AKA: Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - markets

Designers: Turner Construction Company (firm); George R. Bartholick (architect); Goodwin John (engineer); Victor Eugene Steinbrueck (architect); Duncan Thieme (architect)

Dates: constructed 1907

1508 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101-1527

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The National Historic District is bounded approximately by First Avenue and Western Avenue and Virginia Street and Pike Street.

Building History

Authorized by the Seattle City Council, developer Frank Goodwin, a recent miner in the Klondike, invested some of his capital in the original arcade building for the Pike Place Market which opened 11/30/1907. His brother, John, designed the first utilitarian structure. In 1930, the "Public Market Center" consisted of the Pike Place Market and surrounding markets, including the Corner Market, Sanitary Market, Economy Market, Outlook Market and the Municipal Market. The wartime internment of Japanese-Americans beginning in 1942 cut the number of vendors at the Pike Place Market from 600 to about 40. The Central Association, a consortium of downtown businesses, called for the demolition of Pike Place Market in 1963, advocating its replacement with high-rise offices and apartments. In opposition to this plan, attorney, Robert Ashley, architect, Victor Steinbrueck (1911-1985), and several others formed the "Friends of the Market" to mobilize public support against the Central Association's plan. Plans drafted by the Seattle City Council in 1968 called for the demolition of the original market and the construction of a new facility with a 3,000-car parking garage; a preservation group, Friends of the Market formed to oppose the city plan; on 11/02/1971, sixty per-cent of Seattle's voters sided with preservationists (76,379-53,264), and the old market district was declared a National Historic District. In 1973, the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA), a public trust, formed to protect the market's historic character and manage its property. A group of New York investors, The Urban Group, sought to remove the Pike Place PDA in 1989. Victor Steinbrueck's son, Peter (b. 1957), also an architect, (who also became a longtime Seattle City Councilman), headed the Citizens Alliance to Keep Pike Place Market Public. He came to an agreement with the New York group to continue the PDA's governance in 1991.

Building Notes

Tel: 206.624.4029 (2006);


The current neon sign and clock were installed in 1927; Rehabilitation work on the Market began in 1974 after the Initiative 1 Referendum of 11/02/1971 saved the market and the subsequent 1973 formation the Pike Place Development Authority. At this time, 80% of the market's space was not rented. (See "A Detailed History of the Corner Market Building & Environs," City of Seattle, Department of Community Development, 1975, p. 13.) George R. Bartholick supervised restoration efforts at the Pike Place Market in the 1970s and 1980s; efforts were made to secure funds for market renovation in 05/2007; these funds were sought to pay for three additional sets of restrooms, four new elevators, painting, window improvements, roofing, and upgraded electrical and mechanical systems. Architect Duncan Thieme of SRG Partnership, was involved in this renovation planning. On 11/04/2008, the City of Seattle passed a $73 million bond measure to renovate the Market's electrical, plumbing, HVAC systems. The levy passed by a margin of 61%. Turner Construction supervised this activity.


A fire occurred on the upper two floors of the Sanitary Market Building on 12/14/1941, ruining 150 market stalls. Apparently, this fire was blamed by many on the local Japanese-American population, hastening calls for their internment. (See "A Detailed History of the Corner Market Building & Environs," City of Seattle, Department of Community Development, 1975, p. 11.)

Seattle Historic Landmark: ID n/a

PCAD id: 5817

Satterthwaite, Ann, "The Rediscovery of Public Markets as Nuclei of Neighborhoods", AIA Journal, 66: 9, 46-48, 08/1977. Canty, Donald, "Pike Place Market", Architecture, 274-281, 5/1985. City of Seattle, Department of Community Development, Detailed History of the Corner Market Building & Environs, 11-13, 1975-10. Appello, Tim, "Rescue in Seattle Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square", Historic Preservation, 35-39, 10/1985. Stamets, John, Portrait of a Market: Photographs of Seattle's Pike Place Market, 1987. Bhatt, Rob, "A Century of Tradition", Puget Sound Journey, 24-28, 07-08/2007. Monta, Howard A., "Letters to the Editor: Pike Place Market Money for repairs should be available", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, B7, 05/04/2007. Mulady, Kathy, "Pike Place Market leaders list desired fixes", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, B1, B5, 05/02/2007. Collins, James Madison, Seattle Then & Now, 14-15, 18-19, 2000. Johnsen, Shelly, "Northwest Voices Market makeover Levy funds face-lift", Seattle Times, B9, 07/31/2008. Eskenazi, Stuart, "Market officials hope to limit disruptions during renovation", Seattle Times, B1, B6, 11/17/2008. "Yes on Market upgrade; no on parks levy", Seattle Times, B5, 10/07/2008. "Editorials: The Market at 100: Join the Celebration", Seattle Times, D2, 06/03/2007. Eskenazi, Stuart, "It's Everyone's Market", Seattle Times, A1, A16, 06/03/2007. Nyberg, Folke, "Preservation and Regional Politics", Spazio e Società, 7: 26, 52-57, Steinbrueck, Victor, "The Continuing Struggle", Spazio e Società, 7: 26, 48-51, 1984-06.