Pioneer Square is a historic Seattle neighborhood and was once the heart of Seattle and where many of its founders first settled. They first settled there, but after a brief six-month settlement at Alki Point they moved over to the other side of Elliott Bay.
The first buildings of this area were mostly made of wood, and the majority of them burned in the Seattle Fire of 1889.
Today, the neighborhood is filled with brick and stone buildings that help to keep with the architectural feel. Most of these buildings were built at around 1890. This type of architecture is known as Richardsonian Romanesque and continues to dominate the area even today.
A small plaza in the First Ave/Yesler Way area of Seattle is what makes this neighborhood unique. Before it had its current name, the plaza was known as "Pioneer Place."
The Pioneer Square-Skid Road Historic District- one of Seattle's oldest residential neighborhoods- has joined the National Register of Historic Places.
Washington Park Building is located on Washington Street in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. The original building was built in 1890 after the Great Seattle Fire which it originally served as Lowman and Hanford Printing and Binding Building.
Essentially, Pioneer Square is a matter of interpretation. It's bounded roughly by Alaskan Way S on the West, which is where you'll find the port; and South King Street on the south.
Yesler Way divides the district into two halves. The northern border is not straight & the boundaries are jagged and appear to be different in size.
In some places such as Pioneer Square and Skid Row, the Historic District is harder to define. This is because it extends beyond the boundaries of the designated area, which includes Union Station East of 4th Avenue S., and a few city blocks south of S. King Street
Read also: Northgate
The settlement was pretty much guaranteed in 1852 when Henry Yesler decided to build his lumber mill, which he located at the foot of what is now Yesler Way. The location was perfect because it's at the border too.
Much of the area is on landfill - in pioneer times, the neighborhood between First and Second Ave, bounded on the south by Jackson Street, and extending north almost to Yesler Way was a low-lying offshore land.
The coast on the mainland roughly followed what is now Yesler Way to about Fourth Avenue, then ran southeast, at an span of about 45 degrees to the current shoreline. Some of the land was regraded in the late 1890s to make it more suitable for warring ships.
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