Seattle Now & Then: The Pike Place Corner Market Building

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: In this April morning record of the 1975 “Rain or Shine Public Market Paint-in,” above the artists, restoration work has begun with the gutting of the Corner Market Building.  (Photo by Frank Shaw)
THEN: In this April morning record of the 1975 “Rain or Shine Public Market Paint-in,” above the artists, restoration work has begun with the gutting of the Corner Market Building. (Photo by Frank Shaw)
NOW: Jean Sherrard captured the agreeable exterior of the restored Corner Market Building on this spring’s sunny Easter Sunday.
NOW: Jean Sherrard captured the agreeable exterior of the restored Corner Market Building on this spring’s sunny Easter Sunday.
Frank Shaw's black and white negative of the same artists near the corner of Pike Place and Pike Street.  When we discover their names we will add  them.
Frank Shaw’s black and white negative of the same artists near the corner of Pike Place and Pike Street. When we discover their names we will add them.

Completed in 1912, five years after the opening of the Pike Place Market, the Corner Market Building is set like a keystone at the head of its landmark block bordered by First Avenue, Pike Street and Pike Place.  The architect, Seattle’s Harlan Thomas, wrapped elegance around the corner with contrasting brickwork, generous arching windows along the top floor, and at the sidewalk, open stalls for selling mostly fresh foodstuffs.

The corner before the Corner Market Building.  The view looks northeast from the "elbow" where Pike Street turns north (left) into Pike Place.
The corner before the Corner Market Building. The view looks northeast from the “elbow” where Pike Street turns north (left) into Pike Place.

The photographer Frank Shaw dated this, his 2×2 inch slide, April 12, 1975.  Joan Paulson disagrees, and in this I join her.  April 12th was the Saturday when the nearly week-long “Rain or Shine Public Market Paint-in and Historic Restoration” was fulfilled and celebrated.  That morning, before the awards, artists could apply their last brush strokes to their assigned 4×8 foot primed panels, which for the next seven months would serve as both an exhibit and as a construction fence to separate and protect laborers and shoppers from each other.

Another of Frank Shaw's recordings of the Market murals.  Might that be Victor Steinbrucke watching, far right?
Another of Frank Shaw’s recordings of the Market murals. Might that be another over the shoulder shot of Victor Steinbrueck watching, far right?
The same lads and the same Frank Shaw.
Moments later the same lads and the same Frank Shaw.
Moments later and with some help from Pop, perhaps.  (Frank Shaw)
Moments later and with some help from Pop, perhaps. (Frank Shaw)

It was Paulson who put the primed panels and about fifty painters together and, when needed, purchased the art supplies as well.  Paulson recalls, “They could start painting on Monday.  It rained on Tuesday. Most likely this is Wednesday or Thursday. There’s too much left to do with the panels and too few people for it to be the celebration on Saturday the twelfth.”

Frank Shaw recorded several shots of  the front facade looking north across Pike Street.
Frank Shaw recorded several shots of the front facade looking north across Pike Street.
Another
Another

As a chronicler of Pike Place Market History, Joan Paulson notes the unique “bottom-up” energies that made protecting the market a people’s project. connecting historic preservation with urban renewal and its federal funding.  Appropriately, a force named Friends of the Market fueled the victorious 1971 citizens’ initiative to “Save the Market.”  In most of this, U.W. professor of architecture Victor Steinbrueck was never out of the picture, and here (at the top) in Frank Shaw’s slide, Joan Paulson has found him as well.  Far right, in the shade of his straw hat, we may detect over his right shoulder, that the “savior of the market” is working on his own contributions to the “Paint-In.”  In Jean’s “now” photo, although thirty-nine years later, Joan Paulson stands at the corner holding up a rolled paper in her right hand.

Joan Paulson explains that the 4x8 mural panels made it possible to both open and move the fence when needed.  This, it seems, is later in the week of painting than the colored snap at the top.   (Frank Shaw)
Joan Paulson explains that the 4×8 mural panels made it possible to both open and move the fence when needed. This, it seems, is later in the week of painting than the colored snap at the top. (Frank Shaw)

On Saturday April 12, at the high noon lunchtime awards ceremony, Steinbrueck was one of the winners. The judges explained that to this special “paint-in artist we give the whole Market to do with as he pleases for the rest of the day, and Roger Downey (one of the judges) will wash his brushes.”  With work completed on the Corner Market Building’s exterior in late November, all the “unique-to-the-market masterpieces” came down, including the surviving half of Steinbrueck’s mural, the part not punctured by a beam during construction.

