09 July 2011

Lost City: Seattle Edition: Pike Place Signs

Pike Place Market, a public market that brings together 500 vendors every day along the edge of a steep hill leading down to the Puget Sound, is the spiritual heart of Seattle. It was founded in 1907. After the city threatened to tear the place down in the 1960s, a populist movement led by architect Victor Steinbrueck saved the property. (There's now a part named after him.) It's now on the U.S National Register of Historic Places and a federally recognized historic district.

The are many stalls here and you can buy most everything (lavender anything; straws filled with honey). But mostly you can buy food, from vendors and from restaurants. Some of the sellers have been here for decades. Place Pigalle was founded in the 1950s. The Athenian Inn goes back to 1909, when it was a bakery. Three Girls Bakery dates from 1912. Lowell's, seen below, started in 1957, and has three levels looking out on the water.

As for Loback Meat Co., seen above, the business no longer exists. But the sign does. As do many other fantastic signs, neon and otherwise. It's a feast of signage. Even the sign that tell you where the stairs and bathrooms are are stylish and flashy.

Of course, some signs are more modest.


Lor said...

Pike's Place Market was where - as a young teenager - I figured out that there was MUCH more to life than my parents' cooking. And it was much more interesting as well! I have memories of having freshly-made granola, one morning, over fresh yogurt and actually truly appreciating it, despite being a cynical, angry teenager. I had my first cup of coffee here (from a stall at the very end of the street-level row of stores), and tried sushi for the very first time here, too. This place is magic. Thank god its still there!

Perry said...

Thanks to you and Lor for your stories. This is one of the places I want to go before I shuffle off this mortal coil.