Mayor McGinn opens new King Street Station Jackson Plaza to the public

Lorne McConachie of the Pioneer Square Preservation Board, Leslie Smith of the Alliance for Pioneer Square, longtime Pioneer Square resident Jan Drago, and Mayor McGinn cut the ribbon for the new Jackson Plaza. (Photo provided by City of Seattle)

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn opened the new King Street Station’s Jackson Plaza to the public on June 24, helping to connect transit to neighborhoods with an environmentally sustainable plaza.

“The investment in historic King Street Station is part of Seattle’s transit future,” said McGinn. “The new plaza connects transit lines and neighborhoods like Pioneer Square and International District/Chinatown.”

King Street Station will feature Amtrak long distance rail, Sound Transit commuter rail, and Amtrak intercity coaches, along with access to Sound Transit light rail, Metro buses, and the future First Hill Streetcar, all within walking distance of several Seattle neighborhoods.

The Jackson Plaza was rebuilt to current seismic codes and converted into a pedestrian plaza, increasing public and green space in Pioneer Square. Buried under the plaza are 36 geothermal wells use for heating and cooling the first floor of King Street Station.

Granite was salvaged from an old building foundation to repair the granite balustrade that flanks the plaza and form new seating benches. Finally, the plaza was deconstructed instead of demolished, allowing for 98 percent of material to be recycled. Deconstruction is the systematic removal of materials to maximize recycling, as opposed to a non-discriminate, speed-oriented demolition.

The construction cost for the phase of the King Street Station Restoration Project that included the plaza was about $15 million and was financed in partnership with the above-named agencies and funding sources.

The next major milestone of the King Street Station Restoration Project will be in early September with the reopening of the fully rehabilitated grand staircase linking Jackson Plaza to the station’s entrance on South King Street. ♦

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