Downtown: City Hall to Pike Place
Sunday, October 30
Jake Jaramillo in Central Seattle

Stairway-curious urban hikers will find endlessly fascinating architectural details everywhere on this Downtown walk! The route starts at City Hall, with good parking beneath the Central Library just a few blocks north.

NOTE: A helpful reader tells us the 89 steps at Pine Street have been fenced off, as of late June 2013. Here's her suggested walkaround:

"We followed the book closely, so we did the descent on the Hillclimb with the new (2010) art work lamps (which were delightful!) then got on the Elliott Bay Trail and turned right onto Pine. That next set of stairs, the ones that are old and have wooden handrails held up with old streetcar rails -- that's the part blocked off top and bottom. It was still cool to go look at them through the fence and see the old streetcar rails.
"There's a parking garage to the right of these stairs. So in order to avoid doing the same set of stairs twice (the Hillclimb that we just came down) we used the stairs of the parking garage. They are easily accessible on the south side of the garage. At the top, we turned left and found two possible sets of stairs/overpasses over the road into the Market. We took the closer one and in retrospect (by looking at the extra photos on the website) that was the one you intended*."


The slideshow below has the additional pictures referred to in the book with the "www" icon. There are additional pictures below that.

*To view these stairs, scroll down to the last picture.

The Art Deco-style Exchange Building (1930) was erected to house the regional stock exchange...just as the market collapsed

This closeup of the front entrance to the Exchange Building reveals decorative brass gleaming in the sunlight

One hundred and three steps take you from one street end down to another, via the Union Street stairway

One of the 7 cast-aluminum human figures adorning the upper Pike Place Hillclimb

These steps switchback to a footbridge over Western Avenue, and into Pike Place Market

Article originally appeared on Seattle Stairway Walks (
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