Steinbrueck, Victor

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1911-12-15
Death 1985-02-14
Americans

Biographical notes:

Ilustrator; Seattle, Washington.

From the description of Victor Steinbrueck interview, 1965 Nov. 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 220197044

From the description of Oral history interview with Victor Steinbrueck, 1965 Nov. 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 233007124

Victor Steinbrueck (1911-1985) was an illustrator from Seattle, Wash.

From the description of Oral history interview with Victor Steinbrueck, 1965 Nov. 3 [sound recording]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 458412230

Victor Steinbrueck was born in 1911 in Mandan, North Dakota and moved with his family to Washington in 1914. Steinbrueck attended the University of Washington, earning a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1935. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 1946 and taught until his retirement in 1976. He was the author of Seattle Cityscape (1962), Seattle Cityscape II (1973) and a collections of his drawings, Market Sketchbook (1968).

Victor Steinbrueck was Seattle's best known advocate of historic preservation. He led the battle against the city's redevelopment plans for the Pike Place Market in the 1960s. In 1959, the City of Seattle, together with the Central Association of Seattle, formulated plans to obtain a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) urban renewal grant to tear down the Market and everything else between First and Western, from Union to Lenora, in order to build a high rise residential, commercial and hotel complex. In response to these plans a group of supporters of the market and members of Allied Arts of Seattle, led by Victor Steinbrueck, formed Friends of the Market in 1964. Their efforts culminated in 1971 with a successful ballot initiative, the "People's Initiative," which established a seven-acre historic district around the market and a historical commission to oversee it, and thus saved the Market from demolition. Steinbrueck also helped lead the campaign in the 1960s that culminated in City Council passage of an ordinance which established the Pioneer Square Historic Preservation District.

In 1972 Steinbrueck was appointed to the Citizens Action Force (Citizen's Stadium Task Force) which was concerned with the impact of the proposed King Street stadium on the surrounding area. He became disillusioned and resigned from the group on August 29, 1972. He joined the Citizens Coalition For the Domed Stadium in a petition drive to put a stadium initiative on the ballot.

For many years Steinbrueck fought the city over its Westlake Mall development plans. The project, initially conceived as a park in the area surrounding the Westlake Monorail terminal in Seattle's central business district, went through numerous plans incorporating, at various times, an office tower, luxury hotel, art museum and retail space. After Charles Royer took office as Mayor and proposed a new version of the Westlake project in 1978, Steinbrueck became the most vocal critic of the plan and a spokesman for Committee for Alternatives at Westlake. In the fall of 1984, City Attorney Doug Jewett achieved an agreement among Steinbrueck, other opponents of the project, and the developers, which incorporated Steinbrueck's ideas for more open public space in the development.

Steinbrueck was also spokesman for the Downtown Neighborhood Alliance, a group which opposed Cornerstone Development's Waterfront Project, proposed for First Avenue in 1980. He also was involved with numerous small projects and controversies regarding public spaces and historic sites.

Steinbrueck died in 1985. After his death, Pike Place Park was named Victor Steinbrueck Park in his memory.

From the guide to the Victor Steinbrueck papers, 1931-1986, (University of Washington Libraries Special Collections)

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Subjects:

  • Architects--Washington (State)--Seattle--20th century--Archives
  • Historic preservation--Washington (State)--Seattle--Citizen participation
  • Civic Activism
  • Markets--Conservation and restoration--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • City planning
  • Civic leaders--Washington (State)--Seattle--20th century--Archives
  • Historic buildings--Conservation and restoration--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Historic buildings--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Architecture
  • Seattle
  • Political activists--Washington (State)--Seattle--20th century--Archives
  • City planning--Washington (State)--Seattle--Citizen participation
  • Illustrators--Interviews
  • Federal aid to the arts

Occupations:

  • Architect
  • College teachers

Places:

  • Pioneer Square-Skid Road Historic District (Seattle, Wash.) (as recorded)
  • Washington (State) (as recorded)
  • Washington--Seattle (as recorded)
  • Washington--Seattle (as recorded)
  • Westlake Mall (Seattle, Wash.) (as recorded)
  • Washington--Seattle (as recorded)
  • Pike Place Market Historical District (Seattle, Wash.) (as recorded)
  • Seattle (Wash.) (as recorded)