Downtown Seattle

The original Downtown looked a lot different than it does today; wooden buildings, a saw mill, steeper hills. Two major events changed it all: the Seattle fire of 1889, which burned most of Downtown to the ground, and the Denny Regrade, a thirty-year-long project that tamed the slopes of Denny Hill. Add in the major growth of skyscrapers, roadways such as I-5 and the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and the Seattle Center, and you’ve literally got a city that has rebuilt itself out of the ashes.

Many historic landmarks have been preserved however, like the Smith tower, Pioneer Square, and Pike Place Market. You can still take a tour of “underground Seattle” to see the remarkable still-intact structures that were just covered up and built on top of after the fire.


Downtown Seattle

Tall buildings and fairly steep hills (which lead down to views of Puget Sound) make up the landscape of downtown Seattle; businesses crowd into the lower floors of tall buildings used as both office buildings and as apartments — and sometimes both. The streets are well cared for here, and with this being such a tourist-heavy area, appearances are kept neat and clean.

That unfortunately does nothing for the homeless population that is so prevalent around here; occasionally, one will find tents, whether they be singular or many, and there is even the occasional shanty village hidden in the folds.


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