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

Post Alley and Pine St

Inn at the Market, Seattle, 2020, Photo by Nick Setten
Harborview Hotel (current site of Inn at the Market), Seattle, 1937, Courtesy SMA (31921)
Looking northeast from Pike Place and Pine Street, Seattle, 2007, Photo by Ken Lund (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Looking northeast from Pike Place and Pine Street, Seattle, 1970, Courtesy SMA (33419)
Beecher's Handmade Cheese, Pike Place Market, August 21, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Seattle Garden Center, northeast corner of Pike Place and Pine Street, Seattle, 1975, Courtesy SMA (31948)
Family Shoe Market, northeast corner of Pike Place and Pine Street, Seattle, 1937, Courtesy SMA (31956)
First & Pine Building, looking southeast from Post Alley, Seattle, 2020, Photo by Nick Setten
Looking southwest from First Avenue and Pine Street, Seattle, 1937, Courtesy SMA (31967)

Post Alley and Pine Street

You just passed 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 its scale as it descends Stewart and Pine streets.

Across Post Alley from the Inn is the Old Garden Center. Built in 1908, it initially 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 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, but again the Friends of the Market launched a successful campaign to save this historical structure, and a rehabilitation project was completed in 1980 by Arne Bystrom, adding its third-story office level and distinctive pink and “Bystrom Green” paint to provide a backdrop for the busy market.

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

Head south through Post Alley until you get to Pike Place. Walk across the street and turn around to admire the Sanitary Market.

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