Destruction, Construction, and Revitalization: Seattle’s Waterfront Reimagined

Weekend Tour

Tour the new and improved Seattle Waterfront to see the remarkable changes that have occurred after over a decade of planning and design. Construction began with destruction: in 2019 the Alaskan Way Viaduct (an elevated highway deemed unsound after the 2001 Nisqually earthquake), was demolished which made way for the current transformation of the area into a vibrant public space with a 17-block boulevard-like park promenade, and unobstructed views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. The newly designed roadway has been given the honorary name Dzidzilalich (pronounced dzee-dzuh-lah-leech) to honor the lands and shared waters of the native Puget Sound Coast Salish People. Construction is still underway.

The tour begins in Myrtle Edwards Park, where Seattle Aquarium Beach Naturalists educate visitors about the aquatic animals and the marine habitat. Next is the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, which opened in 2007 and transformed Seattle’s largest undeveloped waterfront property from a former industrial site into an open and vibrant public green space. You will have an opportunity to see Alexander Calder’s Eagle, Richard Serra’s Wake, Louise Bourgeois/ Father and Son, Jaume Plensa’s Echo, and many other magnificent works. 

The tour will continue south to see the ongoing Aquarium renovations on our way to the city-owned Pier 62, which is used for large public and private events. The City of Seattle team will walk through the waterfront projects’ many and varied design elements, highlight partnerships and stakeholders, and discuss the unique public/private partnership for park operations.   

Please note: There is limited shade along the waterfront; sun protection is advised. Comfortable shoes should be worn for the walking tour.