Old Garden Center, Inn at the Market, First and Pine Building

Post Alley and Pine St

Post Alley and Pine Street

Head back north along 1st until you get to the iron gate leading to the stairs of the Livingston-Baker Apartments. Once in the alley, head south until you get to the northeast corner of Pine Street and Post Alley. Uphill east of here is the Inn at the Market. Designed in 1985 by Ibsen Nelson, this six-story hotel replaced an army-navy surplus store and the Pine Street Tavern. Its red brick cladding and incised concrete base are reminiscent of the historic buildings in the district, as is the scale of the structure as it descends Stewart and Pine streets.

Across Post Alley from the Inn is the Old Garden Center. Built in 1908, it housed a creamery, a confectionary and fruit business, a retail grocer, and a meat market. In the 1920s a Japanese-owned paper-bag wholesaler operated in the storefronts along Pike Place. In 1934, the building was remodeled and modernized, with its art deco fluted columns incised into the concrete and zig-zag coping added. In 1945, the Gill Brothers Seed Company took over the main space along Pike Place and established the Seattle Garden Center, a market institution for 50 years. That same year, the St. Vincent de Paul rummage store was established in the upper part of the building, one of nine such rummage shops that operated in the Market until the 1970s.

This building was nearly torn down in the 1970s; the city had slated it for removal instead of rehabilitation. The Friends of the Market launched a campaign to save the building, one of the oldest in the area, arguing that its uses both as a seed store and rummage hall were historical. The Friends won out, and a rehabilitation project was completed in 1980 by Arne Bystrom, adding the third-story office level and distinctive pink and ‘Bystrom Green’ paint to provide a backdrop for the busy market.

Across Pine Street is the First & Pine Building, formerly called the Post Alley market building. Constructed in 1983 by Market advocate Frank Bassetti, this newer structure maintains the utilitarian simplicity of the surrounding buildings.

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