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Pike Place Market Historical District
Pike Place Market Historical District FAQ
The Pike Place Market Historical Commission is the quasi-governmental body established by Seattle residents when they voted to preserve the Market in 1971. It is comprised of twelve citizen volunteers appointed by the Mayor to review applications for design and use changes throughout the 9-acre Pike Place Market Historical District.
The Pike Place Market Historical Commission consists of twelve members appointed by the Mayor with confirmation by the City Council. The Mayor selects two representatives each from the Friends of the Market, Allied Arts of Seattle, and the Seattle Chapter of the American Institute of Architects based on a list of nominees submitted by each of those organizations. The Mayor also selects two owners of property with the Historical District; two merchants of the Market; and two residents of the Historical District to serve on the Commission.
The Commissioners meet twice a month for public meetings. At these meetings, they address Commission policies; review, discuss, and vote on applications to make use and design changes to businesses in the Market District. Sub-committees of Commissioners are often created to review particular items or policies and to make recommendations to the full Commission.
The Pike Place Market Historical reviews applications for design and use changes throughout the Pike Place Market Historical District. When an application is approved, the Historical Commission issues a Certificate of Approval.
The PDA is a non-profit public corporation established by the City Charter in 1973. It owns and manages many of the buildings within the Historical District. The PDA must get approval from the Historical Commission for any design changes to "common area" improvements such as directory signs and hallway painting. Business owners who rent space from the PDA must apply for a Certificate of Approval for use and any improvements they make, just as they must when they rent space from private owners.
Yes, the Commission must approve in advance any restoration, alteration, reconstruction, demolition, or new construction affecting any designated property, including buildings in historic districts.
Types of changes reviewed by the Commission include:
Yes. It is the responsibility of the Historical Commission to review all buildings and structures in the Pike Place Market Historical District according to design and use guidelines that ensure the Market retains its traditional character. City ordinance establishes a separate review process for the Historical Commission, so all businesses in the Historical District must obtain a Certificate of Approval from the Commission. This is necessary even if the rental space is owned by the PDA which also is subject to Historical Commission review.
If you plan to make any change to the use or appearance of a structure or individual space within the Historical District, contact the Commission Coordinator at 206/684-0229 as early as possible so we can recommend next steps.
To get your project reviewed and approved by the Historical Commission, you need to submit an application for a Certificate of Approval. You will be invited to attend a Use Review Committee and/or a Design Review Committee meeting to discuss your application and should also plan to attend the Historical Commission meeting where the report and recommendations of the Review Committee are presented.
You can download the Instructions for Applying for a Certificate of Approval in the Pike Place Market Historical District and an Application form, or you may obtain them by calling the Commission Coordinator (206/684-0229) or by picking up the materials at the Commission's offices. Click here for our address. After completing the form, adding your descriptive materials, and obtaining you landlord's signature you may mail or drop off your application to the Commission's offices.
The use of space within the Market District and the design of major structures, individual business spaces, pedestrian ways, signs, sidewalk dining, and other elements crucial to maintaining the character of the District are governed by the Pike Place Market Historical District Guidelines. The Guidelines seek to help preserve and improve the district and were planned to be sensitive to its unique characteristics.
The Commission bases all of its decisions on the standards set forth in the Guidelines, the District Ordinance (SMC25.24), and in the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Contact the Commission Coordinator at (206) 684-0229 for a printed copy of any of these documents.
Commission meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. in the PDA Conference Room, 85 Pike Street, Room 500. Only one meeting is scheduled during November and December.