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How a market composed of owner operated businesses became a state icon with over 10 million visitors per year.

THE 1920S

Throughout the early 1920s, the north side of the Corner Market became known as the Sanitary Market, housing delicatessens, butchers, restaurants, and bakeries. The so-called “mosquito fleet”, the precursor to the modern Washington State Ferry system, would bring shoppers from various islands in Puget Sound to shop.


Famous attractions include the Pike Place Fish market, the first ever Starbucks Coffee store, the Rachel and Pigs on Parade – a piggy bank statue that collects money for the Market’s social services, Buskers (street performers), and an incredible variety of dining and drinking locations.


Pike Place Market is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers markets in the world. Serving fresh produce and fish – to antiques. The Market’s mission and founding goal: allowing consumers to “Meet the Producer”.


In the 1980s, federal welfare reform squeezed the social services based in the Market. As a result, a nonprofit group, the Pike Place Market Foundation, was established by the PDA to raise funds and administer the Market’s free clinic, senior center, low-income housing, and childcare center.

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