Seattle's historic district, located on the southern fringe of the downtown business core, features some 20 square blocks of Victorian Romanesque architecture, museums, the city's highest concentration of art galleries, many restaurants - and a rip-roaring nightlife. But then, Pioneer Square's history offers many a wild tale.
As a young lumber town in the 1800's, logs skidded down its streets to harbor side sawmills. The town's brisk growth was suddenly halted by a great fire in 1889 that destroyed many of its wooden structures. The town was quickly rebuilt with brick and mortar atop the rubble and Seattle boomed again as a primary staging area for the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890's when more than 70,000 prospectors passed through town. Today, visitors are still drawn to Pioneer Square.
The Underground Tour offers a look at the remnants of the old town below street level. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park interprets Seattle's role critical role in the gold rush. And antique-hunters, gallery-walkers and bar-hoppers keep the neighborhood bustling. Visit www.pioneersquare.org for more background.
Seattle's preserved historic district,
lies adjacent to the southern end of the downtown waterfront.
Here the city has its roots centered around the original Skid Road (Yesler Way), a road used to skid timber down from the hills to Elliott Bay.
Many of the fine old brick and sandstone buildings have been painstakingly restored in recent years and a half-dozen square blocks of the district offer excellent shopping and dining.
The Underground Tours that go beneath the current-day Pioneer Square cobblestones provide a glimpse of Seattle, circa 1890.