In honor of February as Black History Month, we’re featuring Troy Miles’ series of decals on signal boxes – metal boxes at intersections with traffic lights – in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood. In 2010, Seattle graphic artist and Central District resident Miles designed three unique decals—Inside, Straight Out the CD and Jackson Street Jazz —that pay tribute to the neighborhood’s heritage. There are 26 large vinyl decals (40” x 21″) and 42 small decals (35.5” x 11.5″) around the neighborhood.
Inside depicts a streetcar scene on Jackson Street circa 1940 and pays tribute to the diverse populations that have lived in the Central District throughout its history.
Straight Out the CD pays homage to the history of the civil rights movement and local landmarks in the Central District, including images of William Grose, one of the first African Americans to settle in the Central District; local civil rights activist Edwin Pratt; and neighborhood cultural arts institution Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.
Jackson Street Jazz includes images and names of local musicians and references the roots of Seattle’s jazz scene in the nightclubs and restaurants along Jackson Street in the ‘30s to ‘50s, as well as jazz greats heralding from Seattle.
Check out the neighborhood and see if you can spot one!
The project is part of the Seattle Department of Transportation Art Plan and was funded by SDOT 1% for Art dollars.
IMAGE: Troy Miles; Inside, Straight Out the CD and Jackson Street Jazz; 2010; decals mounted on signal boxes in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood. Photos by Vaughn Bell.