In an effort to drive massive web traffic and create some sexy Facebook clickbait, we are posting about yet another Volunteer Park and Seattle Asian Art Museum expansion meeting. Yes, it’s true. Another meeting on the proposal to improve the 1933-built museum’s climate control system, perform need seismic upgrades, make the museum ADA accessible, and expand the facility by 3,600 square feet will take place next week after the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections was petitioned to hold a public meeting on the pending approval of the project in the city’s land use permit process.
The petition and its roster of signatures was turned in to City Hall on November 29th as CHS posted our report on the wave of opposing public comment submitted on the proposal by park neighbors:
With the 50-signature threshold met, the city will host the meeting Thursday, December 15th:
In the meantime, public comment can continue to be submitted by email to PRC@seattle.gov referencing project #3024753, or you can speak at the Thursday meeting.
Saturday also brings another session hosted by the Seattle Art Museum intended to provide information to the community and answer questions.
The neighbors banding together at protectvolunteerpark.org don’t think much of the SAM sessions. “Seattle Art Museum is having one of their community meetings where they present and advocate for only one option, their museum expansion plan,” is how the site dryly describes the meeting.
Following our late November report, the tide of public comment submitted on the project has tilted to a more even split between those supporting and those opposing the upgrades and expansion on the environmental grounds of the land use permit process.
CHS caught some flack in calling the areas around Volunteer Park “wealthy neighborhoods” so, to balance, we should note here that many of the most recent letters in support of the project are from technology executives who have served on the museum’s various boards, including this one from former Microsoft president Jon Shirley, a regular entrant on the Forbes “richest in America” roster in the early 2000s:
“This project is a distinct opportunity to both preserve this beautiful and historic museum, while also ensuring its ability to present the very best exhibitions and collections, grow family and community programming, and encourage even greater attendance by diverse audiences, now and in the future,” Shirley writes. “I fully endorse it.”