Seattle’s historic districts: Pike Place Market

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We can hear the fish market folks yelling from here. | Photo by @johncalvrymusic

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Hey there, Seattle. Ready for the sixth round of our Seattle Historic District Walkthrough? Today, we’re making like a thrown fish and flying down to Pike Place Market.

If you’re not really sure what’s happening right now, City Editor Alina is still pretty new to Seattle, so we’re getting her caught up with some local history in each of our city’s eight historical districts.

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A post card depicting a very young Pike Place market, circa 1913. | Photo via Seattle Municipal Archives

Flashback ⏳

Pike Place Market was established by Seattle City Council in 1907 as a place where locals could buy their food directly from farmers and fishers. The first market day had just eight vendors, but they sold all of their goods fairly quickly on account of the 10,000 shoppers that showed up. By the end of the year, new buildings were already being constructed to house the 120 farmers that became regular tenants.

In 1963, a plan was proposed to demolish the market to make way for a “modernized” Pike Plaza. However, a major campaign to keep the area intact commenced and it was designated as a historical district in 1971 — effectively saving the oldest continuously running public market from demolition.

Lay of the land now 🌳

The Pike Place Historical District encompasses the entirety of the market and bleeds down towards the waterfront over Western Avenue. There aren’t many residences in this area, but of the ~5,800 folks who live in the Central Waterfront area, the median age is 35 — right on point with Seattle’s overall median of 35.

Digs for sale 🏡

Nearby biz + things to do 📋

  • JarrBar | This tiny little bar feels like a well-kept secret. Grab a tin of fish and a Spanish margarita.
  • Original Selfie Museum | Need some new content for the ‘gram? This museum has all of the backgrounds you’ll need — just bring your camera.
  • Zig Zag Cafe | Perfect for a night cap or some local baked oysters.
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