Pioneer Square is a small neighborhood between Downtown and the International District, home to many bars, tourist attractions, the Elliott Bay Book Company, the Downtown Emergency Service Center (a homeless shelter) and a substantial homeless population.

Starting April 7th, every first Thursday features the First Thursday Art Walk at Pioneer Square, which showcases local galleries and artists and includes street shows, arts and crafts vendors, and more.

Pioneer Square plays host for the Pergola, the Chief Sealth statue, as well as the kickoff location for the Underground Tour.

In 2001, Pioneer Square was one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the Nisqually Earthquake.


Pioneer square is composed almost entirely of Richardsonian Romanesque masonry structures, ranging from two to six floors in height, mostly faced in ashlar, red brick, and unglazed terra cotta. Most notable is the Pioneer Building, located at 1st Ave. S. and S. James St. and completed in 1892, three years after the Seattle fire decimated the area.

Homeless Population

Pioneer Square's homeless population is currently on the rise, along with criminal activity. There have been reports of muggings late at night. Recently, the homeless have been forming street gangs and getting into scuffles amongst each other- in fact, one might notice many homeless men carrying wooden sticks. Due to its dangerous nature, many have come to call it "The Barbah Shop."

The blogger "Homeless Veteran of Microsoft" has mentioned having to stay in a homeless shelter he or she called the "Pioneer Square Gulag"

(What is "recently"?)

Also see

External Links

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

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