Archive for May, 2011

Pioneer Square in the News

May 31, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Slow news week…

NEWS

Starbucks seeks to sell Pioneer Square buildings (Seattle Times)
Starbucks has put up for sale two Pioneer Square office buildings that had been part of the coffee company’s ambitious pre-recession expansion plans.

Building emptied by Amazon sells at a big loss (Seattle Times)
A Pioneer Square/International District office building recently emptied by Amazon.com has been sold — for 40 percent less than the price it fetched a decade ago, according to county records.

Seattle invests in municipal broadband infrastructure (CivSource)
Seattle is pushing broadband providers to bring service to its Pioneer Square neighborhood. The city is a new construction project as an opportunity to lay conduit pipes for broadband providers to lease and bring service to the area.

Music changed life of Seattle’s new arts director (Seattle Times)
Vincent Kitch is starting his job as director of the city’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs at a particularly difficult time, with arts funding plummeting and many arts groups in trouble.

BLOGS

Pioneer Square Today (SLOG)
At this place and time, these type of Spanish-speaking football fans form a fleeting cultural layer.

Fiber internet coming to Pioneer Square

May 24, 2011  |  Announcement, PI  |  No Comments

From the DJC:

The move would allow businesses to get more bandwidth than is available today at speeds up to 100 times faster than is currently available.

Mayor Mike McGinn said businesses have told the city Internet speeds in Pioneer Square are “barely adequate.” McGinn announced in February the city would lay conduit under four blocks of First Avenue as part of an existing project.

Given the thriving “upper floor” businesses in our neighborhood, this is a great thing — and supposed to be completed by September.

Pioneer Square in the News

May 23, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments
IMAGE OF THE WEEK:

NEWS

Microsoft shutters one of its last scrappy vestiges: Pioneer Studios (Seattle PI)
Three years after opening Pioneer Studios, one of the last vestiges of scrappiness in Microsoft corporate culture, the company confirmed it has moved out.

The shutdown of Microsoft’s Pioneer Studios is an example of failed innovation (Venture Beat)
The shutdown says a lot about Microsoft’s failed attempts to match Apple’s prowess in design innovation. While Apple teams led by Jonathan Ive have designed marvels such as the iPad and iPhone, Allard’s teams came up with products such as the Zune music player and the shelved Courier tablet.

Flash-sale website Zulily to take over Sodo office building (Seattle Times)
The move will give Zulily nearly three times more space than it has in Pioneer Square, where it occupies 27,000 square feet.

Senator’s bill tries again to extend some stadium taxes (Seattle Times)
White said the new measure also differs from his previous bill by allocating a bit more to arts and culture, and a bit less to housing, and extends by three years money going to the Chinatown International District, Pioneer Square and South King County for tourism promotion.

Seattle Steam (KUOW News)
I’m standing on 1st Avenue in Pioneer Square. In 1889, the Great Seattle Fire leveled every building on this street. So when they were rebuilding, property owners wanted to change a couple of things: They wanted brick buildings and no open flames.

While Elliott Bay thrives, Pilot Books takes a dive (SU Spectator)
Elliott Bay moved from Pioneer Square last year amid much anxiety and apprehension. The wood ambiance of the Pioneer Square was beloved by devoted Elliott Bay fans, and no one believed the new store could compare.

Forum to show ideas for transforming Seattle waterfront (Seattle Times)
The waterfront plan will connect other neighborhoods such as Belltown and Pioneer Square to the bay, add east-west transit and ensure that the parkway is pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

BLOGS

Union Station Turns 100 (Union Station turns 100)
Seattle’s Union Station, home to a private railway company in its heyday and now Sound Transit headquarters, opened 100 years ago tomorrow. ST, the National Park Service, and the Alliance for Pioneer Square are celebratin

619 Building, Artist Enclave: The End (The Clipper)
Due to the Viaduct Replacement and Tunnel Project, 619 Western Ave. will need structural reinforcement while the tunnel-boring machine is being used under the building. The work should take about 12 months and the building will have to be vacated while the structural reinforcements are being done as well, according to the Washington state department of transportation.

A Happy Image

May 19, 2011  |  Fun, PI  |  No Comments

Seen in the park today:

(thanks, Lisa)

Union Station 100-Year Anniversary Celebration

May 18, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments


Tour sign up is available during the event in the entrance of the Great Hall at Union Station. Each tour can accommodate 30 people.

2:00 – 3:00 Waterlines: Pioneer Square Walking Tour
Join us for a 45 minute walk along the pre-1850 shoreline of Pioneer Square, now nearly obliterated by 150 years of filing and building. We’ll trace the original sandspit, lagoon, Duwamish longhouse location and freshwater stream. We’ll also locate historic sites now gone and buried, such as Yesler’s Mill, Ballast Island, the Occidental Hotel, or the infamous Lavabed area, and find the highest level of the freshwater lake left by the receding glaciers about 16,000 years ago, before the Juan de Fuca passage opened up to the Pacific.

