Seattle’s Pioneer Square Historic District has long been a neighborhood of artists. In the 1990s, market forces began driving artists out of the area at an alarming rate. Hoping to preserve Pioneer Square’s status as an arts district, the Pioneer Square Community Development Organization invited Artspace to transform two turn-of- the-century buildings, the Tashiro and the Kaplan, into facilities for artists.
The Tashiro Arts Building circles Kaplan Lofts at street level and is home to 9 commercial arts-related entities, including 4Culture, a public development authority of Seattle; artists run co-ops of various types and prestigious commercial galleries topped off with a thriving coffee shop.
The Tashiro Arts Building and Kaplan Lofts together have created close to 130,000 square feet of permanently affordable space for the arts, and by preserving these two historic buildings for artists and arts-friendly organizations they have helped maintain Pioneer Square’s distinctive character. Tashiro Kaplan is now at the heart of Seattle’s legendary First Thursday Art Walk, drawing thousands of visitors to Pioneer Square each month.