The Pergola in Pioneer Square in Seattle Washington is on of those places that you take your out of town friends to see when you’re showing them around town. It’s also a good meeting spot if you want to split up and strike out on your own because this is Pioneer Square and it’s not a major patch of real estate and it’s easy to find if you get lost.
But what I love about the beautiful, artistic, historic and boy do people get MAD when it gets hit by trucks and cars Iron Pergola- is that it’s was built as the upper level of a spiffy state of the ( then ) public bathroom in 1909.
No, it wasn’t just an ornate entrance to a bunch of toilets – it was where people waited to catch the cable car- but if you need to use the potty there was some right under your feet- which is more then we commuters get now!
Still, the pergola in all of it’s glory- the wrought iron ornamentation and it’s iron columns was a work of art then and it is now.
However, my Dad’s family has been around Seattle since God was a baby ( well maybe a toddler ) and they really emphasized the underground toilets when they told stories about ‘old Seattle’ – and my imagination worked that story and the images overtime.
I used to have this idea in my head off fancy toilets sitting on penny tile floors, banks of fancy marble sinks with gold taps and people handing out warm towels and fancy soap after you used the facilities… and how those toilets must have done what toilets used to do in that area when the tide came in- they blew up.
My Dad’s family, who love to pass misinformation down the way other families pass out candy and little presents to the kids in the family did absolutely NOTHING to clear that little piece of info up and I really believed that a long time ago the toilets under the Pergola used to explode when the tide came in.
After I was burdened with the reality of the restrooms under the Pergola I still enjoyed the memories of ‘what might have been’ so when I took my friends and family to the Pergola or when I saw people shooting wedding pictures there…
in my mind I could hear a ‘foooom’ and the sounds of wild rushing water and people screaming, ” No no no! Is that poo? Oh God, don’t let it be poo!”
It still makes me smile.