Archive for May, 2012

Pioneer Square Spring Clean! Plant your Pallet on June 2nd

May 31, 2012  |  Alley, Event, PI, Residents  |  No Comments

Do you live or work near a Pioneer Square Alley?

Sign up to make a plant pallet for your alley. Jack Bennetto from the Alley Network Project will lead a work party on June 2nd, during the Pioneer Square Spring Clean.

Date: Saturday, June 2nd
Time: 9-11:30
Meeting Place: Occidental Park

1. live or work near a Pioneer Square alley
2. agree to maintain and water your pallet garden
3. have a good location for placement in your alley

1. email Jack Bennetto ( or comment below with any questions
2. sign up for the Pioneer Square Spring Clean on 6/2

Funding for the pallet gardens is provided in part from a matching grant from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Historic South Downtown.

Bars will not be allowed to stay open past 2am

May 31, 2012  |  Announcement, PI, Politics  |  No Comments

The PI posted an article yesterday about the State Liquor Board’s decision to reject McGinn’s proposal to extend bar hours past 2am:

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and other city officials had hoped to make last call later, arguing that law enforcement is burdened by a mass of drunks tumbling out of night clubs and bars in places like Pioneer Square and  Belltown.

I know a few Pioneer Square residents who also had problems with the proposal to extend hours, arguing that it was already problematic and incredibly noisy at 2am. A few residents didn’t want those problems and the noise to extend to later hours, such as 3am and 4am.

Pioneer Square in the News

May 29, 2012  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Edgy Stadium Place tower scores with Pioneer Square board (Seattle Times)
The city board charged with safeguarding the character of historic Pioneer Square on Wednesday unanimously approved the decidedly untraditional design of a proposed 25-story apartment tower just north of CenturyLink Field.

Pioneer Square tower plan: Jenga puzzle meets Borg ship (GeekWire)
First unveiled late last year, the eye-catching design recently won the blessing of the Pioneer Square Preservation Board, whose members had high praise for the approach. But in the context of the historic neighborhood, the design can seem a little jarring to some — drawing comparisons to everything from a Jenga puzzle to a Borg ship.

SIFF 2012: SIFF Visitors Guide to Coffee, Eats and Happy Hours (Movie City News)
Unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you won’t want to miss a stop at Salumi Cured Meats in Pioneer Square while you’re downtown. You’ll want to hop a bus or cab it over, as Pioneer Square is fairly far-removed from Pacific Place, but it’s worth the schlep over.

More gun violence shakes a worried city (Seattle Times)
The shooting near Seattle Center on Saturday night marked the third time in the past five weeks that a bystander was shot in the city. That man was wounded in the leg. In the earlier shootings, the victims were killed.

Could Your Smartphone Replace Your Wallet? (Forbes)
In the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle, the Berliner – a Turkish kebab shop that caters to the area’s 9-5 lunch crowd – adopted LevelUp earlier this year after being sold on its lower transaction fees. Victor Twu, owner of the Berliner says that while his typical merchant fee for a normal debit card transaction can be around 4%, LevelUp reduces that cost to 2% and processes that payment for the business – which is also Twu’s only cost for using LevelUp.

Here’s the kind of NBA owner Chris Hansen wants to be in Seattle (Seattle PI)
Arena investor Chris Hansen wants to bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle. That’s great and all, and most Seattle sports fans seem to be excited for the prospect of having the Sonics back.

What are Seattle’s most iconic foods? (PI – Big Blog)
#21: Salumi salami: Owned by Armandino Batali, dad of celebrity chef Mario Batali, Salumi is high-end cured meats. Here’s the porchetta sandwich from its Pioneer Square shop.

Seattle abandons plan for city broadband network (Seattle PI)
Seattle is ditching its years-long quest to build a city-sponsored fast broadband network. McGinn pointed to one recent project as a success. He said a city project to build conduit for fiber-optic cable in Pioneer Square resulted in 50 new customers with faster Internet service.

Art Lending Library helps members beautify homes (SU-Spectator)
Although based out of West Seattle, they currently have a spot in the basement of the Quintessa apartments, on the corner of 2nd & Yesler.

No posts this week

May 22, 2012  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Just an fyi that I won’t have any blog posts this week as I am unexpectedly stuck in Portland until Friday.

See you next week!



619 Western renovations have begun

May 18, 2012  |  Art, Construction, PI  |  No Comments

DJC has an article today regarding the shoring up that is happening on 619 Western:

The 112-year-old, six-story warehouse at 619 Western Ave. is fragile, said project architect Ron Wright of Ron Wright & Associates. It will receive structural and seismic improvements, followed by a renovation of the core and shell.

The Washington State Department of Transportation estimated the cost of the work at $15 million to $20 million last summer. The agency will split the cost with the building owner, covering structural upgrades related to preparing for the tunnel-boring work.

According to the article, work will take about a year, with interior renovations completed sometime in 2014. It is currently unknown if it will open back up to artists studios (my guess: unlikely) or what the use of the upper floors will be.

Volunteer to clean up the square!

