NOTICE:  The Seattle City Council will hold a hearing on Council Bill 120456 at its Neighborhoods, Education, Civil Rights & Culture Committee meeting on Friday, December 9th, at 9:30a.m., in Seattle City Hall Council Chambers, 600 4th Avenue. Public comment is allowed at the beginning of the meeting, two minutes per person. Make your voice heard!

If Council Bill 120456 passes, it will transfer the Pike Place Market Historical Commission’s authority over review of select Market projects to Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s staff. Friends of the Market, along with community allies, firmly opposes including the Market Historical District in this legislation. The bill, as currently written, will undermine the authority of the Commission and remove the voice of the public in decisions about the preservation of the Market’s authenticity. The volunteer 12-member Commission was established by the Citizen Initiative of 1971 that save the Market and is composed of community members committed to preserving the character of the Market.

The Commission’s role and authority must be supported, not undermined. It is critical that Pike Place Market Historical District remain an authentic place, as the city’s fabric changes around it. Read Seattle Times’ Op Ed, “Why Undermine Pike Place Market Historical Commission? Ask the Mayor”


 

Friends of the Market has been an education and advocacy organization for over 50 years. Since 1964, it has singly, or with allies, advocated for or opposed public policies affecting Pike Place Market and fought for historic preservation and renewal in downtown Seattle and the Market.

NOTE: The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into Friends of the Market’s Advocacy on Victor Steinbrueck Park, First Avenue Streetcar and The Showbox theater.

Victor Steinbrueck Park

This popular downtown park, designed by Victor Steinbrueck, Friends of the Market founder, and Rich Haag, well-known landscape architect (think Gas Works Park), continues as an active advocacy priority. The Park was scheduled for major repairs in 2019-2020 because it leaks into the parking structure beneath it. In the public process, Friends of the Market successfully advocated respect for the original park design and replacement of the children’s play area that was lost to the “Tree of Life” sculpture. Friends’ advocacy for preservation of the tribal gathering area at the SW corner of the park was only partially successful.

During the public process, some stakeholders called for elimination of the park’s two totem poles because totem poles are  not pa