Looking east from the "elbow" in 1919 with the then seven-year-old Corner Market Building on the left.  (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
Looking east from the “elbow” in 1919 with the then seven-year-old Corner Market Building on the left. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
A typically alert Lawton Gowey recorded this portrait of a worn market on Oct. 25, 1974, and so before the restoration.
A typically alert Lawton Gowey recorded this portrait of a worn market on Oct. 25, 1974, and so before the restoration.
Gowey returned on April 21,1976 to study the consequences.  (Lawton Gowey)
Gowey returned on April 21,1976 to study the consequences. (Lawton Gowey)

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Yes Jean, a protracted attention to the Pike Place Public Market in 1975 with a selection of photographs scanned from volume 2 of the 5 volumes of Frank Shaw negatives huddled in 18 inches on a shelf to the side of me in this north end crypt.  We will attempt to get our choices up before climbing the steps to  join the bears, but we may not.   If not we  will finish it off after seven or eight hours sleep and a late breakfast.  The captions here will be minimal.  We will elaborate with them alter, and hope some of you may help.   (See above.  You can comment.)  Joan Paulson is also going study them and she, obviously, is the expert for such content as is in what follows.  Thanks again to Mike Veitenhauns, Frank Shaw’s nephew, whom I first met forty-plus years ago at Fairhaven College, he a student and I an artist-in-residence.   The Shaw snaps that follow will be arranged in no particular order – unless you notice one.

Several self-portraits by Frank Shaw explained as in the "Seattle Center Kaleidoscope, 11:45 Am, Jan. 12, 1978."
Several self-portraits by Frank Shaw explained as in the “Seattle Center Kaleidoscope, 11:45 Am, Jan. 12, 1978.”
Two buskers at the elbow
Buskers at the elbow (better than blisters on the knee)
More buskers at the elbow, and the hint of some order.
More buskers at the elbow, and the hint of some order.
Looking north on Pike Place - again at the corner - with an early capture of Artist the Spoonman, in white right-of-center.
Looking north on Pike Place – again at the corner – with an early capture of Artis the Spoonman, in white right-of-center.
More Artist
More Artis
Spoonman, Wonder Bridge and She Who Stands Guard.
Spoonman, Wonder Bridge and She Who Stands Guard.
One way to the mens' room in 1975.
One way to the men’s’ room in 1975.
The steps to Lower Pike . . .
The steps to Lower Pike . . .
Ye Olde General Store
Ye Olde General Store
Rock-n-Roll - or perhaps the blues - on the roof of the Champion Building
Rock-n-Roll – or perhaps the blues – on the roof of the Champion Building
Coke and Good Will
Coke and Goodwill
Market stairway for saving space - and the curves.
Market stairway for saving space – and the curves.
The Liberty Malt Store and more . . .
The Liberty Malt Store and more . . .
Drum Circle
Drum Circle

 

A shop of pop shadows
A shop of pop shadows

 

Celebrating Valentines Day in a store nearby.
A variation on “I’d rather have a paper doll that I could call my own, that other fellows could not take or steal!” Celebrating Valentines Day in a store nearby.

 

Mary's corner, most likely in the basement or low-downs . . .
Mary’s corner, most likely in the basement or low-downs . . .
A juggler-busker or busker-juggler, depending upon the number of balls.
A juggler-busker or busker-juggler, depending upon the number of balls.

 

A Market cafe I do not remember.  I don't think that it is the Soup and Salad, which was running then.
A Market cafe I do not remember. I don’t think that it is the Soup and Salad, which was running then.
Looking to the north end curve of what the Market calls the "Lower Post Alley" to distinguished it, as Joan Paulson explains, from the Post Alley the runs north from Pike Place.
Looking to the north end curve of what the Market calls the “Lower Post Alley” to distinguished it,as Joan Paulson explains, from the Post Alley that runs north from Pike Place.
String band spread at the Elbow, again.
String band spread at the Elbow, again.

