We are improving Victor Steinbrueck Park to preserve its legacy and significance.

Victor Steinbrueck Park was created in 1981 by architect and activist Victor Steinbrueck and landscape architect Rich Haag. After helping to save Pike Place Market from demolition, the two designed the park (originally named Market Park) as a place to enjoy the view and to act as an extension of Market’s social life, providing a place to gather outside. The park designers felt strongly that the park provide for all people, including disadvantaged members of our community.

Victor Steinbrueck Park is an incredibly well-used and well-loved space, and over the years it has seen the effects of overuse and general wear and tear. Various elements have also been added or removed from the park over time.

This project will take a holistic approach to improving the park for all.


In 2008, City Council passed a levy that allocated $1.6M for “Improvements to Public Safety”. These include but are not limited to:

  • Improving sight lines into the park
  • Renovating seating
  • Renovating the former children’s play area*
  • Improving and expanding lighting
  • Upgrading landscaping

The park is within the Pike Place Market Historic District; the Pike Place Market Historic Commission has adopted guidelines which outline the “character defining features” of the park. These guidelines must be considered as part of any park improvements.

* Note: Since this levy was passed, the former children's play area was replaced by a gathering space and Tree of Life sculpture.


The scope of this project includes public outreach, design, and construction related to improvements outlined above. In addition, the park was constructed on top of a parking garage, and it has recently been determined that the waterproofing membrane between the park and garage is failing. Replacing the membrane will require the entire park to be removed and reconstructed. Seattle Parks & Recreation has secured funding to cover park improvements described in the levy language as well as waterproofing improvements and park reconstruction that result from the membrane replacement, and other required work.


The design team meets regularly with numerous local stakeholders and park users. The design team also meets regularly with Seattle Parks & Recreation and the Pike Place Market Historical Commission, which is responsible for making decisions on all use and design changes in the Market to ensure that the historic character of the Market is preserved. The Seattle City Council must approve the final design pursuant to the levy language.

Public outreach includes four open houses (in person and online) as well as an on-site event and interviews hosted by City of Seattle Community Liaisons.

We are in the early stages of what is expected to be a multi-year design and construction process.


The design team and Seattle Parks Department have engaged in many months of outreach to park users, local stakeholders, the surrounding community, and the general public. We have also engaged in conversations with Richard Haag and others who were involved in the original park design, the Pike Place Market Historic Commission, Design Review Committee, MarketFront Committee and Pike Place Market PDA. In coordination with the Department of Neighborhoods and other engagement liaisons, the design team and the Seattle Park Department also reached out to the homeless, as well as the Native American community. The results of our initial public outreach efforts are presented below and on the following pages of this online open house.

Through open houses (in person and online), surveys, and interviews over the last two years, we have gathered community feedback on design concepts and options for the park’s renovation, and opinions on proposed changes. General sentiments on key topics are summarized below. The design team has considered this feedback, and worked with Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Pike Place Market Historical Commission to incorporate appropriate design responses through refinement of the park renovation design.

  • General: Most people feel that the renovation should maintain spirit of the park while providing modern enhancements and emphasizing public safety and regular park activation to ensure future success.
  • Play: Most people feel that the park should accommodate children and families, either with a small play area or natural features that would encourage play. Opinions were mixed about whether a play area or simpler and less defined space would function better.
  • Furnishings: Many people liked the addition of movable furnishings, new features such as a guardrail counter, and seating in new locations such as the children’s area. Most people felt that better lighting is essential to activate the park at night, especially during winter months.
  • Connection: Most people considered it a priority to connect the park to MarketFront and the future waterfront connection, and preferred a direct, intuitive connection that maintained the social function and comfortable feeling of enclosure of the picnic area (South Room).
  • Lighting: Most people felt that lighting improvements are a high priority and that the design proposal would increase the feeling of safety. Glare should be minimized and should not impede the nighttime view.
  • Native American Culture: Most people voiced support for the authentic representation of Native American culture, specifically local Coast Salish culture, in the park’s design and elements. Many said the park should do more to engage Native Americans to activate the space with cultural activities.