Before Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon transformed Seattle into the 13th-largest metropolitan area in the nation, this was a grubby, rain-soaked port town of frontiersmen, loggers, and fishmongers.
Seattle's humble past is still apparent in the Central District, a sleepy neighborhood where couches slouch on empty porches and house colors range in shades of purple and black. It's here, in the weedy backyard of a furrowed early-1900s Craftsman, that David and Jodi Sarti's bright-red house sticks out like a sore thumb trying to hitch a ride to the 21st century.
"I kind of fell into this place, this area," Sarti says with a laugh, rolling out a retractable dining-room table from a kitchen cabinet of his compact 1,100-square-foot home and studio. He gently slides the table back into place and walks to the wall-wide glass doors that look over the 16-by-17-foot courtyard of his backyard. "I couldn't afford to buy a house so I figured I'd have to build the place myself."
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