Pioneer Square is the original Seattle downtown core. It’s within walking distance of the wharf, the Market, Post Alley, galleries, and many other popular tourist destinations. Even though the streets were relatively quiet during my wanderings, there were still greeters willing to answer questions and make recommendations on what to see.

Originally, all the buildings in Pioneer Square were wood. In the 1850s, when the first settlers arrived they discovered and abundance of trees and quickly built up a booming lumber industry. Naturally, all of the buildings built during this era were made of wood.

In 1889, in the midst of an unusually dry summer and water shortage, one of these wood buildings caught fire and the rest were quickly engulfed. By the next morning, the fire had destroyed most of the city’s 32 blocks and a handful of wharves. After this, all the buildings were built from stone.

The building pictured above is the Matilda-Winehall Building (1889) — it was one of the first to be rebuilt. Owned by Doc Maynard (mentioned in a previous post) it was built on the site of Seattle’s first store (1852).