Thursday, 25 June 2015

Downtown Seattle

We had a three day pass on the Seattle Hop On Hop Off bus which was great. We did the complete 2 hour trip and then started again.
Seattle has two stadiums, one for football - Century Link Field, for the Seattle Seahawks;  and Safeco Field for the Seattle baseball team, the Mariners.
Our 'homebase' pick up point was right beside the EMP. So each day we walked past and saw something different.  We loved the Sci-fi area.
 Seattle has a lot of statues and art works. These ones are next to Olympic Statue Park, on the waterfront and where the railway leaves downtown Seattle.
 Seattle has shops that sell medicinal Marijuana and it is legal. We saw a number of people smoking 'something' from their backpacks like this.
 Some more art on the waterfront near Pike Market Place.
 King's Street Station has been renovated and we wanted to see it before 'rushing through' on our way to Vancouver.
 Absolutely beautiful. 
 There are a lot of information signs around downtown Seattle.
 Pioneer Square is the oldest part of Seattle and was established in 1852 It is considered the birthplace of Seattle. It was built on tidal flats, and would flood in heavy rain. The logging industry was established and the location was perfect for sending timber down to California. Almost every building in early Seattle was made of timber, and due to the frequent flooding, a lot of buildings were built on wooden stilts, even the early plumbing pipes were made of hollowed out timber – all highly combustible. The Great Fire of Seattle in 1889 destroyed most of the early city.

The fire was, as we were told, started on 6 June, 1889 in a cabinet making shop near Front St (now First Avenue) and Madison Avenue by a worker heating glue over a fire. The glue boiled over and caught fire. Although the fire brigade arrived promptly, the fire had spread quickly through the wooden building full of wooden carpentry to the Liquor store full of imported whiskey, up to the hardware shop full of paint and paint thinners. The water pipes were small and made of timber, so burned quickly leaving the fire brigade with no water. The fire destroyed most of downtown, and burned all night, but not a soul died in that fire. The fire burned 25 city blocks. The only casualty was after the fire in the cleanup – a young boy. Due to the devastation of this great fire, it was decided that the roads would be raised 22 feet, a full story higher than they were, so retaining walls were build either side of the roads. This left the opening of buildings one floor higher, and customers had to use ladders to get from the road to the buildings, until the area between them was filled with dirt and cemented over. The floors below were left abandoned and that is where the underground tours operate now.

 We didn't like the area. Being historical,  we were expecting more information signs. It seems the main way of getting information is doing an underground tour. We felt uncomfortable with the high number of homeless people begging. There was a high police present and as each officer arrived, the beggars disappeared.
 Not far from Pioneer Square is Occidental Park and it is dedicated to firemen. There were also a lot of homeless people hanging around.

Happy Travels
Petalli Travellers.

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