Archive for February, 2011

Pioneer Square in the News

February 28, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

From a recent Pioneer Square photoshoot by C2 photography:


Pioneer Square buildings reborn after earthquake (Seattle Times)
The Cadillac Hotel, one of the oldest buildings in Pioneer Square, owes its new life to the earthquake that nearly destroyed it 10 years ago Monday.

Tales of Two Earthquakes Offer Lessons for the Future (Emergency Management)
Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square was one of the hardest hit areas during the Feb. 28, 2001, Nisqually earthquake.

After Nisqually quake, need to shore up buildings persists (Seattle Times)
Ten years after the Nisqually earthquake delivered a gut punch to the Seattle area, thousands of homes, offices, apartments, shops and hospitals have yet to be bolstered, and for many emergency planners, progress has been agonizingly slow.

New Zealand earthquake has parallels with Seattle (King5)
In Christchurch (New Zealand), old masonry buildings fell apart as soon as the aftershocks hit. Pioneer Square also has unreinforced, masonry buildings. While buildings like that are regarded as dangerous now, they used to express safety in a different way a century ago.

Over 100 on hand as city honors slain woodcarver (Komo News)
The songs and ceremonies in PSq were part of a three-hour dedication of John T. Williams Day in Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn proclaimed the day – Feb. 27 – in honor of the woodcarver, who was gunned down by a Seattle police officer in August. Sunday would’ve been Williams’ 51st birthday.

New Urban Art Project exhibit features work from nine artists focused on light; opening reception is Monday (Great Falls Tribune)
Artists inspired by a trip to Pioneer Square.

Can’t Miss It: Monday (Seattlest)
If you haven’t already, today is your last chance to check out Storefronts, an interactive exhibition at various vacant retail spaces around town.

Seattle’s solution to empty convention center? Expand (News Tribune)
“But why does Pioneer Square and the International District need a special boost of $1 million a year? Haven’t those neighborhoods benefited from all those fans going to and from Safeco and Qwest? Apparently not. The stadiums are designed to capture as much fan money as possible. The neighborhoods settle for a trickle in return for enduring crowds, noise, parking problems and litter.”

Legislature should let King County’s stadium taxes expire (Seattle Times)
Remember the promise to retire the Safeco Field taxes once the stadium was paid for? A bill in the Legislature aims to continue some of those taxes to pay for arts, culture, work-force housing, tourism projects and expanding the Washington State Convention & Trade Center. The right thing to do is to let the taxes expire, as promised.


Taxes on Development (Seattle Transit Blog)
“Charles Royer has a thoughtful essay on the future of Pioneer Square, which is worth reading” (as are the 73 comments on this post)

His Name Is David M, and He’s a Burger-Holic (Voracious)
And if you try his burgers, you will become one, too!

Art Primo/Weirdo in Pioneer Square (Left Coast Letters).
Great video of the huge mural in Pioneer Square — worth checking out.

Meet Lou Graham, Seattle’s most notorious madam (Big Blog)
Contrary to what your eighth grade history text book may have implied, the past is full of contradictions, misinformation — and loose women. So, when MOHAI’s Phyllis Franklin set out to write about Lou Graham, Seattle’s most notorious madam, she found a veil of inconsistencies.

SDOT Strikes Again!

February 24, 2011  |  Fun, PI  |  No Comments

Oh SDOT… you just make all my mornings brighter.

[it’s not as good as the pedestrian light they installed upside down a year ago, but it’s still smile-worthy]

A Benefit Concert To End Homelessness

February 23, 2011  |  Event, Homeless, PI  |  No Comments

DESC feels that community events are an important part of their mission to end homelessness. It is their opportunity to share vital information with their supporters, such as the needs of their clients, the work they do, etc.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out this event tomorrow at the ShowBox in SoDo:

Gimme Shelter

with The Dusty 45s, Kasey Anderson & The Honkies, Star Anna, Tom Bennett & The Rolling Blackouts, Massy Ferguson, Rachel Flotard & Rusty Willoughby, Vince Mira, Zoe Muth, Mark Pickerel, and Kristen Ward

Pioneer Square in the News

February 22, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Is actually a painting of the week, by David Patterson. (sigh) I’m in love:


