Seattle's Pioneer Square pergola re-opens on August 17, 2002.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 8/19/2002
  • Essay 3920

On August 17, 2002, the historic pergola that stood in Pioneer Square from 1909 until it collapsed in a truck accident in 2001, re-opens. Restoration began shortly after the accident. At the re-opening ceremony, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (b. 1955) says, "This is the enduring symbol of that great era."

A Painstaking Job

The restoration was done by Seidelhuber Iron & Bronze Works of South Seattle, without the benefit of original plans, though a few old drawings and other documents helped. Most of the new construction was fabricated from original parts and pieces, obtained by sifting carefully through the wreckage after the accident. A steel core was added to the pergola to bring it up to seismic codes.

in 2003, the restoration received the state historic preservation officer's annual award, the Valerie Sivinski Award for Outstanding Achievement in Historic Preservation Rehabilitation Projects.

The trucking firm whose vehicle hit the structure, U.S. Xpress Enterprises, paid most of the cost of the reconstruction.


Priscilla Long, "Truck accidentally destroys historic Pioneer Square pergola on January 15, 2001," Timeline Library, (; Janie McCauley,"Pioneer Square Welcomes Back Piece of its Past," Seattle Post- Intelligencer, August 18, 2002 (; "Pioneer Square Pergola Restoration Under Way," City of Seattle website accessed January 11, 2003 (
Note: This essay was updated on January 11. 2005.

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