The Peter Steinbrueck Pike Place Market Collection includes architectural plans, posters, newspaper articles and ephemera related to the Market Initiative and other efforts undertaken by the Friends of the Market to protect Pike Place Market and its unique character and history.
The Friends of the Market formed in 1964 in response to growing threats to the future of Pike Place Market. Developers saw the market as the perfect location to use federal urban renewal funds recently acquired by the City of Seattle. They intended to transform the landscape surrounding the Pike Place with new apartment buildings, hotels and other businesses. The Friends, led by Victor Steinbrueck, were worried that such a plan would destroy the historic character of the market and drive away the farmers, vendors and residents who were an intrinsic part of the community because of increased prices and rents.
To prevent this from happening, they led a grassroots campaign to pass the Market Initiative, a plan which created a seven acre historical district surrounding the market and created a historical commission to oversee its governance. Despite opposition from many, the Market Initiative successfully passed in 1971 with 59 percent of the vote, protecting the market for future generations.