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Pioneer Building, Pergola, and Totem Pole

Seattle, Washington
County of King.
1st Avenue, Yesler Way, and Cherry Street
National Register Number: 77001340
Resource type: Building.
Property type: Commerce/Trade - business. The threat level was Satisfactory in
Certified Local Government: YES
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Current use/information: Public Square.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - May 5, 1977):
The Pioneer Building, completed in 1892 and built on the site of the home of one of the city's founding father's, is Richardsonian Romanesque in style. It is one of the best preserved buildings in Pioneer Square, the heart of the commercial district of old Seattle. The Pergola remnant is in the center of the square and is a beautiful cast iron umbrella that was once a much larger shelter for transit passengers.

The 93-year-old cast-iron Pioneer Square Pergola has been restored after having been toppled by a semi-truck in January, 2001. The 18-month project, paid for by an insurance settlement by the trucking company, cost approximately $3.5 million. Careful restoration efforts allowed for the reuse of original fabric of the building rather than recasting new elements.

The family-run Seidelhuber Iron Works undertook the daunting task of sorting through, assembling and rebuilding the thousands of pieces of the the Pergola. Only 1% of the cast iron had to be replaced. While it was down, the Pergola also received a structural upgrade that meets current building code and seismic regulations. Indistinguishable from the exterior, the pergola hides a new stainless teel armature within its hollow glass columns. The upgrade also includes new concrete footings, a new glass roof, and new electrical wiring and gutter systems.

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