Design Preview: The new Pike Place Market

By Alex Cnossen
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By Alex Cnossen

Pike Place Market is Seattle’s most popular destination, and the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world. On a sunny Wednesday afternoon, a new era for the landmark was ushered in with a parade, some speeches and shovelfuls of dirt.

“The Market is Seattle’s heart and soul,” Murray said to roughly 400 city officials and community members at the official groundbreaking, which will expand the market for the first time in 40 years. “This new addition to the market weaves our city back together.”

The $73 million project will keep much of the market the same, while creating a dramatically new, modern expansion. It will open up more stalls for vendors and artists and provide 300 short-term parking spaces, 40 low-income apartments for senior housing, and 30,000 square feet of public space.

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Crosscut archive image.

The planned demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is part of the motivation behind the expansion, and new designs take advantage of it. The new market will provide expansive views of Puget Sound, and numerous public pathways between Pike Place and the waterfront.

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Crosscut archive image.

Much of the market’s east front will stay untouched, including the iconic sign, brick roads and familiar shops. This also includes the original Starbucks, which contributed $500,000 to the renovations. The expansion will primarily be focused on the market's western side, facing the water.

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The bronze pig sculpture at the entrance of Pike Place Market is named Rachel, and was installed in 1986, as a fundraising tool for the human service agencies at the Market. At Wednesday's ceremony, Murray introduced a new pig sculpture to be installed at the market.

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The Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) council chairman Matt Hannah expressed pride in the market’s attention to the less fortunate. “The new marketfront will build on that legacy with a street level neighborhood outreach center that will serve the urgent needs of our community with even more expanded social services,” Hannah said.

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The proposed new Pike Place Market Neighborhood Center, where human services will be provided.

Pike Place – established in 1907 - is the oldest continuously operating public market in the county. A seven-acre National Register of Historic Places and local Market Historical District was created in 1971 to preserve the market’s core after it was threatened with demolition and replacement. 22 acres were set aside for future construction and redevelopment.

The agreement for the new expansion transfers ownership of a .75-acre parking lot from the City to the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority. The parking lot is located on Western Avenue, just south of Victor Steinbrueck Park. That surface parking lot's destruction, as well as that of the viaduct, are key to the new market.

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Current surface parking lot.

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After renovations and the viaduct's demolition.

While the fish will keep flying during renovations, traffic disruption can be expected on Western Avenue. Construction is scheduled to be complete by December 2016.

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Future view of Pike Place Market from the Puget Sound.

Project images courtesy Miller Hull Partnership. 

  

About the Authors & Contributors

Alex Cnossen

Alex Cnossen

Alex Cnossen is a Northwest native and has worked for several local publications, including KOMO, KIRO and KING-TV. He grew up in Portland and loves to run and write. Follow him on Twitter @CnossenAlex. You can also keep in touch via email at alex.cnossen@gmail.com.