Newcastle, Washington

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Newcastle, Washington
An unusual snowy day in Newcastle
An unusual snowy day in Newcastle
Location of Newcastle in King County and Washington
Location of Newcastle in
King County and Washington
Coordinates: 47°32′00″N 122°10′20″W / 47.53333°N 122.17222°W / 47.53333; -122.17222
Country United States
State Washington
County King
 • Mayor Steve Buri
 • Total 4.46 sq mi (11.55 km2)
 • Land 4.45 sq mi (11.53 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 561 ft (171 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 10,380
 • Estimate (2014)[3] 11,201
 • Density 2,332.6/sq mi (900.6/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 98056, 98059
Area code(s) 425
FIPS code 53-48645
GNIS feature ID 1512503[4]

Newcastle is an Eastside city in King County, Washington, United States. Its population was 10,380 at the 2010 census.

Although Newcastle was not incorporated until 1994, it has been an important settlement and town since the late 19th century and played a major role in the development of Seattle and the Seattle region.[5] Newcastle was one of the region's earliest coal mining areas and its railroad link to Seattle was the first in King County. Timber also played a role in the early history of Newcastle. Coal delivered by rail from Newcastle's mines to Seattle fueled the growth of the Port of Seattle and attracted railroads, most notably the Great Northern Railway.

The Newcastle coal mine began producing coal by the 1870s. More than 13 million tons of coal had been extracted by the time the mine closed in 1963. The history of Newcastle's coal mining industry and the legacy of the mines' many Chinese laborers are memorialized in place names such as Coal Creek, Coal Creek Parkway, and the Coal Creek and China Creek Golf Courses.

Based on per capita income Newcastle ranks 11th of 522 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked. In CNN Money's 2011 rankings of best places to live in the United States, Newcastle was in the top 20, along with nearby Sammamish. In Newsweek's 2009 rankings of best places to live in the United States, Newcastle was honored with the 17th spot.


Newcastle was named after Newcastle upon Tyne in England, as it was originally a coal mining town founded in the 1870s. Coal was discovered along Coal Creek in 1863. The surveyors Philip H. Lewis and Edwin Richardson made the discovery while surveying the area for the General Land Office.[6] By 1872 75-100 tons of coal per day were being produced at Newcastle. About 60 men worked at the mines.[7] The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad, the first railroad in King County, was built from Seattle to Newcastle in the late 19th century. Coal mining ended in 1963.

The area was an unincorporated area within King County until it incorporated as a city on September 30, 1994. Currently the city is a suburban community. Based on Newcastle's location north of Renton, south of Bellevue, and across Lake Washington from Seattle, these are the communities in which most of the residents of Newcastle work. East of southeast Lake Washington is a large quantity of hilly terrain, which creates opportunities for view properties. This created the impetus for the location of the Newcastle Golf Course, along with many high value homes at higher elevations with views of downtown Bellevue, Seattle, and Mercer Island, as well as the Olympic Mountains. Notable attractions of the area include the Golf Club at Newcastle, a brand new Family YMCA, Lake Boren Park, a well developed trail system, and nearby Cougar Mountain in the east of Newcastle.

Newcastle Trails[edit]

The city has an active trail building community, creating a system of trails that are being integrated into new housing developments and parks. Most of the trail-work has been completed by volunteers and the Washington Conservation Corps, or WCC, sponsored by the City of Newcastle. The trail system will eventually lead all the way to Lake Washington to the west, in conjunction with Renton, and is already connected to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park to the east, which is in Unincorporated King County.

Zip Code Controversy[edit]

The city has not obtained its own zip code even though, based on the zip code designation, some sales taxes paid by Newcastle residents go to Renton instead of Newcastle as tax revenues (among other perceived detrimental impacts related to mail service, insurance rates, property values, and credit ratings).[8][9][10][11] This is all the more troubling considering the small size of Newcastle with a small commercial district which does not create as much property tax or sales tax revenue for the city compared to neighboring cities like Renton to the south, Bellevue to the North, or Issaquah to the east.