2:30 – 3:30 Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park: Pioneer Square NationalHistoric District Walking Tour
Join a National Park Ranger for a walking tour of Seattle’s first neighborhood.  See how hills have been leveled, shorelines changed.  Learn how a shipyard became a sports stadium, and how a railroad station became a pizza parlor.  Many changes have happened in Pioneer Square over the last 200 years.  Change has come in many forms; economic booms and busts, fires, earthquakes, immigration, and huge civil engineering projects.  Pioneer Square has gone from Tenderloin to upscale art and high tech in a relatively short time.  Take a walk with a Ranger and learn more.

3:00 – 4:00 Alley Network
The Pioneer Square Alley Tour will take you through what is envisioned as a vibrant pedestrian network for the neighborhood.  Highlights of tour include the Nord Alley where you can learn about the recently-completed Alley Art Project and other activities that have enlivened this alley as an active public space.  The tour will take you on an alley route that will pass through the heart of the neighborhood where you will discover a different way of experiencing the city and also learn about a project that is currently seeking to create more alluring activities throughout the alley network.

3:30 – 4:30 Trail to Treasure
The Trail to Treasure brings to life a collection of stories about historic Pioneer Square. You will get to know people who were born and grew up in the area, and people who traveled from far away to settle here. You’ll also learn stories of the special places and events that helped to shape the history and development of Pioneer Square, the City of Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region.

4:00 – 5:00 Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park: Pioneer Square NationalHistoric District Walking Tour
Join a National Park Ranger for a walking tour of Seattle’s first neighborhood.  See how hills have been leveled, shorelines changed.  Learn how a shipyard became a sports stadium, and how a railroad station became a pizza parlor.  Many changes have happened in Pioneer Square over the last 200 years.  Change has come in many forms; economic booms and busts, fires, earthquakes, immigration, and huge civil engineering projects.  Pioneer Square has gone from Tenderloin to upscale art and high tech in a relatively short time.  Take a walk with a Ranger and learn more.

5:45 – 6:45 Trail to Treasure
The Trail to Treasure brings to life a collection of stories about historic Pioneer Square. You will get to know people who were born and grew up in the area, and people who traveled from far away to settle here. You’ll also learn stories of the special places and events that helped to shape the history and development of Pioneer Square, the City of Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region.

5:45 PM – CUTTING AND SERVING OF CAKE

MUSIC SCHEDULE
2:00 pm                                                Paul Kikuchi
3:00 pm                                                Seattle Youth Symphony
4:00 pm                                                Seattle Youth Symphony String Quartet
5:30 – 7:00 (Outside)                      Cornucopia Community Band

Pioneer Square in the News

May 16, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments
NEWS

Alaskan Way Viaduct project: Now the back-ups begin (KOMO News)
Andy Farashahi, whose Persian rug shop sits underneath the span, says the detours, closures and confusion are keeping customers away. “People – they don’t want to come down to Pioneer Square or down by the waterfront. It’s affecting businesses like me that have been in the neighborhood for 20-plus years,” he says.

Sounders-Timbers play to 1-1 draw (News Tribune)
Hours before kickoff fans in Sounders gear were dotting the area from the stadium to Pioneer Square.

Seattle street-food proposal draws critics (Seattle PI)
Don Blakeney, who helped organize the crowd-drawing “Seattle Square Market” events in Pioneer Square last summer, said the five food trucks that participated were crucial.

Justice Department conducts interviews in civil-rights probe (Seattle Times)
Department lawyers spent Tuesday meeting with Seattle residents at the Chief Seattle Center in Pioneer Square, where 22 people had signed up ahead of time to meet with the investigators and another dozen or so trickled in off the street, said center Executive Director Jenine Grey.

BLOGS

Sampling Pho With the Seattle Pho-Natics (Voracious)
To prove the point, Wellington and club president Sean Hoops yesterday led me on a tour of five pho joints in Pioneer Square and the International District.

Tat’s Deli on the Food Network Tonight! (Food Network)
In this episode of Meat & Potatoes, Chef Rahm Fama introduces us to some of his favorite meaty meals on the go. He starts his journey in Seattle at Tat’s Delicatessen where they are serving up their famous savory Tat’strami a West Coast spin on the East Coast classic pastrami sandwich.

GLAM 6! Furnishings, Fashion, and Fabulous Jewels!!! (PI – Eastside – Inside)
One of the most glamorous events happens on May 19th, 2011 in downtown Seattle called DIFFA GLAM 6, and you’re invited to walk the red carpet and be photographed as you enter a world of glamor and sophistication. DIFFA Glam: Thursday, May 19, 6pm-9pm; Masins Seattle, 220 2nd Avenue South (Tickets may be purchased online here.)

