Restoring Pioneer Square’s Historic Glass Sidewalks through Crowd Funding Campaign

Alliance for Pioneer Square and National Trust for Historic Preservation team up for an exciting collaboration.

The Alliance for Pioneer Square and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with Heineken, are teaming up to restore one of the most unique pieces of Seattle’s history – the prism glass sidewalks of Pioneer Square. Through an ongoing public crowd funding campaign, the Alliance and the National Trust are working to raise funds to fully restore the prism glass sidewalks located at the iconic Smith Tower (2nd Avenue and Yesler Way). Additionally, this project will also help fund revealing the paved-over panels at Occidental Avenue South and South King Street. Using these locations as examples, the goal is to show neighborhood property owners how their prisms can be brought back to life. These restoration projects will demonstrate how the prisms are an integral part of both Pioneer Square’s legacy and Seattle’s story overall.

After the devastation of the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, Seattle’s business owners sprang into action to rebuild their city. Not only did they accomplish it within two years, they also made a fascinating decision along the way. To fix Pioneer Square’s sewer and drainage problems, they opted to raise the elevation of the street an entire floor, creating hollow spaces between the old and new sidewalks. Then, to make these spaces usable and bring in some sunlight, they embedded prism glass in sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. And just like that, a loveable—and colorful—feature of Seattle was born. Over the years, these unique features in Seattle’s urban landscape have aged, become degraded and damaged in places, and been repaired in a piecemeal fashion, typically with patches of concrete or asphalt. Few cities have a collection of prism sidewalks like Seattle’s, and with funds raised through this crowd funding campaign, the Alliance and the National Trust will work together to get these unique pieces of Seattle’s history some much needed and well-deserved TLC.

As of the first week of June, the crowd funding initiative has received tremendous public support, both reaching and exceeding the $15,000 project goal. With over two weeks left in the campaign, the opportunity to expand the scope of the project and restore more of the prisms in Pioneer Square is within reach thanks to the enthusiastic response from the community. As donations to the campaign continue to be welcomed, contributors have the opportunity to claim some awesome perks in return, including two tickets to the “Bruno Mars: 24K Magic World Tour,” cool T-shirts, and even an exclusive illustration of Pioneer Square’s prisms in all their glory. Contributions can be made online at: .

All photos by Lindsey Miller Photo.

June Business Development Update

Covered windows lead to new business in Pioneer Square! We wanted to take a moment to let you know a bit more about each of these new ventures, and share the latest details about when each will be open for business. Join us in welcoming them!


224 Occidental Ave S

Joe Bisacca, co-founder and CEO of Elysian Brewing, and Greg Smith, CEO of Urban Visions, opened the doors of Zocalo in May. Joe describes Zocalo as “a modern interpretation of Mexican cuisine”.  Chef Jeffrey Hunter, the former sous chef from Canlis, works a Mexican palette of flavors using classic cooking techniques. The 60-foot long curved bar offers scratch cocktails featuring tequila and mescal along with a substantial selection of whiskies, bourbons, scotch and rums.


Heritage Room at E. Smith Mercantile
208 1st Avenue South

E. Smith Mercantile recently expanded their space and opened The Heritage Room, their annex for workshops & event rentals. Join them for quarterly classes on bartending, seasonal cooking, crafting and more! The sidewalk café for the Heritage Room will spill out into Occidental Square Park, another welcome addition to our lively urban park.


Flora and Henri
401 1st Ave S

Flora & henri is getting back to its roots with the opening of a full concept lifestyle shop on Wednesday, June 14. The 3000 square foot storefront brings a new retail presence to the corner of 1st Ave S & S Jackson with an operational hub for retail, wholesale, design, and e-commerce – all under one roof.

The company departed from traditional retail in 2012 to focus exclusively on e-commerce and wholesale. In the five years since, flora and henri has expanded its selection of categories and focused on scaling the lifestyle component of the brand. “The flora and henri concept store is where you will find everything you need to live a thoughtful life, filled with love and beauty, in a unique, artisanal space,” said Owner/Designer Jane Hedreen. “We have missed the human interaction and the ability to have the quality of our goods available to touch and feel in full light.”

The store will carry the curated selection of merchandise that flora and henri is best known for and an expanded assortment of products for the design-sensitive of all ages.

Visitors will have the opportunity to discover new brands, relax with a cup of coffee, meet the team, and shop for the entire family from flora and henri’s selection of ethically sourced brands. “The storefront will allow us to expand our vision of flora and henri and enable shoppers to experience how each of the different collections comes together- under one roof,” says flora & henri VP of merchandise and product development, Amy Augustine.