 

The ELBOW EXPOSED
The ELBOW EXPOSED
Stairs to the Market no longer stepped on.
Stairs to the Market no longer stepped on.

===

RETURNING SUNDAY NIGHT JUNE 1, 2014, AROUND MIDNIGHT

Plumbing fixture and Ten Cent paperbacks near the market - more Frank Shaw in 1975
Plumbing fixture and Ten Cent paperbacks near the market – more Frank Shaw in 1975
Somewhere near the market
Somewhere near the market
Market view west across Elliott Bay, with ladder
Market view west across Elliott Bay, with ladder
Waiting for the boxcar races on the lower Pike Alley.  There may have been more than one boxcar race at the Market in 1975.  Here it is raining.  In another record of racing limited to gravity motivation, the sun is shining on the Market.
Waiting for the boxcar races on the lower Pike Alley. There may have been more than one boxcar race at the Market in 1975. Here it is raining. In another record of racing limited to gravity motivation, the sun is shining on the Market.
Another busker at the Elbow.
Another busker at the Elbow.
Busker searching for open tuning.
Busker searching for open tuning.
Return to the Dexter Gallery
Return to the Dexter Gallery
Certainly Soup and Salad, a lower level nutritious dive with a view of Puget Sound, and visited often.
Certainly Soup and Salad, a lower level nutritious dive with a view of Puget Sound, and visited often.
The stools at Soup and Salad, after closing for the day.
The stools at Soup and Salad, after closing for the day or perhaps before opening.
Looking north on Western Avenue and thru the old Pike Hill Climb before its big changes in 1976.
Looking north on Western Avenue and thru the old Pike Hill Climb before its big changes in 1976.
Looking south on Western from near the foot of Stewart Street.
Looking south on Western from near the foot of Stewart Street.
Hot Bread and the Rotary Bakery
Hot Bread and the Rotary Bakery

 

More Soapbox fans looking into the curving pit of the lower Post Alley and the first curve.  Click your mouse.  Do you recognize anyone?
More Soapbox fans looking into the curving pit of the lower Post Alley at the first curve. Click your mouse. Do you recognize anyone?
On your mark
On your mark or just beyond it.
Return to the roof top band on the Champions Building.   Most likely it was entertainment for Soapbox day.  The negatives are neighbors in Shaw's album.
Return to the roof top band on the Champions Building. Most likely it was entertainment for Soapbox day. The negatives are neighbors in Shaw’s album.
Finally - for this feature although not for Frank's photos - note the
Finally – for this feature although not for Frank’s photos – note the Stage One Theatre sign hanging over (lower) Pike Alley.   Jean played there, a big role in his teens.  He began visiting the Public Market then after school.  He was already  a talented thespian with a mature baritone  and he was tall and so passed for someone older.  Jean got an important speaking roll in  Shakespeare’s Hamlet – one of Hamlet’s friends, the one who stabs him in the end – and the stories he tells of that production are wonderfully funny and deserving of their own theatre.  Perhaps he will share his stories of Hamlet here.  Jean is still tall and talented too.
Frank Shaw was a long-time member of the Mountaineers Club, and a great part of his collection records this "Charmed Land."  This dark self-portrait is fitting for his pantheon or pantheism.   Thank you Frank.  Again, these have been a few of the photographs he recorded of the Market in 1975.  There are many others for other years.
Frank Shaw was a long-time member of the Mountaineers Club, and a great part of his collection records this “Charmed Land.” Shaw’s  dark self-portrait fits his pantheon and/or  his pantheism. Thank you Frank. Again, these have been a few of the photographs he recorded of the Market in 1975. There are many others for other years.

=====

And Here Follows, THREE APT LINKS Found and Posted by Ron Edge

pmarket-n-arcade-30s-then-mr

I have also added a panorama with the Hotel York, which was replaced by the Corner Market building.

Waterfront  Pike St 5k

Here is the area shown on the Sanborn map of 1905.

1905 Sanborn Pike Place

(courtesy of the Seattle Public Library)

 

 

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