Out to Lunch Concerts announced

May 12, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

Free Concerts every Wednesday and Friday from noon-1:30pm in Downtown Seattle

Produced by the Metropolitan Improvement District in cooperation with the Downtown Seattle Association, the popular Out to Lunch Summer Concert Series – now in its 33rd year – will showcase exciting local and national acts each Wednesday and Friday during the lunch hour in Downtown Seattle (noon – 1:30 p.m.). Venues stretch from Pioneer Square to the Denny Triangle with 24 concerts in all. This series is a popular attraction for those that live and work in the Downtown area and offers a great break from the work day to enjoy Seattle’s beautiful summer weather.

DATE VENUE TALENT
Wednesday, June 15 Westlake Park The Moondoggies
Friday, June 17 Harbor Steps Hey Marseilles
Wednesday, June 22 Occidental Square Choklate
Friday, June 24 Harbor Steps The Maldives
Wednesday, June 29 Bank of America Plaza Kris Orlowski & The Passenger String Quartet
Friday, July 1 Harbor Steps The Paperboys
Wednesday, July 6 Park Place at
Freeway Park
TBD
Friday, July 8 Harbor Steps Rodney Crowell
Wednesday, July 13 Waterfront Park Star Anna and The Laughing Dogs
Friday, July 15 Occidental Square Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
Wednesday, July 20 Federal Courthouse Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three
Friday, July 22 Waterfront Park The Damnwells
Wednesday, July 27 Bank of America Plaza Ian McFearon
Friday, July 29 Occidental Square Allen Stone
Wednesday, August 3 Federal Courthouse Jovino Santos Neto
Friday, August 5 Westlake Park Wheedle’s Groove
Wednesday, August 10 Two Union Square Pearl Django w/ Greta Matassa
Friday, August 12 Harbor Steps The Dusty 45s
Wednesday, August 17 Two Union Square Vicci Martinez
Friday, August 19 Harbor Steps The Harters
Wednesday, August 24 Two Union Square Portland Cello Project
Friday, August 26 Harbor Steps Clinton Fearon &  Boogie Brown Band
Wednesday, August 31 Bank of America Plaza Orchestra Zarabanda
Friday, September 2 Harbor Steps LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends

Come Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Union Station

May 10, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

Please come to a community open house celebrating the 100th anniversary of Union Station and the launch of “Trail to Treasure“, a historic interpretive trail through Pioneer Square. The celebration will feature walking tours, information about planning efforts affecting the neighborhood, a live brass band and model train exhibit.

Friday, May 20, 2011
2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Open House
5 p.m. Speakers and presentation

Union Station
401 South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104

The guest of honor can’t blow out the candles, but there’s still good reason to mark this 100th birthday. The centennial of Union Station – an important piece of Seattle’s transit history – takes place in May 2011.

Now Sound Transit headquarters, Union Station opened on May 20, 1911, and was home to the Oregon-Washington Railway & Navigation Company (later Union Pacific Railroad); the Milwaukee Road transcontinental railroad joined a week later.

The station’s Beaux Arts styling with classical proportions and ornamentation were fused with a red brick façade; the combination was called “progressive” by the Seattle Times in the day. The station’s interior arched span measured 60 feet wide by 160 feet long and was the city’s largest. The building was both modern and refined. In addition to its massive Great Hall, it included a men’s private smoking room and barbershop, a women’s waiting room and rest area, and a separate waiting room for immigrants.

Union Station housed passenger rail service for the next 60 years, though it was a struggle at times. America’s car culture and the Great Depression combined to reduce train traffic by 70 percent between 1916 and 1935. World War II brought new energy to Union Station with thousands of Pacific-bound soldiers stopping along the way. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, construction of interstate highways and popular new passenger airplanes dealt huge blows to train travel. After Amtrak took over national passenger rail service in 1971 and named King Street Station its terminal, Union Station closed.

The building fell into disrepair and was mostly shuttered for the next three decades. In 1998, Union Station Associates, LLC (a partnership of Paul Allen and Nitze-Stagen & Co.) agreed to restore the historic building for use as Sound Transit headquarters. The $21 million renovation was completed and the reborn Union Station was christened as Sound Transit headquarters on Oct. 16, 1999.

Hosted by: Alliance for Pioneer Square, Sound Transit, and National Park Service

Pioneer Square in the News

May 9, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments
NEWS

Review: ‘It’s All Good’ at Catherine Person (Seattle Times)
Longtime Seattle arts-scene fixture Catherine Person is closing her gallery, but not ending her career, nor is she spending time on regrets. She ends her run as a gallery owner on Third Avenue with a diligently crafted show called “It’s All Good.”

