The Pioneer Square and Chinatown/International District neighborhoods come together at the intersection of S Jackson St between 3rd and 5th avenues. This area serves as one of the busiest and most vital transportation hubs in the city. The adjacent open spaces and pedestrian connections in this busy corridor lack pedestrian amenities and essentially cut off both neighborhoods from each other, and other major destinations (waterfront, stadium district and downtown). To better connect these communities, the neighborhoods are reclaiming this area through a holistic approach to public space and pedestrian improvements.
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.
New businesses keep coming to Pioneer Square. They choose our neighborhood because of what you– all who work and live here right now–have put in place. They’re eager to work with you and make their own contributions to the Pioneer Square story. And like you, they believe future opportunities outweigh the headaches of our current construction challenges.
Here’s a quick look at who’s new to the neighborhood and who will be here soon:
13 Coins –This 24-hour Seattle institution is now open at the base of the new Embassy Suites hotel at 255 S King.
Canton Lofts – 123 Third Ave S. Spectrum Development Solutions received their certificate of approval to build apartments from the Pioneer Square Historic Preservation Board last month. This is great news for the neighborhood. Stay tuned.
Lady Yum – 116 S Washington. The buildout is underway and will be a fabulous addition to the beautiful alley resurfacing. We’ll keep you posted on progress.
citizenM – The new hotel concept is looking to build on what’s now the surface parking lot at Yesler Way & Western.
It’s easy to be excited about who’s new and who’s coming to Pioneer Square. Please stop by and introduce yourself soon. It’s also easy to be excited about our existing businesses. Their fierce commitment to the future of our neighborhood is inspiring. They’re going the extra mile and delivering their very best to customers and clients during these crazy times of construction. In return, now is the time for all of us to recognize and support the businesses who make Pioneer Square the neighborhood we love.
We’re eager to help you spread the word about what your business is doing these days. Be sure to post your events on the Pioneer Square calendar (here’s the link) and be sure to tag us on your social media. @PioneerSquare. We can’t promote events if we don’t know about them. And please let us know if you’re trying something new or making changes. We want to hear about it.
Thanks for all you do to make this such an extraordinary place every day.