Underground Tour

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Harry Potter on October 24, 2002

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour takes place under the sidewalks of a district known as Pioneer Square. The tour lasts between 1 1/2 - 2 hours but the time seems to go by quickly. Making reservations and buying tickets ahead of time are recommended, but we went on a Sunday afternoon and managed to buy our tickets just before our tour began. However, we did have to squeeze onto a bench with others in the crowded Doc Maynard's where the tour began. After a 15 minute tongue-in-cheek lecture, the crowd was split into groups and our group was comprised of about 25 people.

Our guide, Jo, led us across the street and opened a door numbered 115 and we descended down under the sidewalks. The 15 foot ceilings and ample space and light kept us from feeling claustrophic. The tour encompasses 3 of the 12 blocks currently accessible underground. There used to be 33 accessible blocks underground but now stores are using some of them for retail space. This underground world came about after a fire started when a pot of glue overboiled on June 6, 1889 and the city needed to be rebuilt higher.

Jo did a good job of keeping our attention and making us laugh and occasionally even blinking in astonishment at her stories. In one room where light shown in from the grates in the sidewalk above, she told us to yell loudly, to see if anyone above ground would notice us down below. Several of the underground areas have signs on the walls indicating buildings that used to be there. The bank even had signs for where the tellers cage and vault used to be located. You'll know you're at the end of the tour when you come to a room with a pole full of the numbered stickers worn by visitors on the tour. After this room is a room with photos and short biographies about historical figures of that time and of course, the exit is through the gift shop. Tour times vary by month, so check Underground Tour for scheduled tours.

Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour
608 First Ave.
Seattle, Washington, 98104
206 682 4646


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