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 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.
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.”
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 paperin her right hand.
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.
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.
RETURNING SUNDAY NIGHT JUNE 1, 2014, AROUND MIDNIGHT
And Here Follows, THREE APT LINKS Found and Posted by Ron Edge
I have also added a panorama with the Hotel York, which was replaced by the Corner Market building.
Here is the area shown on the Sanborn map of 1905.