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As Seattle’s first unofficial neighborhood, Pioneer Square is where the historic meets the 21st century. Seattleites recognize this area for its cool architecture and bustling nightlife.

 History

Some of Seattle’s first settlers (pioneers, if you will) chose to build their cabins here, and the area quickly grew after Henry Yesler chose to erect the first steam-powered lumber mill on the pier. Tragedy struck on June 6, 1889, when the entire downtown went up in flames. Pioneer Square was, again, the place where rebuilding started. Many of these structures still stand today and have been protected from property developers by Seattle’s historic preservation movement.

 Neighborhood Photos

Who Lives Here?

Ramen Metros - Lower-income urban singles.
Most rent their apartment or condo. Some have a college education and work in services and the professional sector.
Makin' It Singles - Upper-scale urban singles.
Pre-middle-age to middle-age singles with upper-scale incomes. May or may not own their own home. Most have college educations and are employed in mid-management professions.
Bright Lights, Big City - Very mobile singles living in the city.
Singles ranging in age from early 20s to mid-40s who have moved to an urban setting. Most rent their apartment or condo. Some have a college education and work in services and the professional sector.
Pioneer Square Seattle
Median Household Income $28,288 $45,736
Owners/Renters 28%/72% 48%/52%
Median Age 42 37
Single Males 30% 23%
Single Females 14% 19%
Homes With Kids 11% 18%
Household Size 1.6 2.1
Commute Time 24 min 27 min

 Vibe

Pioneer Square isn’t necessarily known for its residential appeal, although that is set to change in the next few years. A plan is in motion to build a large housing development in place of the north lot of Century Link field. This will bring not only hundreds of new apartments and condos, but retail and office spaces as well. In the meantime, the neighborhood still has much to offer in the way of art galleries, bars and restaurants, and various yearly events.

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 Activities and Attractions

If you’re curious about the history of this great city, Pioneer Square should be your first stop. The underground tour is world-famous and takes groups of people under the streets to see a glimpse of Seattle’s past—the buildings and alleys that were buried after the great fire of 1889. You may also want to check out the nation’s smallest national park—The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. This little-known museum will teach you all about Seattle’s role in the Yukon gold rush in the 1890s. Finally, head up to the observation deck of the Smith Tower—one of the world’s first skyscrapers—to see an amazing view of Seattle. For a more modern view of the neighborhood, head to Pioneer Square on the First Thursday of the month for their giant art walk. This free tour of pretty much any gallery you want to walk into has been going strong for over 30 years and is a Seattle favorite. In fact, many other neighborhoods have adopted the tradition themselves. If you’re hungry, try out Tat’s Delicatessen for their famous east-coast style cheesesteak sandwich. Late at night, try out Central Saloon. Established in 1892, this thing is Seattle’s oldest bar by a long shot.

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 Homes in Pioneer Square

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