While it was only founded in the 1850s, Seattle has a wealth of historic landmarks that will transport you from 2017 back to the Industrial Revolution. From bars and hotels, to parks and old bridges, the city contains enough tales from the past to keep even the biggest history buffs happy. Here’s where to explore Seattle history today.
Seeing Seattle History
The Bon Marché Building
Translating to “the good deal,” in French, The Bon Marché department store opened in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood in 1890, and served the city’s working-class population. Rebranded as a Macy’s in 2005, the historic building still retains one small, original Bon Marché sign above its 4th Avenue entrance. The Bon Marché Building: 300 Pine St.; 206-506-6000
Photo above courtesy of @holo_moto on Instagram.
Gas Works Park
This 19-acre public park was once the site of the Seattle Gas Light Company’s gasification plant. With the help of landscape architect Richard Haag, it transformed into a quirky green space—perfect for a picnic, some kite-flying or even a quick afternoon jog alongside Lake Union. Learn all about it here!
Mapping out a grid-system for the streets of Seattle proved difficult as the varying angles of its many shorelines dictated the development of a few triangle-shaped lots. In 1910, the three-sided Flatiron building became home to the Triangle Hotel and Bar. Once a brothel and raucous tavern, the now-cozy pub is a great place to watch a Sounders game and grab a local microbrew. Triangle Pub: 553 1st Avenue South; 206-628-0474
Merchants Café and Saloon
This late 19th century brick building was designed to hold a liquor store and café on the bottom level, and a hotel on the top two. Its interior features an intricately carved bar, pressed tin ceilings and beautiful wood floors. While the building’s historic structure make it worth a visit, it’s also commonly thought to be haunted, and has been featured on multiple television series due to the so-called spirits that inhabit it. Merchants Café and Saloon: 109 Yesler Way; 206-467-5070