Archive for July, 2011

Pioneer Square Resident’s Brunch this Sunday

July 29, 2011  |  Event  |  No Comments
Second Pioneer Square Resident’s Brunch schedule by local resident:
You’re invited to a second Pioneer Square Residents’ Brunch. It will be this Sunday, July 31st, at 1pm at Planet Java Diner (72 South Washington,
This is an outgrowth of the Pioneer Square Residential Council, but not in any organized way. Just show up and look for people who look like residents. There isn’t an agenda; the only goal is to meet neighbors. You don’t even have to talk about Pioneer Square, though if you want to discuss parking or public safety, stadiums or sports teams, local fitness events or fairs, artwalks or alleyways, development or preservation, or urban ornithology or horticulture, you might find others with similar interests.
No RSVP is needed. Feel free to invite anyone else who lives in the Square (or is willing to pretend they do). Don’t worry if you can’t make it; we’ll have more in the future.

Pioneer Square getting new information center

July 27, 2011  |  PI, Viaduct  |  No Comments

WSDOT Viaduct Simulation Website

As part of negotiations with Pioneer Square regarding the impact of viaduct construction on our neighborhood, WSDOT has promised an info center where people can stop by to learn more about the project and how it will affect Pioneer Square:

Planning is underway for an information center in Pioneer Square that will create a place to draw visitors to Pioneer Square to educate them about the past, present, and future of Pioneer Square as well as unique historical, archaeological, and engineering aspects of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project. The idea for the center originated during our Section 106 discussions, and it was one of the commitments of our Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Leasing a centrally located, attractive space in Pioneer Square has been a top priority. Location and visibility were among the many factors we considered as we toured available spaces in the neighborhood. After consulting with the Alliance for Pioneer Square, we have entered into a lease for a space at 211 1st Avenue, which is located between Main Street and Washington Street. The building is historically known as the Parker Building and it was constructed immediately following the Great Seattle Fire in 1889. (It even has an areaway!)

Since “information center” didn’t adequately describe our multiple goals for the space, we put out a call for more creative alternatives. With input from the Alliance, we selected a winner last week from more than 100 entries:  “Center Square – Where the past meets the future.” Logo design will begin shortly.

Now that we’ve chosen a name and, hopefully, a space, we can focus all of our efforts on interior design, content, staffing and all of the other details that we hope will make this a Pioneer Square attraction. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but this is an exciting opportunity that we look forward to delivering to our friends in Pioneer Square and the taxpayers of Washington.

SR 99 – S. Holgate Street to S. King Street viaduct replacement update

July 26, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

New multi-use path is now open: cyclists and pedestrians give it a “thumbs up!”
If you were one of the 210 folks who stopped by our booth to celebrate the opening of the new multi-use path on Monday, July 18 – thanks! We enjoyed meeting you and hearing your thoughts. Many of you were glad to not have to wait for trains anymore. Some of you said you liked how wide the new path is (between 8 and 12 feet wide), and some folks simply smiled and gave us a “thumbs up!” What do you think of the new path? We want to hear from you. Email us at

We’re moving the East Marginal Way S. crosswalk at S. Massachusetts Street
After evaluating comments from cyclists, WSDOT crews recently moved the westbound crosswalk on E. Marginal Way S. at S. Massachusetts Street to a better location 500 feet further south near the Pacific Maritime Institute. Shifting the crosswalk further south adds more space between our active construction zone and northbound cyclists, making it easier for bike traffic to be seen. After crossing, bicyclists and foot traffic can continue north across another newly painted crosswalk spanning the entrance to the Coast Guard base at S. Massachusetts Street. From there, it is just a short distance further north to the entrance of the new multi-use path between S. Atlantic and S. King streets.

Driver alert: Viaduct closure this weekend for Torchlight Run and construction
A full slate of weekend activities, including closures of both directions of the viaduct could mean delays for drivers heading into downtown Seattle. We’re urging drivers to map out routes in advance, allow extra time and prepare for more congestion than usual.

Northbound SR 99:

  • The Seafair Torchlight Run will close northbound SR 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and the Battery Street Tunnel for several hours starting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 30. Once the run is complete, northbound SR 99 will reopen.

Southbound SR 99:

  • WSDOT crews will close southbound SR 99 from the Battery Street Tunnel to the West Seattle Bridge from 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 30 to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 1 to install a new stormwater drainage system at the south end of the viaduct.