To gain housing, Pioneer Square needs a boost (Crosscut)
The planets are finally lined up for a renaissance in Seattle’s historic neighborhood, but only if the City Council will provide the legislation to help overcome the inherent difficulties of building housing in South Downtown. Here are three things the council should do. [by former mayor Charley Royer]

Thank heavens: Okinawa Teriyaki serves up platters of celestial food (Seattle Times)
Big portions, low prices, delicious teriyaki, ramen and katsu: It’s Pioneer Square’s Okinawa Teriyaki, run by the friendly Yi family

McGinn Announces $1 Million Investment In Neighborhood Business Districts
On Weds., Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn joined neighborhood business district leaders and local business owners at Thompson’s Point of View in Seattle’s Central District to announce a $1 million investment in 18 neighborhood business districts as part of the Seattle Jobs Plan (including $100,000 for Pioneer Square)

Seattle’s history: ‘S’ is for ‘Fake’ (Crosscut)
Seattle embraces a fake history and fake future to create the city and heritage we love, even if it never happened. [PSq pergola and the trolley featured]

Luke Haynes: The Artist Takes Over the Gallery
When Howard House closed last summer, the gallery seemed destined to remain dark for months, a forlorn reminder of Pioneer Square’s problems for all who passed it during subsequent First Thursday art walks. Then a funny thing happened. In September, a new guy with a giant quilting machine took residence.

Safeco Field taxes bill finally drops with money shifting to arts, housing and convention center expansion
House Bill 1997 by Des Moines Democrat Tina Orwall would divide up the half-cent food and bar tax and two chunks of car rental taxes, both collected only in King County. The money would go to 4Culture to low-income housing and to a new fund to pay for tourism-related projects in the Pioneer Square and International District neighborhoods near the baseball and football stadiums.

Marchers Clash With Police in Downtown Seattle (WSBT)
Officers used pepper spray on the crowd after a police car window was smashed and another time when marchers tried to go past officers into Pioneer Square.

Detour ahead: On-ramp to Alaskan Way Viaduct coming down (NWCN)
The warning signs are everywhere. More big changes are coming to the the south end of Pioneer Square, as the state DOT prepares to tear down the south half of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and begin drilling the tunnel.

Inscape: Good Foundations (Seattle Weekly)
Near Pioneer Square, facing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the 619 Western Building is one such example: 100 years old, sitting on mud and fill, and likely headed for demolition due to the planned deep-bore tunnel below (which would fatally weaken its foundation). Next year, some 100 artists will lose their workspaces in the charming if dilapidated former warehouse. (Even if there’s a costly seismic retrofit, they still have to move out for that.)


Where can you live in Pioneer Square?

February 18, 2011  |  Fun, PI  |  No Comments

Note: This post is from 2011. For an updated map and list, please click here.


This post is for those of you who want to move to Pioneer Square, but don’t know where to look or what’s available.

Here’s a map of all* of the possible apartments and condos in the neighborhood:

*at least I think it’s all. If I miss one or have incorrect info, please let me know!

Click here
to view a full-size PDF of the map.

1 – 606 Post (or Post Hotel)
606 Post Ave
14 Condos
Notes: Apparently these units rarely come up for sale


2 80 S Jackson
80 S Jackson
24 Condos


3 Florentine
526 1st Ave S
116 Condos


4 Harbor Lofts
420 2nd Ave
11 Live/Work (low income)
Notes: The 11 studios are live/work spaces of 580-710 sq. ft. each, with high ceilings and large windows

5 Jackson Square Building
121 S Jackson St
6 Condos
Notes: 6 upscale condo featuring brick exposed walls, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and hardwood floors. Each unit also features a private rooftop deck, except for the one studio unit. Floorplans range from 646 to 1,776 square feet.

