A Memorable Enterprise: The AYPE and the City of Seattle
Many Seattle citizens communicated to City Council and the Mayor their concerns, complaints, and suggestions on a wide variety of issues related to the AYPE:
- The Yukon Pioneers, who inspired the fair, commissioned a statue of William H. Seward, the man who many pioneers felt made their adventures in the Yukon possible. Together with the Chamber of Commerce, the pioneers funded the statue, which was created in Paris by American Richard Brooks. The work was unveiled at the Exposition on September 10, 1909. It subsequently became property of the City of Seattle and currently resides in Volunteer Park.
- T.S. Fancher wrote to request a refund of a license fee he paid for an amusement on First Avenue on the same day that it was condemned for the Exposition. The money was refunded.
- The Seattle Federation of Women's Clubs stressed the "imperative and urgent importance" of additional comfort stations (restrooms). The petition was endorsed by the Board of Public Works.
- On April 30, 1909, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce requested that "a sufficient sum of money be appropriated with which to construct a Welcome Arch, to be located on or near Fortson Place." With the Mayor's approval, the City Council's Finance Committee approved a $4,000 appropriation for the project. Strehlow, Freese and Peterson contracted with the city to build an arch at Second and Marion designed by Somervell & Cote. The city authorized funds for its construction.
- The Victoria Realty Company proposed installation of about 300 American flags on First, Second, and Third Avenues, so that the city "appear in gala attire." City Council rejected the proposal.
- A petition was submitted in June 1909 from "owners and lessees of booths, amusement places and refreshment stands on the through fares and streets near and leading to the AYP Exposition" complaining of harassment by the police force "from a source unknown to us." The merchants wanted their right to pass out cards, play a phonograph, and "cry their wares and attract the buying public" just as the vendors inside the Exposition were able to do. The Council took no action on that petition. A second petition was filed a few days later from vendors who also complained that the police would not allow them to sell their wares on the streets and avenues leading to the Exposition. City Council denied their petition for greater leniency.
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