You will quickly notice the totem pole near the middle of the park. The original pole was added in 1890 when a group of men stole a totem pole from the nearby Tlingit Native American village. The pole was destroyed in 1938 by an arsonist and the city sent $5,000 to the Tlingits for a new one. According to the legend, the Tlingits sent back a note saying, "Thank you for paying for the first totem pole, please send another $5,000 for a new one". Whatever the true story, the U.S. Forest Service paid for the current pole, which was hand-carved by native craftsmen Charles and William Brown.
The adjacent Pioneer Building was once voted the finest building west of Chicago in 1892. The designer, Elmer Fisher, designed over 50 buildings in the nearby area all after the great fire of 1889 which destroyed most of the area. These Victorian-Romanesque buildings make Pioneer Square one of the better places in the city for Architecture lovers.
On the south side of the park along Yesler Way you will see the iron Pergola which kept passengers dry while waiting for the cable car. It was added to prepare for the 1909 World's Fair and is intricately designed and worth a closer look.