Bill Speidel’s Underground tour of Seattle
I had covered Seattle on land, water and the air. So, what was left to go beneath Seattle and explore its underground. So, i signed up for the underground tour of Seattle offered near the Pioneer Square. I couldn’t find much information about the contents of this tour online and one of my colleagues had gone for this a few months back and termed it “boring”, but this was anything but boring, it was awesome, that is, if you are interested in trivia, history and things out of the ordinary. In fact, not many living in Seattle knew that there practically existed/exists a city beneath the streets of Seattle. It was cool to be actually standing under a sidewalk (2nd picture below) and hear the people on the roads above.
The tour might not be very appropriate for kids considering that 90% of the history of the place revolved around the practice of prostitution and the tour guide mentions the details of the trade at the drop of a hat. But, considering the upbringing of today’s kids, this may be a subject in their 1st or 2nd grade and shouldn’t be bothering them.
The tour costs 15 USD, a bit high in my opinion, but i wouldn’t complain as i found the information shared by our tour guide worth the money. Yeah, i could have got the same info off the internet, but the presentation by our guide was gr8. He kept us entertained throughout the 1 hour tour.
The area underground was maintained in a state of ruin such that it intrigues a visitor, but also easily navigable. It seems that the fire department regularly conducts audits of this area (and more out of reach of the tour). Well, it should considering that the whole “underground” area was aandoned after a major fire as all the buildings were made of wood. You can see even the wall-paper or whatever they used at that time on the wall in the photo below.
Some more photos from the tour:
More information about the history of the Seattle underground can be found here.