(source:stroupe condo blog)

6 Lowman Building
107 Cherry Street
89 Apartments (low income)


7 Merchants
109 1/2 Yesler Way
6 Apartments
Notes: nearly impossible to find online — all I have is this photo someone emailed to me a month ago or so

8 Merrill Place
97 S Jackson St
16 Condos
Notes: The entrance opens up to a private courtyard with a large water feature and secondary entrance to Il Terrazzo Carmine. Condos feature exposed wood beams, exposed brick walls, and floorplans gracious on square footage. The community of only 16 units rarely has homes on the market making this address highly desirable. (source)


9 Monterey Lofts
406 2nd Ave Ext S
11 Apartments
Notes: 5 upscale penthouses + 6 affordable flats; LEED Gold

10 Nord Building
312 1st Ave S
7 Condos


11 OK Hotel
212 Alaskan Way
44 Apartments (low income)
Notes: artist studios (and apparently featured in the movie “Singles”


12 Olympic Block
100 1st Ave S
15 Condos



13 Our Home Hotel
75 S Main St
17 Condos
Notes: 17 unique loft style


14 Post Mews
611 Post St
7 Condos


15 Prudential Building
114 Alaskan Way S
37 Apartments

(source:Pacific Crest)

16 Quintessa
201 Yesler Way
132 Apartments (low income)
Notes: Just purchased by Reliant Group, but remaining low income. Website is down


17 Seattle Quilt
318 1st Ave S
22 Apartments

18 Smith Tower
506 2nd Ave
1 Apartment
Notes: we all wish…


19 State Hotel
114 1st Ave S
7 Live/Work Apartments
Notes: Large Loft type Work/Live flats with high ceilings, gas appliances, brick walls, and wood floors.

20 Tashiro Kaplan
115 Prefontaine Place
50 Live/Work Artist Lofts (low income)
Notes: There is a looong waiting list for this place


21 Terry Denny
111 1st Ave S
48 Apartments
Notes:Historic Loft plans range from 523 sf – 1,129 sf, with prices ranging from $1,100 – $2,300; Penthouse loft plans from 773 sf – 1,295 sf, with prices ranging from $1,800 – $2,700


22 The Lofts
210 3rd Ave S
17 Condos



23 NW Loft Apartments
2nd 2nd Ave S
29 Apartments
Notes: (parking available)

24 North Lot
North Lot @ Qwest Field
956 Condos + Apartments

25 Stadium Lofts
589 Occidental Ave S
82 Condos
3 Live/Work

26 200 Occidental
200 Occidental

27 167 Washington
167 Washington

Apartment/Condo post coming today

February 18, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Just a note that I’m going to be posting a map and great info on where all of the apartments / condos are in the neighborhood.

I’ve had a few people comment that they’d like to move here, but don’t know where to start or what our neighborhood has to offer.

Stay tuned!

Save 4Culture

February 17, 2011  |  Art, Call to Action, PI  |  No Comments

4Culture, the single largest source of arts and heritage funding in King County, may cease to exist. In order to save 4Culture, Advocate4Culture is forming a coalition of artists, organizations, and audiences. Advocate4Culture believes that arts and heritage is vital to our economy, quality-of-life, education and pride in our communities.

In order to help save 4Culture, Historic Seattle has joined this coalition to support lobbying efforts in Olympia this legislative session.

What can you do to help?

  1. Join the Advocate4Culture Coalition and be counted among the effort’s supporters.
  2. Learn about the issue through Advocate4Culture’s website.
  3. Tell other people.
  4. Be prepared to act.

By joining Advocate4Culture, you’ll be asked to help at crucial points as the coalition works to pass a bill in Olympia over the next several months.

As a reminder, 4culture has partnered to bring great programs to our neighborhood, such as ArtSPARKS, which activated Occidental Square park for months:

SR 99 ramp changes to be discussed at this month’s viaduct meeting

February 16, 2011  |  Event, PI, Politics  |  No Comments

On the third Thursday of each month, WSDOT and SDOT, in cooperation with the Alliance for Pioneer Square, host a public meeting to discuss plans to replace the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct and seawall. The meetings provide project information and give neighbors an opportunity to comment and ask questions about how the viaduct replacement will affect the Pioneer Square neighborhood.

This month’s meeting is at noon on Thursday, Feb. 17 at the Klondike Gold Rush Museum (319 Second Ave. S.). It will focus on current construction to replace the southern mile of the viaduct, where crews recently rerouted the southbound SR 99 off-ramp from First Avenue S. to S. Royal Brougham Way.

On Feb. 18 we’ll close the northbound SR 99 on-ramp at Railroad Way S. for up to six weeks so it also can be rerouted to S. Royal Brougham Way. During this period crews will demolish a portion of the existing ramp. Neighbors can expect day and nighttime demolition noise to be louder than existing noise levels on First Avenue S.

