On November 2, 1971, Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved the “Keep the Market” public initiative that saved the Pike Place Market from certain destruction. The passage of the citizens’ initiative – fifty years ago – not only protected our public market, but it also ensured the ‘the soul of Seattle’ would be saved in a way that preserved its character and its traditional community of elderly and low-income residents, food vendors, farmers, craftspeople, and small independent businesses.
Against great odds, Friends of the Market’s determined volunteers worked for seven years to educate the public and tirelessly advocate to save the Market before ultimately mounting this groundbreaking ballot measure. It was a true grassroots effort that accomplished a monumental feat. Over the years, the subsequent hard work of the Market Preservation and Development Authority, Market Foundation, and Historical Commission made the vision of the Friends of the Market a reality.
Today, this story is particularly relevant as the Market residents and neighborhood communities face so many modern challenges. This anniversary occasion is a time to learn about the preservation of the Market and support efforts to ensure its vitality for future generations.
As we celebrate this 50th anniversary, please join us to continue the work of keeping Pike Place Market the true heart of Seattle!