Down Under

Level 4, top of stairs near Market Coins

More Shops and Welcome Down Under signs, Pike Place Market, Seattle, 2006, Courtesy UW Special Collections (20060328TRD0639)
1 Golden Age Collectables, Pike Place Market Down Under, Seattle, 2008, Photo by Rootology (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Pike Place Magic Shop, Pike Place Market Down Under, Seattle, 2008, Photo by Rootology (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Stores, Pike Place Market's Down Under, Seatte, 1986, Courtesy UW Special Collections (MPH3613)
Bottom floor of Main Arcade, Pike Place Market, Seattle, 1928
Back of Pike Place Market under construction, Western Avenue, Seattle, ca. 1911

Level 4, top of stairs near Market Coins

Meanwhile, the Goodwins slowly created more space for farm stalls along the western slope leading down from Pike Place. In 1911, two additional floors were constructed below the Pike Place level of the Leland Hotel, and three floors were added below the Fairley Building. The spaces created with these projects were used primarily by retail food merchants. The Down Under was completed in 1914 as a 240-foot long, six-story addition snaking down to Western Avenue. This spare, utilitarian design created about 100 shop spaces. Farm tables and additional restrooms were added on a lower mezzanine level next to a cave-like office, barely large enough for two desks and two chairs, that Frank Goodwin would use to run Market affairs from 1914 until his nephew Arthur took over the company and moved his office to the far-more-dramatic second floor of the Economy Market in 1925.

During a period of controversy in 1921-1922 over the use of Pike Place for the sale of farm produce, additional farm stalls were added in the Down Under. During this same period, a second six-story addition was made to the Fairley Building, which connected the north end of the Down Under to the North Arcade, then being improved as part of a new Municipal Market Building on Western Avenue. Throughout the Down Under, the austere, utilitarian aesthetic from Frank Goodwin’s time running the Market can be seen in the rough-hewn painted wooden pillars anchoring the building to the hillside. Take note of the intricate snaking of piping that was added during a 2012 renovation. Due to Market Historical Commission guidelines, none of the piping or new wiring could interfere with the existing structure.

Restaurants, a creamery, a butcher shop, a sugar factory, a grain market, and a printing press were housed in this new addition. The two lowest floor levels included refrigerated storage, and fruit and grain warehouse space. In 1922, the Seattle Public Library opened a branch in a former groceteria next to a donut shop and above a lard-rendering plant in one of the basements, which quickly became the city’s most active branch, although it would close down during the Great Depression. The Down Under would later be home to the original location of DeLaurenti’s, Liberty Malt Shop, a Goodwill, and rummage shops. Today the second floor is home to the Market’s preschool.

Walk north through the Down Under, up the ramp toward City Fish, and out to the street just in front of the fish stand.

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