Flora and henri officially opens to the public on Wednesday June 14th. Grand opening celebration events will span the day and comprise personal store tours starting at 11 a.m., conversations with the team, food and drinks, and an evening cocktail reception.


Dead Line
114 1st Ave S

Dead Line, a new cocktail lounge, is entering its final phase of construction and will be joining our business community with an expected opening date in late June.  The Dead Line team is eager to share their contemporary take on cocktails, South American inspired cuisine and distinctive environment with the rest of the city. Be sure to check out their website to learn more about their story.


407 2nd Ave Ext S

The history of the former Double Header is part of the history of Seattle. In 1937, Joe Bellotti opened the Double Header, which would become the country’s first and oldest gay bar featuring live music, drag, and burlesque. Double Header closed in December 2015.

Michael Manahan and Dane Garfield Wilson, owners of the Re-Bar, have been renovating the space to create Nightjar, a new cabaret, dance, and cocktail establishment. Nightjar will continue to carry on in the Seattle tradition of supporting arts and culture in an inclusive space, featuring a world class KV2 sound system and extensive cocktail list with local beers and wines.

Michael and Dane hope to open an intimate space in the adjoining room to the main venue next year, featuring an intimate bar with separate entrance and seating-all with original interior from 1930s.

The Double Header Room will be available for private parties and dual room events.


The Meyer
118 S Washington

Avout van der Werf, owner of Shorty’s in Belltown, quietly opened the doors of his newest effort in time for the Upstream Music Festival. It’s delightful to see a small neighborhood bar across from Occidental Park. Stop in to introduce yourself during a happy hour soon.



The Halal Guys
101 Yesler Way

Originally a halal food cart in New York City, The Halal Guys are now opening doors all over the world. We know this will be worth the wait, but it hasn’t been easy. The bright yellow paper will come down when they open their doors this summer. Check their Facebook page for updates.


RPM: Revolution. Pizza. Music
Furuya+Corgiat Building at 2nd Ave S & S Main St

RPM is a celebration of two great things, Pizza and Music. Conceived by two successful Pioneer Square business owners, Harvey Ward Van Allen (Altstadt and Casco Antiguo) and Duffy De Armas (the Piranha Shop and Electric Coffin), RPM will be a haven where local music, past and present, could be center stage in a neighborhood deeply rooted in the heritage of Seattle’s music scene. Good tunes paired with tasty slices and cold beer create an instant classic, one that feels like it’s been here the whole time.

“Our goal is to serve the best pizza in town, at an affordable price, available by the slice, and open late. As well as great pizza served up with the coldest beer in the neighborhood. We’ll have Salad and Wine too…  On top of great food and drinks, we will be supporting Seattle’s music culture through selling local records, hosting live music, and promoting bands through the restaurant.”


Kigo Asian Kitchen
105 1st Ave S

Many are familiar with the Kigo Kitchen currently in South Lake Union and a few other spots in the Seattle area. For the past few months the Kigo Team has been working with their new culinary partner, Ethan Stowell, to update and create a fast-casual restaurant with fresh, Asian-inspired food. Stowell is a chef and restaurateur in Seattle known for his fifteen restaurants, including Tavolata, Goldfinch Tavern and Staple & Fancy Mercantile. With Ethan’s culinary influence, guests to Kigo Asian Kitchen can look forward to savory stir fry bowls, cold Vietnamese-style salads and housemade sodas and teas. Kigo looks forward to opening the doors of their new concept in Pioneer Square by the end of summer. Stay tuned!


323 1st Ave S

Callus, a vintage cafe and lifestyle shop, plans to open at the corner of 1st Avenue and Jackson in October. (The former Palace Rug Gallery space.) They are in the process of designing a spacious cafe and multi-purpose retail space that may include a barbershop, art gallery, a plant shop and other small local shops. The designers are eager to create a “tactile environment” that maximizes the amount of natural light. Callus plans to activate the space with monthly event programing and collaborations.  Intrigued? So are we!


Counter Culture Coffee Training Center
313 1st Ave S

Counter Culture Coffee will open a new Training Center this fall in the Crown Hotel Building on 1st Ave S. (Cherry Street Coffee has been serving Counter Culture Coffee since last summer.) The training center will be open to the public on every Friday morning 10:00 to 11:00 AM for free coffee tastings.


