Explore Seattle’s Underground on a Pioneer Square Tour

When I think of the “underground world” I immediately think of deep in the ocean, far beyond the depth a normal scuba diver could delve and where sunken ships are hidden. Never did I contemplate that it would be just one floor below the street level of a busy downtown. The Seattle underground awaits.

The Seattle Underground Tour on a Pioneer Square

Just below street level of Pioneer Square in Seattle, Washington lived a secret world to us today.

Seattle’s Underground Tour starts in the heart of Pioneer Square and If you look through the glass grates scattered throughout the sidewalks, you may get a glimpse of what lies below. I, personally, did not want to press my nose to the glass floor where dirty feet walked, so I decided to take the tour.

Once we arrived, we were guided downstairs to passages that used to be first-floor storefronts until a fire in 1889, combined with flooding, caused the destruction of 25 square blocks. It was than determined that the construction would have to raise a level.

Store owners who didn’t want to wait for the entire “raising” construction process to be complete, decided to rebuild on the same muck. Their store fronts later became basements.

I would have done the same thing, and probably regretted it, I have limited patience.

It seems that store fronts left behind things of no more use, such as business signs…

…and old couches. Why is that still there? Surely, someone could have used a sofa? It’s a strong possibility that no one was willing to lug it up the steep exit ladders.

We spent an hour and a half exploring the Seattle underground, winding our way through narrow passageways learning about the towns history by our animated guide. This was just enough time, any more historical facts and my head would have started spinning…literally.

This would be the perfect excursion to save for one of those rare rainy Seattle days.

6 thoughts on “Explore Seattle’s Underground on a Pioneer Square Tour”

  1. That looks like a really cool tour! They have a similar underground tour in Portland, however the underground there has a slightly more sinister history. In Portland, the underground was used to 'shanghai' unsuspecting people through trapdoors, forcing them into service on ships.

    • I have never heard about the one in Portland, but I am going to be there in August. Maybe I’ll have to take that tour so I can do a comparison!

  2. If you ever get the chance check out the one in Paris, under the whole of Paris is a giant bone graveyard called the catacombs :) perfectly arranged, and creepy as all hell :)


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