Pioneer Square Areaways

by Samir Chudgar,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structures Congress 2008: Crossing Borders


Pioneer Square, one of the earliest neighborhoods in Seattle, is adjacent to Elliott Bay. Much ofthis part of the city originally was built on existing land that used to get flooded. When thestreets were raised in Pioneer Square after the Great Fire of Seattle in 1889, reconstruction ofadjoining buildings had already been completed or progressed significantly. A street retainingwall was constructed to hold the fill beneath the street and to support the sidewalk at the raisedstreet level. This created areaways, a term referred to the space beneath the sidewalks, betweenthe street wall and building foundation wall. There are 115 such areaways in Pioneer Square. Allof these areaways were used during the earlier days for a variety of purposes that included retailsores, warehouses, building lobbies and storage.

Subject Headings: Streets | Buildings | Walls | Walkways | Storage facilities | Floods | Construction management | Washington | United States | Seattle

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