View from the Golf Club of Newcastle. The skyscrapers of both Seattle and Bellevue are visible, as well as Lake Washington and Mercer Island.


Newcastle is located at 47°32′00″N 122°10′20″W / 47.533215°N 122.172101°W / 47.533215; -122.172101Coordinates: 47°32′00″N 122°10′20″W / 47.533215°N 122.172101°W / 47.533215; -122.172101 (47.533215, -122.172101).[12] Coal Creek flows through the city from the Issaquah Alps to Lake Washington.

Bordering Newcastle to the north is Bellevue, to the south is Renton, to the east is Issaquah, and to the west is Lake Washington.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.46 square miles (11.55 km2), of which, 4.45 square miles (11.53 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[1]

Newcastle is near the Seattle Seahawks Headquarters and training camp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton.


The City of Newcastle is served by two school districts with the boundary line roughly going north-south just to the west of Coal Creek Parkway. The two "in-city" schools are Newcastle elementary, which is operated by the Issaquah School District 411 and Hazlewood elementary, which is operated by Renton School District.

District: Issaquah School District 411

Schools: Newcastle Elementary School, Maywood Middle School, Liberty Senior High School

Neighborhoods The Highlands at Newcastle, East Olympus, Mile Post, Lake Boren, The Trails at Newcastle, China Creek, China Falls, The Reserve at Newcastle, The Golf Club at Newcastle

District: Renton School District, [1]

Schools: Hazelwood Elementary School, McKnight Middle School, Hazen High School

Neighborhoods Lake Washington Ridge, West Olympus, Hazelwood, Newport Woods, Newport Hills


The city council is the legislative branch of Newcastle city government and is the chief policy-making body.

The role of the city council is to establish policies and to enact ordinances and resolutions that are deemed to be in the city's best interests. The city council hires a city manager to ensure that the council's policies, ordinances, and resolutions are implemented.

The policy-making work of the city council is aided by the parks and planning commissions. Members of those commissions are recommended by the mayor and confirmed by a majority of the council.

The current mayor (2013) is Rich Crispo. Other councilmembers are: John Dulcich, Bill Erxleben, Lisa Jensen, Carol Simpson, Steve Buri and Gordon Bisset.

City Manager Rob Wyman is the chief executive officer of the municipal corporation and administers the day-to-day operations of the city. The city manager seeks to implement the policy direction established by the city council, and also brings to the city council policy items for its consideration and action. Wyman was appointed as an interim replacement for former city manager John Starbard after a January 12, 2010, meeting in which the city council voted 6-1 to fire Starbard, effective immediately.

The duties of the city manager include supervising the administrative affairs of the city, appointing all employees and addressing all personnel matters, preparing a recommended operating and capital budget for the fiscal year, and working with staff to see that the city's laws and ordinances are carried out (see RCW 35A.13.080).

While most projects and services are assigned to the city's operating departments, the Office of the city manager often provides the lead staffing support to certain high priorities, such as new initiatives, special real estate transactions, or activities that involve intergovernmental relations.

In September 2012, the city council held discussions on whether to begin informal talks with the City of Bellevue concerning possible annexation into Bellevue and disincorporation of Newcastle. At the time of these discussions, Newcastle was expecting a revenue shortfall and various courses of action were under consideration. The revenue shortfall never materialized and annexation discussions ceased.

Newcastle is located in the 41st Legislative District. The state senator is Steve Litzow (R) and the two state representatives are Tana Senn (D) and Judy Clibborn (D). The King County Councilmember representing Newcastle is Reagan Dunn (R).

Newcastle is located in the 9th Congressional District. The two US Senators are Maria Cantwell (D) and Patty Murray (D), and the US Representative is Adam Smith (D).

