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Friends of the Market Newsletter

November 2017


Here are words to live by: "Never try to fly out of an airport (namely: SeaTac) on a day when there is an unexpected snow storm (read: flurries!). Seems we've got one truck to do plane de-icing for the whole airport. If Seattle wants to become a player in the convention business (note the expansion of the Washington State Convention Center!), more de-icing trucks at the airport might be a good place to start. To put this airport wait-time to good use (yes, I'm among the hundreds whose flights were canceled on November 3rd!)...

...I'll write about a number of important Market issues being addressed during the early part of November.

CITY CONNECTOR STREETCAR APPLICATION

First of all, the City Connector Streetcar Application is coming before the Market Historical Commission (MHC) on November 8th. Although the streetcar planning involves changes to the use of the western half of First Avenue, over which the MHC has regulatory discretion, the City's legal department has opined that the changes proposed for the street, including changes to parking and delivery lanes, are all transportation uses. Transportation uses, as determined by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), are grandfathered in, because they pre-date the ordinance that established the MHC and its jurisdiction over Historic District property.  SDOT can change those transportation uses as it sees fit.  

Therefore, the only application before the MHC on November 8th will be for design. The MHC will be considering whether the streetcar station, signs, seating and changes to the bricks in the street are in keeping with the Design Guidelines adopted by the MHC for the Historic District. There will be no MHC approval sought for the change of use of traffic/delivery/parking/traffic lanes to accommodate the streetcar.

Those who have concerns about the streetcar proposal's impact on the Market can voice those concerns to City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, who chairs the Seattle City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee.

MARKETVIEW PLACE BRIEFING

At a special meeting of the MHC on November 15th, Hal Ferris will give another briefing on Marketview Place, the development of a 14-story building being planned for the current site of the Hahn Building (across from the Market, on the southeast corner of First Avenue and Pike Street). The original plans for this site were unanimously denied approval at the first Early Design Guidance Meeting (EDG). The Downtown Review Board voted unanimously to require another appearance before moving to the next phase. Board members were especially concerned about the scale of the new building in relation to the neighborhood. The planners were urged to reach out to the surrounding communities for their views on the impending development.  

One of the community members attending the EDG spoke eloquently of the importance of the four corners of First and Pike: how the four buildings of equal scale welcomed pedestrians to this important and historic section of Seattle. Referencing Joni Mitchell's song "The Big Yellow Taxi", the presenter reminded the Board that sometimes "you don't know whatcha got till it's gone", and, that once oversized-building begins, there is no going back.

After the briefing, the MHC will decide whether to weigh-in at the next EDG meeting. While the area in question is not within MHC regulatory boundaries, development of the surrounding area impacts the health and viability of the Market, which the MHC is charged with protecting.
 
Market Historical Commission meetings take place at 4:30 p.m. in the meeting rooms above the Atrium Kitchen at 93 Pike Street.

STAMETS EXHIBIT DEDICATION

On November 13th, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., there will be a dedication in the Market Commons of the John Statmets' photos newly installed there. (Did you know that, besides being a chronicler of Market life, John was also the photographer for the Rat City Roller Girls?  His moniker was "Papa Razzi", and he captured the skating action of the likes of Patricia "Patty Slam Burger" Grey during fiercely competitive roller derby meets.)

FRIENDS OF THE MARKET ANNUAL MEETING

Immediately after the Stamets Exhibit dedication, on Monday, November 13th, between 5:15 and 6:45 p.m., the Friends of the Market (FoM) will hold its annual meeting. We will have the opportunity to see the renovated Pink Door, while enjoying delicious small bites and a no-host bar. 

The featured speaker of the evening will be archeologist Alicia Valentino.  Construction on the MarketFront site unearthed objects as varied as a ceramic head of a German-made doll whose model name was Bertha, to a four-foot by four-foot wood box, that proved to be the base of an early 1900's outhouse. Alicia will talk about these many items. (2000 or so were found!)

FRIENDS OF THE MARKET ELECTIONS

The business of the evening will include voting on a slate of four FoM members to serve until 2021, including re-electing current Board members Kate Kraft, Molly Mercer and Jill Ryan and electing a new nominee, Nick Setten.

The Board selected Oonagh O'Connor to fill the position held by John Turnbull, who recently resigned. (Thank you, John. We'll miss your experience and input!  Welcome, Oonagh!)  Oonagh will serve until 2019.

The FoM Board members will elect officers for 2018 at the Board meeting in January.

MAGIC IN THE MARKET

On Saturday, November 25th, Magic in the Market begins. Santa will be there posing for pictures, musicians and the ukulele band STRUM will perform.  There will be a glass blowing demonstration in the MarketFront Pavilion, and, at 5:00 o'clock, the tree and Market buildings will come alive with lights.  

May this be the beginning of a happy (and prosperous) holiday season!

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

 

 

Written by Christine Vaughan, christinevaughan@speakeasy.net 

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