The effort to save the Pike Place Market was instrumental for Seattle and the whole region. For me, that effort was where I learned my civic and community values – at the side of my father, in his battle to save the Pike Place Market.
The Pike Place Market is one of Seattle’s most beloved and most visited places, where throngs of locals and tourists alike come to shop for fresh seafood, locally grown produce, ethnic specialty foods, and beautifully handmade arts and crafts by local artisans.
So, for many it’s hard to imagine it might not be here at all if property developers and city officials had their way in the early 1960's. At the time, the Market was the target of urban-renewal-by-demolition, or as my dad called it, “Urban Removal.”
Led by my father, architect Victor Steinbrueck, the Friends of the Market was created in 1964 to protect and defend the Market from the “wrecking ball” of urban renewal. My dad was a true urban hero, with a civic vision and driving determination for saving the Market. Throughout the impressionable and formative years of my youth, the Friends waged a hard fought, eight-year grassroots campaign to “Keep the Market”.
In 1971, after seven years of uncompromising political struggle, voters resoundingly passed the Market Initiative. This initiative created the seven-acre Market Historical District and placed its ownership and management firmly under public control. Today, the Market still thrives as the oldest continuously operated farmer’s market in the U.S. It hosts 15 million visitors a year. And, in June 2017, a new $74 million expansion, MarketFront, with sweeping public terraces opened, which I worked on as a planning and design consultant. It represents the completion of the historic district vision, after more than 40 years of study and planning!
It is my honor to continue our family legacy with public service, in support of small businesses, labor unions, and a strong commitment to thriving and sustainable communities. In my leadership role at the Port Commission, I carry forward these indelible civic values I learned early in life.
I graduated from Bowdoin College with a major in government and earned my Master's degree in architecture from the University of Washington. I am a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, community planner and urban strategist.
As a former three-term Seattle City Council member from 1997 to 2007, I led numerous legislative efforts to advance innovative programs and policies in comprehensive planning, land use and development, parks and open space, affordable housing, climate protection and renewable energies, water conservation, municipal waste reduction, and urban mobility.
In 2008, I founded Steinbrueck Urban Strategies, a mission-driven professional consulting practice with an emphasis on driving best practices for greening cities. Peter is a Harvard University Loeb Fellow, where, in 2010, his research at the GSD and Kennedy Schools focused on urban environmental policy and sustainable cities.
I volunteer and serve on the boards and advisory councils of many organizations locally and nationally, including AIA Center for Civic Leadership, Harvard University Working Group for Sustainable Cities, Walkable Livable Communities Institute, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Washington Environmental Council, Seattle Library Foundation, Market Foundation, Feet First, United Indians of All Tribes Labateyah Youth Home and Green Seattle Partnership.
I am the proud father of two fine young men, Ben and Mason.