Newcastle leans toward the Democratic Party. In 2004, Democrat John Kerry received 55 percent of the vote here, defeating Republican George W. Bush, who received around 44 percent.


Newcastle contracts with the King County Sheriff's Office for police services.[citation needed] Deputies assigned to Newcastle wear city uniforms and drive patrol cars marked with the city logo. There are currently[when?] 6 patrol officers, a half-time detective and one chief assigned full-time to the city.

Surrounding Cities and Neighborhoods[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1980 12,245
1990 14,736 20.3%
2000 7,737 −47.5%
2010 10,380 34.2%
Est. 2014 11,201 [13] 7.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
2014 Estimate[3]

Although the present-day African American population of Newcastle is small, in the 1880s when it was a mining center, Newcastle had the Puget Sound area's largest African American population, greater even than that of Seattle.[16]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 10,380 people, 4,021 households, and 2,860 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,332.6 inhabitants per square mile (900.6/km2). There were 4,227 housing units at an average density of 949.9 per square mile (366.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 65.4% White, 2.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 24.7% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 1.6% from other races, and 5.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.

There were 4,021 households of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.6% were married couples living together, 6.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.9% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 38.7 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 31.1% were from 25 to 44; 29.7% were from 45 to 64; and 9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.6% male and 50.4% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 7,737 people, 3,028 households, and 2,189 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,731.5 people per square mile (668.3/km²). There were 3,117 housing units at an average density of 697.6 per square mile (269.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.05% White, 1.62% African American, 0.45% Native American, 18.25% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 1.36% from other races, and 3.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.88% of the population.

There were 3,028 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.7% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 37.9% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $80,320, and the median income for a family was $91,381. Males had a median income of $60,639 versus $41,868 for females. The per capita income for the city was $35,057. About 1.8% of families and 2.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.1% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents[edit]

Newcastle is a preferred residence of numerous current and former Seattle Seahawks players and coaches due to its close proximity to the NFL franchise's headquarters and practice facility on Lake Washington, the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC).

James Hasty - Former NFL player for the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets.

Mack Strong - Former NFL player for the Seattle Seahawks. He was a fullback.

Alan White - Drummer for the progressive rock band Yes.

Marcus Trufant - Former NFL player for the Seattle Seahawks. He was a defensive corner back.

John Carlson - Current NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals. He is a tight end.

City landmarks[edit]

The City of Newcastle has designated the following landmarks:

Landmark Built Listed Address Photo
Newcastle Cemetery[17] c. 1870 1982 SW of 69th Way off 129th Avenue SE
Pacific Coast Coal Co. House#75[17] 1870s 1982 7210 138th Avenue SE
Thomas Rouse Road[17] 1880 1984 136th SE & 144th Place SE


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Newcastle". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  5. ^ "City Profile and History". City of Newcastle. Archived from the original on May 19, 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "Surveyors discover coal at Newcastle (east King County) in October 1863.". HistoryLink. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "Newcastle (King County) produces 75 to 100 tons of coal per day in 1872.". HistoryLink. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  8. ^ Tim Pfarr (September 3, 2009). "Postal Service denies city new ZIP code". Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "City continues fight for new ZIP code". June 5, 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Jim Feehan (July 3, 2009). "ZIP code survey shows delivery, tax problems". Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  11. ^ Mike Lindblom (August 9, 2000). "ZIP-code blues tax Newcastle". Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ Census figures for 1980 & 1990 enumerated prior to incorporation as Newport Hills CDP. The city's boundaries are much smaller than the CDP area, as the remainder of the CDP area was annexed by Bellevue. See "Census 2000 Boundary Change Notes for Washington" for further information.
  15. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  16. ^ Esther Hall Mumford (1980), Seattle's Black Victorians 1852-1901, Seattle: Ananse Press, p. 13.
  17. ^ a b c King County and City Landmarks List PDF (372 KB). King County (undated, last modified March, 2014). Retrieved 2014-09-28.

External links[edit]