Sinking Ship Parking Gargage

{Pioneer Square}

Early Seattle's most luxurious hotel was located on a triangular lot near the Pioneer Building. The first one, the Occidental Hotel, burned in the 1889 fire. It was soon replaced with the even grander Hotel Seattle. That hotel suffered damage in the 1949 earthquake and declined along with the surrounding area.

It was virtually vacant by 1961, and was demolished in 1962. Its replacement, a parking garage, is often called the "Sinking Ship" because of its prow-like appearance. This building demolition and replacement shocked the entire city, giving impetus to historic preservation and the formation of a historic district in 1970.

Listen to a podcast from the Pioneer Square Walking Tour.

First Avenue and Yesler Way (3mb mp3)

Find this building on our walking tour map. (680kb pdf)

Hotel Seattle, Seattle, ca. 1911
Sinking Ship Parking Garage, 2011. Photo courtesy of WSDOT


About us

This site is dedicated to the history of Seattle's downtown and waterfront, especially the State Route 99 / Alaskan Way Viaduct corridor. It was developed by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration as an educational resource and as part of a Memorandum of Agreement for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (pdf 1mb).

Copyright 2011 Washington State Department of Transportation