Pioneer Square Pergola
Seattle Attractions--Architecture-Pioneer Square
100 Yesler Way
In this article, I would like to feature one of Seattle’s historic structures that has proudly served the city for over 110 years. The elegant Pioneer Square pergola has stood in place since it was built in 1909 to greet visitors to the Alaskan-Yukon-Pacific exposition. The Victorian cast iron and glass pergola is gracefully draped around one corner of tiny Pioneer Square Park. Until 1940, it functioned as a shelter for people waiting to catch a trolley that ran from Yesler to Lake Union. The pergola originally featured lavish underground restrooms complete with skylights and Alaskan marble. The restrooms have been closed since 1939 due to plumbing problems. The pergola is a National Historic Landmark.
The pergola is beautiful any time of the year. It is sited in the heart of the Pioneer Square District and is surrounded by the magnificent architecture of the District. It sports elegant period lighting to complement the elegant cast iron and glass of the pergola. At the holidays, the pergola is decked out with greenery as well as red and green lights.
For photographers, the pergola offers a wide variety of views. You can spend quite a while taking photographs of the pergola and the other scenery around Pioneer Square Park. It is an excellent photo subject in any weather and at any time of the day.
The pergola had an unfortunate accident and was knocked down when a delivery truck collided with it in 2001. The pergola was rebuilt and restored with most of its original iron work and it proudly stands on its original site.
One note for anyone walking around the pergola—the cobbled bricks on the walk leading up to the pergola are really uneven and it is easy to stumble on them. If you are taking photographs, make sure you watch where you walk around the pergola.
Summary—the pergola is one of Seattle’s most beautiful architectural gems and it is just one of the many lovely structures in the Pioneer Square District. Take time to walk around and photograph the pergola and enjoy this elegant link to Seattle’s past.