Occidental Square Park Projects

Updated: June 8, 2021

Spring 2021


One of downtown Seattle's oldest public plazas is ready for year-round activity in the heart of Pioneer Square. Occidental Square is now home to a brand-new pavilion, a large timber structure topped with a glass roof, producing an 90-foot-wide covered area at the south end of the square. At the north end, the Occidental play area has reopened after being closed for more than a year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join us:
Wednesday, June 9 at 11 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting, and opening remarks.
Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12 visit Occidental Square and check out the new pavilion. There will be family friendly games, music, giveaways, and fun!

In June of 2020, construction began on a graceful new wood and glass pavilion designed by Olson Kundig Architects. The new pavilion replaces the former 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. The project construction is led by Schuchart.

Funding for this park project has been provided by donors to Seattle Parks Foundation in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Alliance for Pioneer Square, and the Downtown Seattle Association.

Rendering of new pavilion for Occidental Square Park

Play Area - Completed in Fall 2019


Occidental Square, 117 S Washington St, Seattle 98104


Both the play area and the pavilion 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.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

The Play Area project, completed in October 2019, provides 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.

Rendering of new play area for Occidental Square Park


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.