Victor Steinbrueck leads a protest rally in Seattle for Pike Place Market on March 12, 1969.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 5/31/1999
  • Essay 1192

On March 12, 1969, architect-preservationist Victor Steinbrueck (1911-1985) leads a rally at the Moore Theater to protest the urban renewal plan that would demolish the Pike Place Market.

Three hundred people attended the event as a prelude to a march planned on March 19, 1969, to City Hall where the Seattle City Council was to hold hearings on Scheme 23, which would replace the existing market with new buildings and a replacement for the old market. Of this development project, Steinbrueck said, "The Big Lie, the quarter truth, is that the market is being saved."

In an effort to rejuvenate downtown Seattle, community planners and real estate developers created the $10.6 million Pike Place Project, which would be financed by federal urban renewal programs. On August 11, 1969, the city council voted to proceed with the project. In response, to oppose the project the advocacy group Friends of the Market launched an initiative campaign resulting in the creation of a seven-acre historic district on May 15, 1971. The measure was approved by 60 percent of the voters.


Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle; University of Washington Press, 1995), 267; Alice Shorett and Murray Morgan, The Pike Place Market: People, Politics and Produce (Seattle: Pacific Search Press, 1982); Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 13, 1969, p. 11; Ibid., May 14, 1969, p. 13.

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