Viaduct to lose one lane each way in Sodo starting May 16 (Seattle Times)
To prepare for the change, Highway 99 from the West Seattle Bridge to South Lake Union will close at 11 p.m. May 13. The northbound onramp at Pioneer Square will reopen at noon May 14 so traffic can leave that night’s Sounders FC soccer match. The transition to fewer lanes begins at 5 a.m. May 16.

Hustle & Woe (Seattle Weekly)
Shyan Selah strides onto the stage of Pioneer Square’s Contour Lounge and smiles. He wears a black designer baseball cap pulled low over his eyes, obscuring all but the lower half of his face—a broad grin that radiates charisma and confidence.

On City Inside/Out Tonight: Seattle’s Spreading Homelessness Problem (Seattlest)
At stake with Seattle’s citywide, not downtown-exclusive homelessness problem: are groups fighting homeless outreach simply bringing up NIMBY rhetoric, or are their concerns for their neighborhood genuine? Why is this spread away from downtown happening? And, finally, can those who provide aid to our city’s homeless and those with concerns over their locale find common ground, when even Pioneer Square has a neighborhood group fighting the introduction of further outreach nonprofits?

Zulily lands a Big Fish, hooks Michael Vernon as finance chief (GeekWire)
Zulily just hooked one of Seattle’s best known high-tech CFOs, a possible sign of big things to come at the daily deal site for baby products. Michael Vernon, the former chief financial officer at aQuantive and Zumobi, plans to take over the CFO duties at Zulily after 18 months leading finance at Seattle’s Big Fish Games, GeekWire has learned.

BLOGS

Sate Your Appetite for Creole with Marcela’s and Treme (Voracious)
Marcela’s Creole Cookery rests on Yesler Way and James Street, beckoning tourists and locals alike just off Pioneer Square proper with New Orleans jazz standards piped out into the streets. I have to say I admired the restaurant before I had any idea what they served, if only for the fact that, if only for a few hours a day, the Square now had a soundtrack that wasn’t just ambulance sirens or droning Led Zeppelin covers emanating from the J&M Cafe.

The Smith of typewriter fame left his mark: a 35-story tower in Seattle (Syracuse Blog)
Smith Tower is imposing in an urban landscape of modern buildings. At construction, it was the fourth tallest building in the world, at 522 feet, curb to tower finial, some 42 floors. It remained the tallest building west of the Mississippi River for almost 50 years.

Seattle’s Pioneer Square – Through a New Lens (Mindy Klasky)
This audio tour (suitable for using with your smartphone), takes you through the Pioneer Square featured by Kat Richardson in her Harper Blaine Greywalker series. Kat points out places where specific events took place, and she shares her unique perspective on the Emerald City.

Live Downtown? Grow food with Seattle Tilth!

May 5, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

This summer, Seattle Tilth will teach apartment and condominium dwellers how to grow vegetables and herbs in containers and how to compost food waste indoors or on balconies or patios. Great for beginning and experienced gardeners, these classes provide new ideas and troubleshoot site challenges. Seattle Tilth garden experts will show how to grow food organically and reduce waste for people who don’t have a yard or P-Patch plot.

All classes are FREE; participants need to register ahead of time. Find out how to register at www.seattletilth.org/learn/classes-and-workshops/parks or call 206-633-5045, ext. 115.

Victor Steinbrueck Park; 2000 Western Ave.
Wed., May 11, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Summer Vegetable Gardening in Containers
Wed., May 18, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Container Herb Gardening
Wed., May 25, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Composting for Apartment Dwellers
Thurs., June 2, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Container Herb Gardening
Thurs., June 9, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Container Salad Gardening
Thurs., June 16, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Composting for Apartment Dwellers
Wed., July 13, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Container Herb Gardening
Wed., July 20, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Fall and Winter Vegetables in Containers
Wed., July 27, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Composting for Apartment Dwellers
Thurs., Sept, 1, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Container Salad Gardening
Thurs., Sept. 8, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Container Herb Gardening
Thurs., Sept. 15, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Composting for Apartment Dwellers

Freeway Park; 700 Seneca St.
Thurs., June 2, noon – 1 p.m. Container Herb Gardening
Thurs., June 9, noon – 1 p.m. Container Salad Gardening
Thurs., June 15, noon – 1 p.m. Composting for Apartment Dwellers
Wed., Aug. 10, noon – 1 p.m. Container Herb Gardening
Wed., Aug. 17, noon – 1 p.m. Fall and Winter Vegetables in Containers
Wed., Aug. 24, noon – 1 p.m. Composting for Apartment Dwellers

Also — the infamous Seattle Tilth Edible Plant sale is this weekend — lots of organic, locally grown veggie starts to get your garden growing. The sale is this Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 3pm. Get there early and expect a line to get in. In the last couple years, the average line wait is 1 hour.

More info on their website: http://seattletilth.org/special_events/edibleplantsale2011