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15th Anniversary of Pioneer Square Pergola Restoration

Pioneer Square’s national landmark nestled on the corner of 1st Ave and Yesler Way has stood the test of time and a few crashes. Today, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of its unintentional demolition back in 2001. In the early hours of January 15, 2001, a commercial vehicle didn’t clear the corner and struck the pergola.

Pergola Grand Re-opening

Pioneer Square Pergola Grand Re-opening

The pergola was originally built in 1909 by architect Julian Everett as a stop for the Yesler and James Street Cable Car Company. This stop would not only attract bustling crowds with its exquisite architectural design, but it also stood above what was known as “The Queen Mary of the Johns”.

Throwback Pergola

Bustling crowds under the Pioneer Square Pergola in 1910

This historic rest room was one of the nation’s most intricate underground comfort stations, complete with “marble stalls, brass fixtures, oak chairs, white-tiled walls, and terrazzo floors.” Who knew we boasted the fanciest subterranean bathroom?!

The pergola served as a ventilation system for the rest room through its nonstructural, hollow pillars. The underground comfort station was sealed over after World War II, but the pergola remained standing until 2001. After the damage to the pergola was repaired, Seattle was able to reopen it on August 17, 2002.

Pergola in pieces

Pioneer Square pergola left in pieces after a semi-truck hit it in 2001

Unfortunately, history has a habit of repeating itself and the pergola had close encounters in 2008, 2012, and 2013. The Parks department took protective measures to ensure that our national landmark remains unscathed by these literal run-ins. Structural poles and bollards have been installed since its destruction in 2001.

Restore Pergola

Restoring the Pioneer Square Pergola in 2002

If you happen to be driving through Pioneer Square, don’t forget to check out the pergola’s stunning architecture on the corner of 1st and Yesler.

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