Looking down from Union Street's dead end at the new Four Seasons' stairs.
I was wondering earlier about that new staircase at the Four Seasons Hotel-Condo, which arcs from the dead end of Union Street (where it intersects First Ave.) down to Western. The city confirms that the new diagonal tread will be open to the public 24-7. And further, the old internal staircase to Post Alley will be closed. Says Bryan Stevens of the Department of Planning and Development,
"The new public stair next to the Four Seasons project involves removal of the existing stair on the north side of Union and the installation of a new stair down to Western on the south side of Union. The project also includes the installation of a new terraced overlook at the west end of the street."
The old internal staircase, on the north side of Union's terminus, had no view to speak of. It just deposited you down on Post Alley. And though it's hard to remember now, and presently closed during the hotel-condo's construction, there was a public viewpoint at the end of Union with a few benches. In the scheme approved by the city, most of the dead end will become a valet parking area, essentially a loop for guests and owners to arrive by limo, taxi, and undoubtedly expensive cars.
Public access at what is, in fact, the south end of the Pike Place Market, should be maintained, according to the city. Though it'll be squeezed between the Four Seasons on the south side of Union and the older 98 Union condo on the north. We're supposed to get this "terraced overlook," which apparently is to hang below grade over the alley. All of which would look something like this if you were standing on First looking west (accompanying text from architect NBBJ and the city):