So – We’re going to have to work around the squid

Little did Ben Franz-Knight know the kind of decisions he would face when he took on the job of director of the PDA midway into our 3 year market renovation project.

Work moved forward. Scaffolding needed to be put into place. A beautiful glass elevator was being built. Squid, 200 pounds, 26 feet long and hanging 30 feet in the air of the Pike Place Market Atrium, needed a new home. Squid was in the way. Months of searching. How about the Seattle Aquarium? Nope. It’s an artists rendition and not anatomically correct.  The aquarium doesn’t want it. Now what?  Word goes out – Squid stays. We’re going to have to work around the squid.  Scaffolding was raised coming within inches of the unique and beloved sculpture.  Squid was safe. The Atrium renovation work and the elevator were completed under its watchful gaze.  Just one story of many in this latest market renovation.

And now – work is nearly completed on this well managed project. “Renovation News and Updates” – May 2012 – FINAL ISSUE !  Yes.  A sigh of relief is heard throughout the market.

Thursday, May 10, was set aside as a day for the PDA to say Thank You ! to the market community “in recognition for our patience and perseverance during construction and disruption”.  A buffet breakfast was provided and we sat together around festive tables.  Later in the day we gathered for hors d’oeuvres and cake in the Atrium. Squid overhead.  Fare Start was chosen for the evening catering.  Their chef walked through the market and was inspired by and created the tasty nibbles from the produce and fish he saw there. Why go any further than the bounty the market provides?

The cake was created by Sugar Rush Baking Company and the design spoke volumes. Pipes. The inner workings of the market. Designed by David Dickinson, Market Master Staff member, and a thoughtful choice for a cake commemorating a nuts and bolts renovation process.  Much of the work lies unseen under the “skin” of the market.

Commemorative brass pins were offered in 4 designs. My favorite – the squid.  Speeches were given. Thank you to the PDA council, The Market Constituency and Nick Licata to name just a few.  Would it be too forward to call Mr. Licata – Uncle Nick?  He is an ever present advocate for the market and through the market all of our small businesses.

Thank you Ben and PDA staff  for seeing us through.  Thank you to the contractors for coming in on time and budget.  Thank you to the construction workers who stopped at our tables and made purchases while on their lunch or on their way home.  You’re part of the market now. Don’t be strangers.

Kat Allen, Symbols in Art

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