Saturday, January 30, 2010

Went To Seattle Yesterday

Yesterday, I drove to downtown Seattle with my husband for a passenger. Doug wanted to do genealogical research on the 9th floor of Seattle's Central Library (on 4th and Madison streets) while I had plans for scouting out Pioneer Square. Below I offer photos of this part of the city, with modern evidence of old Seattle (also known as Seattle Underground).

Here I am raising a "Starbucks" cup ... Click your mug to mine and let's go on this little trip together!

Here in Pioneer Square (among many other wooden totems) is this Goddess statue. May all of Earth be nourished by her bounty.

Amazingly, Pioneer Square seemed ridiculously abandoned on this Saturday, January 30th, 2010.
I felt drawn to photograph the uniquely shaped benches along 1st Avenue, below.

Inside the metro tunnel, in Pioneer Square.
What is it about ivy covering old brick buildings that makes the whole world seem more alive?
As the day progresses into early afternoon, more pedestrians hit the streets. I really enjoyed the many times that complete strangers walked up to talk to me. I have always loved Seattle for many reasons -- but people who hang out on the streets are one big reason.
The famous Chief Seattle statue in Pioneer Square (on First Avenue).
Here's evidence of how the City of Seattle raised its streets after the great fire that destroyed 30 blocks in 1889. See how the new elevated sidewalks block most of the old Seattle windows (which are now underground).
Brightly marked steps leading the way in to the commercially available "Seattle Underground" (via tours that begin up the road at Doc Maynard's, 601 1st Avenue).
Another nearby business covered its stairway with grating material.
Here's yet another stairwell into the underground. In other areas there is absolutely no public access made available to the City in ruins (much of the underground is barricaded and condemned).
Another way that private business owners addressed the "window below ground" situation when Seattle raised her streets was to simply start the sidewalk a couple of feet from the window.
Stairs into "Grand Central" which is FREE to the public.
Inside Grand Central ... many archways from historical Seattle have been maintained in their original good repair.

Inside Grand Central (in Seattle's underground) many shops like this one now utilize the space. The entrance is located at 214 1st Ave.
Here's a book bindery below ground at Grand Central, Seattle.
This decorative restaurant is located uphill from Pioneer Park. If I remember correctly, it was located on the 1400 block of 5th Avenue.
Even the alleys in Seattle set a certain mood. (Gotta love these old brick buildings).
Just think of all the toys a kid could send flying from these fire escapes!
This was probably my favorite alley shot.
Generic photo of buildings. Notice the sky cables that make it possible for Seattle's trolley system to work.
Looking downhill toward the bay.
Pioneer Square buildings ...
This shot was taken down at Pike Place.
4th Avenue, just one block south of the Seattle Central Library.
Another peek toward the waterfront.

Taken from Pioneer Square, you can see Qwest Field there yonder (to the right of the clock tower).
The artwork around Seattle is quite numerous and impressive.
This "walrus building" is next to the lot where I parked my pickup.
Near Pioneer Square, in Skid Row, here's a lesser known area of Seattle's Underground. Bet no public tours ever made their way down here!

Central Library (Downtown Seattle:
Here's my Doug as we rode the insane-inducing neon-green elevator (it definitely looks more green in person). I'm glad to say Doug survived the elevator mostly mentally unscathed.


tallntrue said...

makes you wanna get out fast!

SunTiger said...

No kidding (regarding the green elevator). That awful color always makes me want to make sure I don't throw up on anybody while riding it.

Panademona said...

I really would love to visit the library in Seattle. I have heard how big it is from my friend because she would go down to visit her now-husband when he was going to school in Seattle. Surprisingly with all the travel I have done so far I haven't made it to Seattle!

Lovely photos! :-)

Breath-e said...

Excellent, excellent, excellent tour. Especially after reading the info you found regarding the Seattle Underground. Totally cool. And addresses too.

These are each and every photo wonderful.

PS: You look great!

SunTiger said...

Panademona ~ It' really a marvel (as far as buildings go). The coolest things include in-library chocolate and coffee shops, the awesome lounge areas and all the consumer-friendly attributes (such as heavily cushioned ceilings on the very top floor to help the acoustics).

Breathe-e ~ Thank you love. I'm so glad you enjoyed this little photo tour!