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Friends of the Market Newsletter

June 2016

Summer has arrived in Seattle; and, with it, the return of freshly harvested farmers' produce.


Wednesday Evening Market 

Every Wednesday evening from 5 to 8:00 p.m., the Pike Place Evening Farmers Market is now in full swing on the cobblestones.  As June gives way to true summer warmth, more crops are ripening, and farmers are offering grocery shoppers greater variety from which to choose.  On a sunny evening, Pike Place is a delightful place to be!  And, if you don't feel like going home to cook, there are choices for a bite to eat, including crepes, tamales, or a slice (or whole pie!) of pizza.  This new evening venue is well worth a look-see.

Pike Place Express Returns

For those who prefer a mid-day experience--a quick-shop on a lunch hour perhaps--the Pike Place Market Express offers three locations this year.  All are open now through mid-October from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  On Tuesdays, PPM Express is at the City Hall Plaza.  On Thursdays, the location is South Lake Union at 410 Terry Avenue North.   And the First Hill PPM Express operates on Fridays, at Ninth Avenue and University Street.

These ancillary Markets provide the customers of Pike Place Market a chance to buy their fresh fruits and veggies and to "Meet the Producer" when there might not be time for a full-fledged trip to the Pike Place site.  It also gives Market farmers another outlet for their harvest. (And, in retail, it's always good to keep one's name before the buying public!)

Historical Perspective on Victor Steinbrueck Park

On June 29th, at a special meeting of the Market Historical Commission, Peter Steinbrueck and Peggy Gaynor presented an historical perspective on Victor Steinbrueck Park. Peggy brought old drawings, plans drawn by Victor and Peggy herself (she was acting as Victor's right-hand assistant). All of these drawings, all of the plans and all of the script, ALL had been done by hand.  (These were the days before computer design and CAD drawings!) And Victor custom-designed EVERYTHING, down to the specs on the benches and stools, the placement of the trees and railings. What a treat to see these historical documents!

Interesting, too, to hear the viewpoints of ones who were on the scene, who knew and had worked closely with Victor.  Market Park, as Victor called it (it was renamed Victor Steinbrueck Park in 1985 after Victor had died), was to be the "living room" of the Market. Although it was "a little to the back and a little off to the side", and though Victor might have wished it to be bigger; still, it was to be a place that saved great viewpoints for everybody (not just the rich people) and to protect open space in downtown Seattle for everybody. Victor's goal was to create a design that was simple and un-ostentatious.  The resulting Park has a "funk-a-delic" quality that is unique unto itself. 

It was Victor's thought that the Market would, perhaps, at some point, "spill over", "tumbling down the hill" toward the waterfront.  (What would he think of the Waterfront project...?) 

Upcoming Meetings

For those following the planning for improvements to Victor Steinbrueck Park, here are some dates of interest:  On August 3rd, September 7th and November 2nd, there will be briefings to the Market Historical Commission Design Review Committee by Walker Macy, the design consultants hired by Seattle Parks and Recreation for the project. The briefing on November 2nd will include a schematic design presentation.  While there is no public testimony taken at Design Review Committee meetings, comments can be emailed to MHC Coordinator Heather McAuliffe,, who will pass them on to the Commission.

Allied Arts Hosts "Growing Gracefully" Panel

On June 25th, our own Board Member John Turnbull participated in a panel discussion on growth in Seattle.  At this forum, held in the historic Georgetown Ballroom, thoughts were shared on how to balance explosive growth with historic (and quality of life!) preservation; how important it is for all voices to be heard, even if all aren't in agreement; and how to change the conversation from "all good vs. all bad" to "how can we do growth better".

Pike Place Market was praised as an example: "the most successful historic district in the city and most successful farmers' market in the country". The key to this success was attributed to regulation of both use and design within the district. The dual governing responsibility of the PDA Council and the Market Historical Commission was also cited:  the PDA looks to the Market spaces and asks "Does this decision make economic sense, is it cohesive with a larger plan?" The Historic Commission then looks at these same decisions, space by space; but priority becomes compliance with guidelines adopted to keep the Market true to its history and tradition. Two governing bodies, each aware of the other's main focus, but each with a primary responsibility of its own: each coming from a different direction in service to one Market. Cumbersome, perhaps; but it works! How hard it is for other historic districts to exercise control over their neighborhoods without these tools!

Legacy Continues

The  Allied Arts panel was asked how to motivate people to care about the preservation of their neighborhoods, especially when there are so many diverse opinions.  One answer?...that it helps to have a "zealot nut", who maybe goes door-to-door, to "get the conversation started". How lucky we are that there were such "zealot nuts" in the late 1960's when the Market was in danger, and how important it is for Friends of the Market to continue the legacy!

As always, comments, questions and suggestions are welcome at my email address below. 


Written by Christine Vaughan,  

Copyright © 2016 Friends of the Market, All rights reserved.

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