Pier 54 holds great significance in Seattle's history. Built in 1900 it has been repurposed many times by a variety of different owners. Throughout the course of a century, it has been used for importing goods, as a seaplane landing port, and as a famous restaurant. Currently, it is owned by the Washington Fish and Oyster Company and serves excellent seafood.
Backstory and Context
Pier 54 holds a unique place in Seattle history. It was built in 1900 by Galbraith, Bacon & Co. to serve as a transport hub for the import and export of products such as grain and wheat. The original name for the pier was Pier 3. In 1910, the pier nearly escaped a fire where the majority of the surrounding structures were destroyed.
In 1917 the Northern Pacific Railway Company purchased the pier and began using it to import construction materials. It continued to serve a very similar purpose at this time to before it was bought.
In 1929 Pier 54 became the general headquarters for Gorst Air Transport, a famous seaplane company. Up until 1944 the Northern Pacific Railway continued to own the pier but rented in off to a variety of different private companies.
The most notable of the tenants that utilized the pier was Ivar Haglund. Who rented out a small corner of the pier to open an aquarium and fish stand. The aquarium then closed in 1945 and Haglund used the space to open a larger restaurant. During the second world war, the pier was renamed Pier 54 and has remained under that name to this day.
Years later in 1966, Ivar Haglund bought the pier for 500,000 USD and remodeled the pier to fit his restaurant’s needs. The last major renovation was constructed in 1985, the same year Haglund died. His restaurant “Ivars” is a popular place to eat in Seattle to this day.
Dorpat, Paul . Ivar Haglund Buys Pier 54, History Link. May 3rd 2000. Accessed May 3rd 2020. https://www.historylink.org/File/2509.
Pier 54, Seattle, Accessed May 3rd 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pier_54,_Seattle.
Dorpat, Paul . Seattle's Belltown Fire, May 26th 2003. Accessed May 3rd 2020. https://www.historylink.org/File/4180.