Why is it important to care about the history of where you live, or where you come from? Why does Doorstep Digital place so much emphasis on the significance of preserving your memories through scanning technology?
Well, there are endless reasons why we should hold history closer to our hearts. Learning about the history of place can significantly deepen your understanding of the area, and help you make more sense out of the observations you make in the present.
Pike Place Market is a wonderful example. From the ordinary eye, Seattle’s golden marketplace is colorful, charming, whimsical, and lively. Tourists and locals alike are constantly exploring the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the amazing Pike Place Market. Kids are following the tracks of the bronze pig, drooling over pastries from behind glass displays, and sniffing every tulip, daisy, and rose they see. Their parents are busy pointing at different kinds of fish, checking out the menus of the market’s restaurants, and taking pictures underneath all of the vivid neon signs. (I can usually be found talking to a vendor about how long they’ve been in the business, as well as trying out some awesome grape samples!)
For citizens who’ve been a part of the Seattle community for a while, witnessing people’s fascination for Pike Place Market is nothing new, but at a hundred years old, the Pike Place Market has seen a lot of history.
When you think of all the structures that have come and gone in your neighborhood or hometown, you realize it takes a lot of hard work to protect the historic genuineness of certain monuments and landmark locations. Has the Pike Place Market ever been under the threat of losing its beloved culture and energy? You bet it has.
During the 1960s, the idea of redeveloping the Pike Place area with new hotels and apartments began circulating the city very quickly. Nobody needs a history lesson to know that destroying parts of a district, and replacing them with harder-to-afford businesses and real estate, (especially in a humble area like the Pike Place district,) threatens to erase the meaningful history of the area altogether. Heavily opposing the development propositions, a group of passionate Seattle citizens gathered to create the Friends of the Market group in 1964. Seattle-native architect Victor Steinbrueck led the group.
Fortunately, we can guess how this story ends – after several campaigning attempts, the Market Initiative was triumphantly passed in 1971, protecting the Pike Place district from any future development plans and leaving the historic structures of Pike Place Market safely untouched from any remodeling or demolition. Even after a century from its opening to the public, thanks to the countless Seattle citizens and activist group members who fought for the historical preservation of the market, the Pike Place district continues to breathe life and character into Seattle’s downtown streets, the same way it did some decades ago.
After discovering the history of Seattle’s favorite marketplace, I’ve realized that the precious Pike Place Market would not have been the same without the individuals who came together to actively protect it. Learning about the market’s history has inspired appreciation within me, because the city’s love of their irreplaceable culture can teach generations about the remarkable passion involved in preserving a culturally impactful area from disappearing. Hopefully, many more generations will get to experience the liveliness of the Pike Place Market, as well.
Thank you, Seattle, for not only keeping Pike Place Market so diverse, but also accessible for all to enjoy. Doorstep Digital hopes to continue digitizing photo archives in the city to save Seattle’s yesterday, for tomorrow.
Information provided by www.spl.org/library-collection/special-collections. (Remember to check out their digitized photo archives to see what Pike Place Market looked like decades ago!)