Private Public Realm

This alley off the southern edge of Harbor Steps between University and Seneca Streets is one of the nicest examples of pedestrian-oriented public realm into downtown Seattle. Except that like the rest of the Harbor Steps open space, it’s not actually public. The alley and the University St. right-of-way between 1st and Western were “vacated” (i.e. sold by the City) to the Harbor Steps developers. No doubt this had to happen because there is a massive parking structure underneath the steps and alley. But still, it’s unfortunate that an open space as important as Harbor Steps couldn’t be a truly public space.