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Tuesday, March 8 • 2:30pm - 5:00pm
Pioneer Square Walking Tour: "The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Pioneer Square"

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This tour will spend two hours exploring the streets in and around Pioneer Square, Seattle's oldest central business district. It will explore the physical reshaping of the area, its economic history, and its venerable architectural monuments. Construction in the Pioneer Square area began in the 1850s, but its character as an isolated lumber/fishing hamlet did not really change until the 1880s. A serious fire in 1889, created a drastic shift in building characteristics; much of the current building stock dates from this post-fire period from 1889-1895. As the main shopping and financial centers of the city moved north during the 1910s and 1920s, Pioneer Square continued functioning as a rough-around-the-edges industrial/entertainment focus for Seattle. The area began to struggle before World War II, and its decline continued into the 1960s, when urban renewal proposals threatened its survival. The historic preservation movement was spearheaded by architects, gallery owners and other creative types in the 1960s and 1970s, with the result that the neighborhood boomed again by the 1980s and 1990s. Lately, a cyclic economic lull has again set in, as residents and businesses struggle with the high costs of doing business and living in a very popular city.

Maximum Participants: 15

Fee: $10

Accessibility: Walking, standing, navigating city streets.

Transportation: Meet your tour wrangler around the North Tower escalators on the Westin's Lobby Level before the 2:30 PM departure. 


Alan Michelson

Head, Built Environments Library, University of Washington, University of Washington

Tuesday March 8, 2016 2:30pm - 5:00pm PST

Attendees (7)