of the 1940s, Yesler Terrace was the first of its kind, originally home to whites, African-Americans, and Asians, before becoming mostly Asian and African American. Growing a fierce reputation and the nationwide trend of gentrifying public housing projects, Yesler Terrace eventually met its demise during the early 2010s.

An illustration of an example and a resemblance of the rebuilt and gentrified Yesler Terrace

Now completely demolished, the area has less of a Blood gang presence, and possibly one of the city’s worse homelessness problems. With its close location to downtown Seattle, the former site of the old Yesler Terrace is a set for multiple high rise of mixed incomes, but mainly apartments at market rate.

Seattle Hoods: Holly Park

What was once a well-known Crip hood, and still is, Holly Park was a former housing project of the city’s South End that was demolished during the late 1990s. Replaced by the new housing complex of New Holly in 2000, with over 1400 apartment units, the original Holly Park was built during the 1940s for wartime workers, but quickly changed into public housing.

An illustration of an example and a resemblance of the old Holly Park

After its original construction, Holly Park was mostly an all-white complex, but would later become mixed with blacks, Hispanics, and immigrants from across the globe. As the years went on, Holly Park would later become one of the city’s most reputable of all Seattle hoods, especially in the city’s South End.

Seattle Hoods: South End

A large portion of the city’s South End is located in the two neighborhoods of  Beacon Hill and Rainer Valley, which have become the heart of the city’s most known side of town, home to various Seattle gangs, like the Crips, Hoovers, and Gangster Disciples.

Following the rise of L.A. gang culture’s popularity in pop culture and the rise of the drug trade, the city of Seattle began to adopt various gang affiliations during the 1980s and the 1990s. This led to the formation of the Down With The Crew, Hoover Criminals, Grimey Gangsta Gorillaz, and gangs in the former Rainer Vista housing project, amongst others scattered throughout the South End.

During and after World War II, the 1940s and 1950s brought hundreds, if not thousands, of African Americans to the city of Seattle, many first residing in the Central District. But from the 1960s to as late as the 1990s, many white families began to leave parts of the South End, mostly Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley, as other ethnic groups were slowly moving into the  area, due to discriminatory acts on housing limitations. The South End eventually became a large area of Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans.

Seattle Hoods: South Park

Located on the West Side of the city, South Park has often been viewed as Seattle’s most notable Hispanic community. A very small neighborhood, and one of the city’s oldest communities, South Park changed following the 1960s with the city rezoning the neighborhood into a large industrial area.

Soon after, the 1970s saw a rise in the Hispanic population for South Park. With the rise of the streets, South Park would be the home of various Sureno gangs, like United Lokotes, Varrio Locos, Callejones Escondido, and others.

Seattle Hoods: High Point

Located in West Seattle, during World War II (1940s), the need for housing of wartime workers led the city of Seattle to develop housing projects in various locations around the city, one being High Point of West Seattle.

A similar story, the community of High Point became well known in the streets of Seattle by the 1970s, and home to multiple Seattle gangs by the 1980s. Eventually, South Park was demolished by the start of the 2000s, after years of decline following cuts to government funding for public housing.

Originally built for wartime workers, and later turned into public housing, High Point was one of the city’s first housing projects that was set for rebuilding. Years before the newly rebuilt community, High Point was occupied by the likes of the Point Side Gangsters, and various gangs of Bloods and Crips, along with Samoans and Pacific Islands, Hispanics, and Asians.

Map of Seattle Gangs

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