Thanks to a Preservation Special Projects grant from 4Culture, the historic visitor information kiosk in Occidental Park will soon be receiving a thorough structural assessment! This is the first step toward restoring the kiosk and relocating it to a new home in Pioneer Park. Its relocation will make room for a new Pavilion and expanded concierge booth in Occidental Park.
The kiosk, which started life as a pre-1900s elevator cab, is staffed by Park Ambassadors daily. Although its beauty and historic value are still evident, it is in disrepair internally and externally. Happily, 4Culture’s monetary support has provided us with the means to hire a contractor to carry out important assessment work slated to begin this summer. During the assessment, blueprints of the structure will be created and data about its structural integrity will be gathered. The assessment will give us the information we need to make an informed decision about how to best carry out the next steps toward removing, restoring, and relocating the kiosk without damaging it in the process.
The assessment project is a priority at this time because of our ongoing work as a member of the Urban Parks Activation Partnership, a public-private collaboration involving the Downtown Seattle Association, Metropolitan Improvement District, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Alliance for Pioneer Square, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, and Seattle Parks Foundation. The Partnership is well on the path to place a new Pavilion and expanded concierge booth that would replace the existing kiosk. The new structure will be more comfortable for attendants and better equipped to serve an increasing number of park users. It is necessary that the old kiosk is relocated out of the park in order to make room for this upcoming development.
After it is restored, the hope is to ultimately relocate the historic kiosk to Pioneer Park. Currently, Pioneer Park hosts a small, temporary information cart only staffed on fair weather days. The historic kiosk will serve to expand park programming and staffing opportunities at Pioneer Park. The restored and relocated historic kiosk will be more inviting and interesting for visitors and will allow Park Ambassadors to staff the area more frequently. Relocating the restored kiosk has the potential to kick off revitalization in Pioneer Park similar to Occidental Park’s renaissance.
A big thank-you from us to 4Culture for making this work possible! We look forward to these upcoming projects that will help make the parks in Pioneer Square even more welcoming, beautiful, and engaging places.