Finally! A New Downtown Playground at Seattle Center

From Goldy over at The Slog (I had been wondering about this myself):

Two-and-a-half years after promising to build a million-dollar playground in exchange for replacing a beloved kiddie amusement park with a for-profit glass "museum," gift shop, and catering hall, Seattle Center director Robert Nellams announced today they will begin seeking proposals from local design teams to build the "Artists at Play" children’s play area on three remaining acres of the former Fun Forest site.

The playground is now scheduled to open in the summer of 2014.

But according to Nellams, we should apparently be damn grateful for the generosity of its corporate sponsors. “I'd like to remind everyone that this is a donation from the Wright Family, from Chihuly," Nellams offered the council, unprompted.

So if you're a local artist or designer interested in submitting a proposal, go to the Seattle Center website for details, and be sure to complete your submission by September 4.

And yes, that's quite nice of the Wright Family and (I guess) Chihuly.  But maybe the district should play this game.  They own the nine (9) acres that Memorial Stadium and its parking lot sit on.  (The City loves to pretend this isn't so but yes, it is and it was deeded to the district - on the condition that they use it for educational purposes - way before Seattle Center even existed.

There is some plan about exchanging land with the City, blah, blah but really, the district, if you go by what happened in this story, is in the driver's seat and should extract all they can.

 The district better not mess this up (a la Queen Anne High) because then arguably the single most valuable piece of property the district owns might slip through their fingers. 

That's just me.


Anonymous said…
Thanks for following this story! As you note, this park is not a "gift" from a wealthy few. It is a much-needed and well-deserved public [free!] play space for children in our City. I'm sure my child isn't the only youngster who has peered through the gates of the sculpture park upset at being locked out. We had to say no to paying over $60 for our family to gain entrance.

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