Please contact Chad Schuster  if you have any questions or topic ideas for future meetings. Also, if you haven’t already, take a moment to fill out our neighborhood survey. Survey results are used to help us keep neighbors informed during construction.

Chad Schuster
Communications and Public Involvement
Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program

Getting involved to help bring new energy to Seattle’s Historic neighborhood

February 15, 2011  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Last week, I posted about the new Residential Council — an opportunity for residents to get more involved in the neighborhood, and meet more of their neighbors.

This week, I’m posting about another way for people who live and work in Pioneer Square to get involved.

The Alliance for Pioneer Square has adopted a 4-point Main Street approach; a tried and true model for economic revitalization that is used across the United States. A big part of the model is to set up various committees that are led by board members and volunteers, with the support of the staff at TAPS.

The committees have been up and running for a number of months now, and as a co-lead on the Promotions Committee, I can verify that they are in full swing, and a great thing to be a part of. We’ve had a number of business owners and residents get involved in the Promotions Committee, and share talents and resources to come up with some exciting activities for 2011.

But not to just plug the Promotions Committee, here is a snapshot of all four committees:

Forge a positive image through advertising, retail promotion activity, special events, and marketing campaign. Creative, organized and energetic members are a must!

Economic Restructuring/Business Development
Help expand our retailers and recruit new ones in response to today’s market. This committee works to sharpen the competitiveness of business enterprises.

Get Pioneer Square into top shape by creating an inviting atmosphere through historic preservation, window displays, signs, landscaping and more.

A successful program is the result of a strong organization. Fundraising, public relations, and volunteer recruitment are all tasks taken on by the Organization Committee.

If you don’t have time to get involved in a committee (which meets once a month – see the calendar for more info), you can volunteer for events, become a member of the alliance, or sign up for the monthly newsletter to find out more information. For more info on joining a committee, or getting involved, email Lisa –

Pioneer Square in the News

February 14, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

From Sinister Brain:


An arts and heritage super-agency? (Crosscut)
A bill in Olympia would create a Department of Heritage, Arts and Culture, embracing programs from historic preservation to film, archives, and tourism. Is it an idea whose time has come, or will it trigger an ill-timed turf war?

End of line for Pullman Shopper Shuttle bus (Seattle PI)
Pullman Transit Manager Rod Thornton told a city council hearing Tuesday only 12 or 13 passengers a day rode the 45-minute bus loop between Pioneer Square, senior living homes, and shopping areas. He says the Shopper Shuttle needed at least 30-to-40 riders a day.

Seattle Pinball Museum staying for good (Seattle PI)
Charlie and Cindy Martin opened the pinball museum as part of the Storefront Seattle Program, a fledgling effort to revitalize vacant spaces in troubled neighborhoods. The storefront program is designed to be a temporary fix for vacant buildings, but the Martins recently decided to keep their doors open indefinitely.

Seattle Business Owners Voice Opposition To Parking Changes (KiroTV)
“Anybody who looks me in the eye and says by raising the parking (rates) in this area is going to help my business — that person is a crazy person,” Ty Myers, owner of Fenix Tattoo and Piercing in Pioneer Square told KIRO 7 last week.

Re:Take: Transit on Third (Seattlest)
There’s been a transit connection on First from Pioneer Square to Pike Place for more than 120 years. To avoid the embarrassment of ending that run, Metro has decided to run the embarrassing Route 99 up First, and make it free for tourists.

Will parking rates be Seattle restaurants’ tipping point? (Seattle PI)
Belltown is one of the neighborhoods where the Emerald City is extending street parking hours to 8 p.m. The others are a virtual map of where we go to eat out: Downtown, the International District, Pike-Pine, Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, the U District and Uptown. Instead of heading to one of his restaurants, argued Douglas, patrons will be lured to “eat in Ballard or go for a hot night in Bellevue.”


The Democratization of the Hamburger (Voracious)
This week’s review takes on two of the newcomers to Seattle’s burger scene: Dope Burger and BuiltBurger. Read the article, try the burgers, and go vote for your favorite (BuiltBurger all the way!).
(another link/article here)