Please see the web site for full road closure info.

Did you know?
WSDOT social media sites like Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and our blog provide an opportunity to hear news stories firsthand and to share and discuss information about WSDOT programs and activities. Go to to see how WSDOT is providing traveler information via mobile devices and RSS feeds. Drivers can also sign up for specialized email alerts.

Quick links:

Pioneer Square in the News

July 25, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Huge Crowd to See Sounders FC Face Manchester United (Sports Page Magazine)
One of the largest crowds in Pacific Northwest soccer history will be treated to a special evening on Wednesday as Seattle Sounders FC face legendary world power and reigning English Premier League champion Manchester United. The international friendly on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field will be televised nationally by Fox Soccer. First kick is 7 p.m. PT.

GQ Magazine paints an unflattering picture of Belltown (Inside Belltown)
In the August 2011 edition of GQ Magazine, journalist Jon Ronson profiles the “baddest-a** real-life superhero of them all” – Seattle’s Phoenix Jones. While investigating Phoenix, Ronson joined the Rain City Superheroes on their nightly patrol. One night, after not finding crime to thwart in Pioneer Square, the superheroes headed to Belltown.

Smith Tower Notes On Market (Globest) has learned that Munchener Hypothekenbank has retained Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP on an exclusive basis to arrange the sale of a $34.5-million A mortgage note and an $8 million B mortgage note secured by Smith Tower, a 42-story class B office building totaling 263,807 square feet and the adjacent building, Florence Tower, a two-story 8,829-square-foot building. [Or in simpler language: Smith Tower is in default and now for sale]

Seattle to try out taxi stands near busy bars (KOMO News)
The city is ready to experiment with several late-night taxi zones in places near bars where up to four cabs can line up curbside from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Instead of trying to wave down a passing taxi, passengers will know exactly where to get one. The five taxi zones would be along First Avenue in Pioneer Square, Downtown Seattle near Pike Place Market, along First Avenue in the heart of Belltown, on Pike Street near Broadway in Capitol Hill and on North 36th Street in the middle of Fremont.

Seattle ranked sixth most walkable city (My Northwest)
Pedestrians who love to hit the pavement in Seattle might already know it, but confirms the city is one of the most walkable in the U.S. In fact, Seattle ranks sixth on the list. Neighborhoods like Pioneer Square lost points because they are more spread out. [um… what?]

Pioneer Square Residential Council Meeting this Tuesday

July 22, 2011  |  Event, Residential Council  |  No Comments

We have another meeting planned for the Pioneer Square Residential Council. It is a great opportunity to meet other neighbors and to talk about some of the issues that our neighborhood is facing.

Tuesday, July 26th, 6pm – 7pm


Apartment at Monterey Lofts (2nd Ave Ext S + Washington St)
[Email me for address + phone contact info]

As a reminder, the goal of this meeting is to also bring someone with you — a neighbor or another resident that you think might be interested.

Look forward to seeing everyone soon!

619 artists told to move early + no more art walks

July 22, 2011  |  Art, PI  |  No Comments

There are quite a few articles this week talking about the artists who have studios in the hotly contested 619 Western Building. Instead of their original spring move-out deadline, at least 8 months away, they have now been told that need to be out in just two months.

And to add insult to injury, they have been notified that they are not going to be able to participate in any more art walks, with the cut off deadline set as August 1st, four days before the monthly Art Walk would have been held. Because of the timing of the announcement, artists had no idea that the ArtWalk in July was the last one they would be able to participate in that building.

From the Seattle Times:

Johnny O’Brady, a painter who has represented the artist group, said Wednesday he’d probably organize a farewell event next week. “A lot of people, you’ve been seeing them for years. It would be nice to say goodbye,” he said.

I talked to some 619 artists from Constellation + Co at the Seattle Square Market yesterday, who had just moved into the building in January. They set up their letterpress shop, thinking that they would be able to work there at least until next March, making it worth the effort of getting their 1,200 lb letterpress machine onto the sixth floor. (love their print below)

Like many other artists in the building, they are now scrambling to find a new place for their studio that is affordable and will provide the same atmosphere as Pioneer Square.

WSDOT and City representatives have announced a meeting for the tenants this month to provide an opportunity for them to ask questions about the situation, as well as WSDOT’s relocation assistance program.

