Art in the Park


Occidental Park is in the heart of the historic Pioneer Square district. London Plane trees provide shade; park furniture and nearby outdoor cafe areas provide places to relax; and bocce courts and ping pong tables allow for some easy-going recreation. Neighboring small businesses include bookstores, art galleries, boutiques, and a variety of other unique shops and eateries.

The park's totem poles and woodcarvings are by Duane Pasco (1970s). They were donated by art gallery owner Richard White and installed in the 1980's.  "The tallest totem, Sun and Raven, tells the story of Raven's theft of the moon and was created for the 1974 Spokane World's Fair.  The nearby Man Riding on Tail of Whale was carved in 1971.  The westernmost of the two facing figures is Tsonoqua, a mythological giantess and 'nightmare bringer' invoked by exasperated North Coast mothers to frighten their children into obedience.  She faces a slightly less fearsome Bear."  (Walt Crowley, National Trust Guide:  Seattle, New York, 1998) The Seattle Fallen Firefighters Memorial by Hai Ying Wu (1995) honors generations of heroes.

Back in the 1850s, when logs began streaming down Skid Road to Henry Yesler's sawmill, this area was part of the heart of a young and rowdy Seattle.... The present park was built over this half-acre of asphalt in 1971, during the general renovation of the Pioneer Square area. (Excerpt from Enjoying Seattle's Parks by Brandt Morgan)

Current Projects

In 2016, the City of Seattle signed a five-year agreement with the Downtown Seattle Association to manage and activate Occidental Square. The collaboration has many new park users enjoying art installations, ping pong, children's activities and so much more. Careful consideration of the historic nature of the park and Pioneer Square neighborhood has helped guide the designs of new investments in the park focused on providing amenities for all Occidental Square park visitors.

Proposed Projects

The Pavilion will replace the existing kiosk with a larger information and concierge center for enhanced park activation. The 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.

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.

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Downtown parks special events

Center City Parks are full of  arts, concerts, festivals and random acts of urban fun. Our park concierges have information to help you plan your visit and games so that you can play in the park. Learn more about downtown park events on our Downtown and Center City Parks page.