Seattle's 1st Neighborhood
Pioneer Square, located at the southern end of downtown Seattle, is considered Seattle’s first neighborhood, established in 1852. As Seattle’s commercial core took shape around the natural deep-water harbor, timber, and the Klondike Goldrush, Pioneer Square quickly grew, shaped by a mix of people, businesses, and cultures inherent to being a port city.
After the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, most of the neighborhood was rebuilt in the Richardsonian-Romanesque style. Pioneer Square’s colorful past is one of brothels and bureaucrats, corruption and community, artists and Arctic explorers, Skid Road, and subterranean sidewalks.
Today you can find a lively neighborhood filled with art galleries, small shops selling one-of-a-kind gifts, unique restaurants and services, boutique hotels, tourist attractions, and a thriving residential community.
Map below courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives, item 1289, 1956 Central Business District map by Seattle Planning Commission.