My only hope is that in addition to providing funds to help the artists move, that they are also working on options to help them stay in or close to Pioneer Square.

619 Western Tenants Must Leave Six Months Earlier Than Expected (PubliCola)

WSDOT on Eviction Letters Sent to 619 Western Tenants: It Has Nothing to Do With the Tunnel (Seattle Weekly)

Western Building ‘unsafe': repair or vacate by Oct. 1 (DJC)

619 Western Tenants: Hosed Again (Seattlest)

Artists have to move early after 619 Western Building declared unsafe (Seattle PI)

619 Tenants Get Sudden Eviction Notice, and Notice That No More Art Walks Are Allowed (SLOG)

Free Outdoor Boot Camp on Thursdays during Seattle Square Market

July 18, 2011  |  Announcement, Event, PI  |  No Comments

Seattle Fitness and Seattle Square present:
FREE Outdoor Boot Camp!

Every Thursday Evening* from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM (except for First Thursdays)
in conjunction with the outdoor market in Occidental Square Park

Increase your Strength!

Build stamina + endurance!

List of free bootcamp dates*:
July 21
July 28
August 11
August 18
August 25
September 8
September 15
September 22
September 29

*For safety reasons, class will not be held on rainy evenings.

Pioneer Square in the News

July 18, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Everyday Music to depart Capitol Hill location (Seattle Times)
Everyday Music next year will leave its location next to Elliott Bay Book Co. on Capitol Hill’s 10th Avenue strip, to be replaced by Totokaelo fashion boutique from Pioneer Square.

Cleveland Rep. Dennis Kucinich tests the waters in Washington state (Cleveland)
Jean Thomas and Elaine Phelps were hashing out a political sticking point last Saturday afternoon in a dim corner of the Comedy Underground in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Please take a minute to help us improve Crosscut (Crosscut)
Crosscut has new offices (and as of today, new furniture donated by Pop Media). We are now in Pioneer Square, in the handsome old Globe Building, the former home of Elliott Bay Book Co. Pioneer Square is a happening place once again, particularly in this building with our nonprofit neighbors such as Seattle Parks Foundation, the Alliance for Pioneer Square, and Seattle Arts & Lectures. We’re glad to be here and glad to do our bit to boost the historic birthplace of big ole Seattle.

‘Last Call’ Could Be Extended At Some Seattle Bars (KiroTV)
Currently under state law, all bars have to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m. As a result, in areas that have a lot of bars and clubs, such as Pioneer Square, all the people from bars come streaming out at the same time. The crowds have led to fights, shootings, stabbings and noise complaints from people who live in such neighborhoods.

Archaeologists go treasure-hunting in city’s (very) old garbage (Seattle Times)
Archaeologists are taking to the streets to excavate relics exposed through construction on Highway 520 and the Alaskan Way Viaduct. WSDOT plans to display some of the materials in Pioneer Square this fall.

Seattle man champions changing a century-old street name (King5)
As far back as 1891, Dearborn Street — which ran only between 8th and 12th Streets — went by the name Mikado Street, after the Japanese word for “emperor.” The street ran along the south side of what’s now Seattle’s International District.

Yarn Bomb Explodes on Mercer Island at Summer Celebration (Mercer Island)
One member of the TGK, Megan Hand, saw the handiwork of Seattle’s Suzanne Tidwell in Occidental Park in Pioneer Square and decided that Mercer Island needed to get in on the trend.

Sneak peak at some of our amazing vendors (Seattle Square)
We are really excited for opening day today, and want to feature some of the vendors that you will be able to see at the market today:

Seattle Square Opens Today at 4pm in Occidental Square Park

July 14, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

Check out this sneak peak to some of the vendors on Seattle Square’s website:

Reminder: Trail to Treasure Walking Tour starts today

July 14, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

From The Alliance for Pioneer Square:

Thursdays, July 14th & 28th, 5:30-7:00pm at the Occidental Park Kiosk. Please RSVP to by July 13th and July 27th for tour #1 or #2 respectively. Free of charge, limited to 15 people.

Tour Leads: Kara Weaver, GGN and Liz Stenning, The Alliance for Pioneer Square.

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 shape the history and development of Pioneer Square, the City of Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region.

Learn more:, facebook,