Interurban Building Installs New Alley Lighting

Photo Credit Grant Wohjan
Photo credit Grant Wohjan

Next time you pass by the alley next to Tat’s Delicatessen off Yesler, look up at the new alley light fixtures on the Interurban Building. These new attractive lights replace the standard wall packs.  Grant Wojahn, Quote Wizard and Pioneer Square BIA Board, headed up the project to make the alley a safe and pleasant route. Grant took on everything from applying to the Pioneer Square Preservation Board, negotiating with the building owner on permission and costs, and managing the contractor. The project also involved cleaning up old unused wires and conduit on the building façade.

The project drew inspiration from the alley lighting concepts developed by Leni Schwendinger, Olson Kundig Architects and SvR Design Company. This team was hired under the leadership of Pioneer Square based International Sustainability Institute (ISI) with funding from a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods grant to develop surface and lighting designs. Since 2008, ISI has spearheaded efforts to make our alleys safe, walkable and active routes. The new lighting concept illustrates suggested lighting for Pioneer Square alleys from overhead string lighting to light fixtures. The intent is to inspire building owners, residents and businesses to improve their alley lighting and replace energy consuming lights.

In other alley news, check out the new alley door at Casco Antiguo. Another fantastic example of illuminating the alley by opening up the back of a restaurant.

If you’re interested in finding ways to illuminate your alley, check out the alley lighting concepts here or drop me a line (liz[at]

Alley Corridor Project in Pioneer Square

Alley-paveOur partners at the International Sustainability Institute (ISI) are leading the effort to create new resurfacing and lighting design for alleys in Pioneer Square. The effort is known as ISI’s Alley Corridor Project and is funded by a Neighborhood Matching Fund award from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

The need for a new alley surface design came about from the diverse needs of the community. Residents, visitors, local businesses and their employees need a clean and safe pedestrian experience to use Pioneer Square’s alleys. The Pioneer Square Preservation Board requires that the neighborhood’s built environment adhere to historical standards. Utility workers frequently need to dig up alleyways in conjunction with construction projects in the neighborhood. ISI is tasked with creating an alley surface design that will balance all of these needs.

From ISI:

In 2013, ISI kicked off the Alley Corridor Project with funding awarded by the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods to design a cost effective, historically appropriate “shovel ready” surface design and lighting concepts. An opportunity to restore alley surfaces to new standards is occurring as alleys are retrofitted with new utility infrastructure. The outcome of this project – a design that is cost effective and approved through SDOT’s Street Improvement Permit (SIP) process and Pioneer Square Preservation Board, will clear hurdles for resurfacing any of the neighborhood alleys, positioning Pioneer Square to use alleys as active public spaces full of historic character. The design will be led by SvR Design with Olson Kundig Architects and Leni Schwendinger Light Projects Ltd.

To get involved, join the Information Gathering Open House in Nord Alley from 5 to 7 pm on September 5th, 2013. Share your ideas, meet designers SvR and Olson Kundig Architects, and help design Pioneer Square’s alleys. For more on the Alley Corridor Project timeline, see ISI’s Alley Activation page here.

ISI has made tremendous progress in activating Pioneer Square’s alleyways. Through the Alley Network Project, ISI has programmed Pioneer Square’s Nord Alley since 2008 with World Cup and Tour de France viewing parties, art and lighting installations, and more. They also headed the effort in organizing this year’s first-ever Alleypalooza event, which celebrated a transformative pedestrian experience in the heart and soul of Seattle.