May 17, 2012  |  Call to Action  |  No Comments

[From the Alliance]: Please join us for the 2012 Pioneer Square Spring Clean! We need your help getting the neighborhood in shape for the summer! This year we will be tacking the following projects:

·         1st Ave S Median Maintenance (extended from Cherry to Railroad Way)

·         Litter pickup

·         Weeding of tree wells

·         Storm Drain Stenciling

·         Graffiti Removal

 When: Saturday, June 2nd, 9:00 AM

Where: Meet in Occidental Square Park

Please RSVP by Friday, May 25th here:

Spring Clean 2011


Did we lose all of our artists when 619 closed its doors?

May 15, 2012  |  Art, First Thursday, PI  |  No Comments

The Seattle Times wrote an article a few weeks ago about the artists of Seattle, specifically featuring the artists in Pioneer Square’s now-closed 619 building:

The eviction spurred a slow-moving exodus of artists, designers, craftspeople and other creative professionals in need of low-rent space to do their work. Some lucked out and moved to other studio buildings in and around Pioneer Square, or farther afield.

WSDOT offered individuals and landlords $50,000 to relocate their studio:

[619 Artist Jane] Richlovsky used her check to set up shop in a historic building nearby at First Avenue and Cherry Street. She renovated an entire floor’s worth of commercial spaces in a project known as the ’57 Biscayne artist studios. About a dozen of her former neighbors from 619 Western have since followed.

’57 Biscayne will open their doors for the June Art Walk. An email from Jane explained what will be featured next month:

Resident artists open up their studios and the adjoining nooks & crannies of the historic Scheuerman block, exhibiting an exquisite, eclectic array of jewelry, paintings, letterpress cards & posters, photographs, frescos, book arts, encaustics, screenprints & other works on paper. Special guests include Lillenthal⎪Zamora’s stairway installation, music by trombonist Marc Smason’s trio, and a few surprises.

Pioneer Square in the News

May 14, 2012  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Keeping artists in the city: Are we there yet? (Crosscut)
Seattle has developed a report out of lengthy discussions about providing work spaces for artists. But a lot is left to the artists themselves.

Reminder: Metro offers free bus rides for cyclists (Seattle PI)
The offer is available to cyclists who load their bike onto a Metro or Sound Transit Express bus operated by Metro. The promotion is part of National Bike Month to encourage people who are interested in trying bike-and-bus trips for commuting or otherwise.

City OKs funding for Stadium Place (DJC)
City officials this week announced the award of tax credits for the Stadium Place development in Pioneer Square north of CenturyLink Field.

Major project near Colman Dock changes commute for thousands (Kiro)
A major project near Seattle’s Colman Dock changed the commute for thousands of people after crews changed the approach to the dock. Drivers said they are already seeing a parking crunch in Pioneer Square.

Cowboy western dreaming (Weekly Volcano)
Cowgirls Inc in Pioneer Square in Seattle (421 First Ave. S) is not a country bar. Do not be fooled by the name. Hip-hop and rock and metal from the ‘80s to current hits blast from speakers. But the mechanical bull makes it worth the drive.

Commute Seattle Hosts 2nd Annual Bikes & Bagels for Cyclists May 11

May 10, 2012  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

Join Commute Seattle and elected officials for complimentary coffee and bagels

in celebration of National Bike Month!

Downtown Seattle has one of the largest percentages of bicycle commuters in the nation and, in honor of National Bike Month, Commute Seattle is celebrating those commuters with Bikes & Bagels.

On the morning of Friday, May 11, bike commuters are invited to stop by a celebration station at McGraw Square (5th and Stewart streets) from 7am-9am to receive complementary coffee, bagels and fun prizes on their way to work.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will be on hand to chat with fellow bike commuters and encourage their feedback on what facilities or amenities would make Downtown more attractive to current and would-be bike commuters.

Representatives from Seattle Department of Transportation will also be on hand gathering feedback, as they will as they will be updating the City’s Bike Master Plan.

“Seattle has the second highest percentage of bicycle commuters in the country and May is a great month to celebrate those individuals,” said Commute Seattle Executive Director Jamie Cheney. “We are thrilled to partner with the City to encourage would-be bicyclists to come out and not only celebrate their commuting choices, but learn how we can work together to improve their experience.”

The Bikes & Bagels celebration kicks off National Bike to Work Week, May 14-18. During that time King County Transit will also be taking part in the celebration by offering free bus fare to any riders who come aboard with their bikes.


“Bikes & Bagels is a great event that encourages people to try bicycling on Seattle streets,” said SDOT Director Peter Hahn. “It is also a great opportunity for us to learn what is important for keeping and getting people to commute by bike so it can be considered in the Bicycle Master Plan Update.”

For 55 years National Bike Month has been recognized by the American League of Cyclists and has been celebrated all over the country. For more information on Seattle celebrations, visit

Kid-friendly, free musical at the Klondike this weekend

May 10, 2012  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

From the Klondike:

I’m trying to spread the word a bit more about an exciting free event we have going on this weekend: Klondike! The Great Alaskan Gold Rush, a musical adventure from Seattle to the wild Yukon. A story for the entire family. Witness the hardships, struggles, and triumphs experienced by those in the frontier, and learn how the Klondike Gold Rush shaped our region forever.

This one day only event happens at 10 am and 1 pm, Saturday May 12, at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park visitor center in Pioneer Square, 319 Second Avenue South. The musical will be presented by the 5th Avenue Musical Theater. Seating is limited, but there are seats still available. To reserve your spot at this free event please call 206-220-4240 or reply to our Facebook post. More info at