Now you see it – now you don’t…

SDOT crew removing kiosk on Fifth Avenue at Union Street.

What? The kiosk at the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Union in Downtown Seattle – you hadn’t noticed it was gone?  That’s why it was removed.  A “relic” of the late 70’s, it no longer was serving its intended purpose.  One of five kiosks from Pine to Seneca on Fifth Avenue, it was part of the Fifth Avenue Street Improvement Project back in 1978.  Including this kiosk, a total of three have now been removed. The last two are located on Fifth at University Street on the corner adjacent to the Fairmount Olympic Hotel, and on Fifth next to the YWCA at Seneca Street.

Fifth and Union sans the outdated kiosk.

As an officer with the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID) recently remarked, “the pedestrian numbers have increased so much since the late 70’s that now the kiosks are blocking rather than gathering places.”   In this age of the internet and an ever-growing number of social networking resources, the kiosks no longer serve their original purpose of providing a site for posting public information.

After receiving feedback from the community, the MID requested removal of the kiosk  and applied for funding through the Neighborhood Projects Fund (NPF).  NPF funds neighborhood prioritized projects through the thirteen neighborhood District Councils.  The Downtown District Council chose to remove the kiosk with its district-allotted funding.  In a win-win situation, SDOT contributed a spare small signal controller box to contain the department’s signal equipment that was previously housed in the kiosk.

The business organization hopes to remove the remaining two kiosks within the next four years, provided funding can be secured.

On the southeast corner of Seneca on Fifth Avenue, one of two remaining kiosks which will be removed when funding can be secured.