Cherry Street Coffee
moving across the street

Ali Ghambari, owner of Cherry Street Coffee, is in the midst of building out a new space at the base of the Good Arts Building at 1st & Cherry. He plans to make the move from his original location this summer. He says the space will be gorgeous and a fabulous addition to the neighborhood.


Seattle E-Bike
moving to 220 S. Jackson Street

Seattle E-Bike will be moving from their 570 1st Ave S location to a new home at 3rd Ave S & S Jackson. The new 6000 square foot store will feature a 3000 square foot service and repair shop where their experienced mechanics and technicians can work on all types of bikes, electric or otherwise. It will be their “first truly intermodal store” and great news for Seattle E-bike commuters. Check their website for updates.


Footworks Physical Therapy
new location at 520 Occidental Ave S, Unit 311

After 6 years in a retail location on Occidental Plaza, FootWorks PT and Cycles has relocated just a block to the south in the NOLO Apartments. New location, same great service.


F.X. McRory’s Steak Chop & Oyster House
419 Occidental Ave S

Yes, it’s true. Mick McHugh is moving F.X. McRory’s to a new location. Pioneer Square’s most enthusiastic champion is making plans to move to another location in the neighborhood as the building he’s called home for the past 40 years. Details are not yet available, but now is the time to stop by to enjoy another meal or one more drink at the infamous Whiskey Bar. Read Nicole Brodeur’s lovely Seattle Times article about Mick here. And you can be certain we’ll let you know the moment Mick’s new Pioneer Square location becomes public knowledge!

Pioneer Square in Full Bloom

It’s finally May! Leaves are sprouting, flowers are beginning to bloom, and outdoor seating at our local eateries will quickly become a hot commodity. It’s also when summer flower baskets are installed by Marshall Walton Design Group! Over 400 of them will grace our historic neighborhood, on buildings and on streetlight poles.

The Pioneer Square flower baskets have been an institution to the neighborhood since the 1970’s when they first appeared in force.  Since the 1980’s the program has grown from requiring just 1 part time employee to today where 3 full time workers are required to fulfill all of these baskets’ watering and care needs; not to mention the multiple greenhouses where they grow for almost half the year before being hung in late May. The program has grown from a small project to a full scale operation! Every year, inquiries come to Marshall from across the U.S. from cities and communities interested in creating the same program and ambiance in their places.

If you are interested in siting flower baskets on your building, reach out to the wonderful Marshall Walton at Marshall Walton Design Group.  Even though it is too late to get baskets for this year, he can help you prepare for next year.

We at the Alliance, as a flower basket purchaser ourselves, would like to give a huge thank you to all of the businesses and building owners who purchase flower baskets in order to add beauty to our community every year. And if you see one of the great guys out watering and caring for the flower baskets, make sure to give them a nod and say thank you, as well.

Spring Funding Drive

We’re happy to report that over the last year, we’ve achieved some pretty impressive goals in the neighborhood by furthering our advocacy, programming, marketing, and community action work to make a tangible difference. We negotiated a positive outcome in the important Alaskan Way Waterfront agreement, which will ensure vital access to the waterfront for the neighborhood. We also made great strides in supporting our local businesses in achieving success, and have devoted increased bandwidth to our communications and marketing efforts with the recent hire of our new Director of Communications. Also, within our parks and public places we expanded the flower basket program and installed fifty uniquely designed Pioneer Square bike racks (with more on the way).

All of this great work has occurred because of the support of people like you – people who live, work, visit, and believe in Pioneer Square as much as we do. Generous donations have allowed us to engage more deeply in the vital work of strengthening, preserving, and promoting the amazing assets the Pioneer Square neighborhood provides to Seattle residents and visitors alike.

We wanted to take a moment to let you know that on May 10, 2017 the Alliance will be officially kicking off our Spring Funding Drive by joining more than one thousand nonprofits in the annual Seattle Foundation GiveBIG event. We’re inviting you at this time to lend your support, and help us continue making Pioneer Square a strong, vibrant neighborhood. Here are the ways in which you can help:

  1. Make a direct gift to the Alliance for Pioneer Square:
    • Give online at: -OR-
    • Mail your gift to 310 1st S, Ste. 201, Seattle, WA 98104You can also check with your employer to find out if they offer a matching gift program to make your donation go even further. For questions about making a gift, please contact Lisa Howard at or by calling 206.667.0687 Ext 102.
  1. Make a donation to support us through GiveBIG:
  1. Help us spread the word!

Thank you again for being such a strong advocate for the neighborhood, and for supporting our work to showcase Pioneer Square as the heart of the Historic Seattle Downtown!