Occidental Square Park Projects

Updated: August 27, 2019

Summer 2019

Play Area:

Starting in late August, Venture General Contractors will be marking the layout on the ground and prepping the area at the north end of Occidental Square for the new play area. Construction will follow and the play area will open by the end of October 2019. Park programming and operations will continue during construction, with temporary fencing around the site to keep it secure and keep park visitors safe.

Rendering of new play area for Occidental Square Park


Pavilion:

The design team, led by Olson Kundig Architects, is prepping for final reviews by Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Pioneer Square Preservation Board (PSPB).

Rendering of new pavilion for Occidental Square Park

Location

Occidental Square, 117 S Washington St, Seattle 98104

Funding

Both projects are fully funded privately. Funding for the pavilion has been provided by donors to Seattle Parks Foundation, and the Downtown Seattle Association is funding the play area project.

Schedule

Construction will occur in the fall/winter months when park use is lowest. Park programming and operations will continue during construction, with temporary fencing around the site to keep it secure and keep park visitors safe.

  • Play Area Construction: September - October 2019
  • Pavilion Construction: Fall 2019 - Winter 2019/2020

Project Description

In 2014, Seattle Parks Foundation commissioned Dan Biederman-the visionary consultant behind the revitalization of New York's Bryant Park-to assess conditions at Occidental Square in downtown Seattle and develop a plan to turn it into a more vibrant and welcoming gathering space for people of all ages and walks of life.

Biederman's report has guided an effort to dramatically enhance public life in the park, with operations and programming led by Downtown Seattle Association in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation. That vision has attracted major financial and fundraising support from Seattle Parks Foundation donors, the Alliance for Pioneer Square, and Friends of Waterfront Seattle, demonstrating that private sector donors are deeply invested in creating public spaces that serve all people.

Occidental Square has been transformed into the lively heart of the Pioneer Square neighborhood, with colorful café seating, new planters, artwork, ping-pong tables and musical performances. The park's newfound popularity and high attendance at regular free events has inspired donors to invest in two major capital projects.

One project is a graceful new wood and glass pavilion at the south end of the square. The structure, which will replace an existing outdated kiosk, will serve as a visitor center, performance stage, and well-lit shelter in inclement weather.

The second project is a new play area at the north end of the square, with climbing equipment, safety surfacing, and an attractive steel and timber bench where people can sit and enjoy the park and watch their children play.

Projects:

  1. The Pavilion will replace the existing kiosk, at the south end of the square, with a larger information and concierge center for enhanced park activation. The new wood and glass pavilion is designed with a glass roof that can serve as an outdoor classroom, a stage, a dining area and most importantly a covered space for use by the public.
    Rendering of new pavilion for Occidental Square Park

  2. The Play Area will provide a new activity in the park and will increase ways that families can enjoy Occidental Square. The play area complements the existing neighborhood by using timber play equipment and a timber bench that also functions as an enclosure for safety. The play area will be located at the north end of Occidental Square.
    Rendering of new play area for Occidental Square Park

Contact:

If you have questions about either project, please contact Garrett Farrell, project manager at Seattle Parks and Recreation, at Garrett.Farrell@seattle.gov.

Community Participation


Logo of, and link to the Alliance for Pioneer Square

Logo of, and link to the Downtown Seattle Association


Logo of, and link to the Seattle Parks Foundation

Community outreach and public engagement started in 2017 and continued in 2018.  Over 500 people were reached through open houses, online surveys, and residential and business meetings.  Gathering input, feedback and support was very useful and helped guide the design of both projects.

View a summary of meetings and outreach here.