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Museum of the Mysteries makes plans to leave Broadway

The proposal from the Seattle Museum of the Mysteries to move off Broadway and open a “Mystery House” in the Seattle Center might seem like a publicity stunt. The museum’s plan is up against a big money Dale Chihuly project and KEXP, to name a few. While the Seattle Center move might be all about marketing, the Museum’s needs are real. By the end of June, the peculiar business will need a new home.

CHS has learned that the museum will be leaving its Broadway space beneath Aoki Sushi and The DeLuxe by June 30th. In its place, the geek-friendly tools and technology shop Metrix Create:Space is expanding, according to owner Matt Westervelt. Metrix is a CHS advertiser.

CHS contacted the Washington state nonprofit and spoke with Charlette LeFevre who runs the museum along with Philip Lipson. While LeFevre said that, yes, she was considering a move off the Hill as part of her proposal to move the Museum to the Seattle Center, she would not confirm details of her lease.

Metrix, the museum’s below-street level next door neighbor at 623 Broadway E, was given the option to expand into the adjacent space when its lease was first signed last summer, Westervelt said. “They asked me if I wanted the whole space,” he said. At that point, Westervelt said he wasn’t ready to take on all that room and the extra cost. That changed, however, after a successful start for Metrix following their October opening — and several months with the Museum of the Mysteries as a neighbor. “They haven’t been the best neighbor,” Westervelt said. “And they are never open.”

The museum opened on Broadway in 2004 and has specialized in the weird and the wacky — and the giant Sasquatch in front where tourists, etc. like to stop to take a picture. From their site:

Washington State’s only Paranormal Science Museum

  • Come explore the Legends and Lore of the Northwest
  • Seattle’s Secret Prohibition History
  • UFO History, Bigfoot and Ghost Museum
  • Seattle’s only Oxygen Bar
  • Ghost Tour – Capitol Hill Historical Ghost Tour
  • Tarot Readings – when reader is on site

We will continue to try to contact the Museum about the situation. LeFevre, despite living north of the ship canal, has been active in the Capitol Hill community and even served as the vice president of the community council for a year before an unsuccessful run for president last year. Full disclosure: I served as president of the council during LeFevre’s time with the organization.

LeFevre and the museum are also busy this month planning their second year of the Capitol Hill Pride Festival on Broadway, a street fair on Pride weekend. It does not appear the museum’s lease situation will affect the festival but we’ll also follow up on that.

Her and the museum’s proposal for the Seattle Center space that will compete head to head with the likes of the Chihuly museum and a state-of-the-art broadcast studio for KEXP details a ‘mystery’ museum with a modest $5 entry fee:

In the same vein as the nostalgic Jones Fantastic Museum and Mystery House that used to exhibit at Seattle Center, the new “Mystery House” will exhibit Seattle history and lore. The theme of a haunted house or nostalgic displays has been a proven interest in the public for decades as demonstrated by larger museums such as the Royal Wax museum in Victoria, Disney’s Haunted Mansion and Universal Studio’s new Wizardry World of Harry Potter which will receive 2.3 million visitors this year. This exhibit museum would also feature fun, nostalgia and interactive educational items from Seattle¹s history so a child of 8 can enjoy an intriguing display to share with his or her’s 80 year old grandparent in an explorer’s environment.

The proposed museum would feature Bigfoot casts, Wax figures of Seattle’s Pioneers and famous persons, Chief Seattle’s speech, Maritime artifacts, secrets of prohibition, vanishing Seattle history, railroad history, rare photos, audio files, the legend of D.B. Cooper in a Northwest setting for tourists to view. The museum would also serve as an introduction to other Northwest highlights such as Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier and Snoqualmie Falls.

All proposals for the new space were due by Friday the 4th. The city will release a complete list of proposals later on Monday. You can read more about the process to select a plan for the space here.

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15 thoughts on “Museum of the Mysteries makes plans to leave Broadway

  1. I love a good ghost tour and have been to a few all over the country. The $5 I spent doing the tour that this place runs was a complete waste of money (and my time).

  2. I’m not surprised to read that this business has not been a good neighbor. To me, the owner (Charlette Fever) has always seemed like a very divisive person.

  3. Sorry to say this but this is one of the few things on Broadway I would be good with anything replacing even and empty space. I work in the area and most businesses know that the people who run the museum are nothing but trouble and always are creating one scheme or another. It’s not good for the area to have something that is basically a waste of space. I know people think it might be charming or funky but that is many steps from reality. In reality the museum represents one of the problems with the old Broadway way of doing things. People worry about arts spaces leaving hill and that is legit. But don’t mix this up with that. A screwed up business and screw up owners just hold the area back. Fuck shitty tanning salons and more crappy asian food but glad to see real businesses growing while a pretend thing gets bumped. No more Starbucks I hope but not sad to see jokes go away.

  4. The collection is awesome, and unique! Full of the kind of local stories and flavor that are missing as Capital Hill and Seattle continue to transition into a second rate international city with the same personality found at an international airport. Anybody who doesn’t get what’s really great about this museum is missing something. Sasquatch, kung fu!

  5. I went down there once to see what it was all about. I agree with the person that said it was a joke.

    The guy was kinda a dick too, so I tend to believe the neighbors.

    Oh well.

    BTW, does anyone know what happened to Ali Baba, next to the old Bailey Coy?

  6. Thanks, jseattle for the quick response!

    I guess I just saw the new Thai place and didn’t see the Ali Baba part.

    Wow, just what we need, another Thai place on Bway! ;>)

  7. Learn where you’ve landed and we might pretend you’re one of us. Don’t know, don’t care where Capital Hill is, this blog is about Capitol Hill. Long live the hill, posers be gone. You’re probably from Kent.

  8. Do you mean transition from 3rd to 2nd or 1st to 2nd?

    Getting more stuff like this off of Broadway is good for Broadway.

  9. Holy crap, I’ve lived in the neighborhood for over 15 years you smug little newbie name caller. Enjoy your corporate coffee while you another generation of chain retailers come rolling down Broadway? Then by all means get rid of the weirdos and make space for more drug stores. Capital Hill was never the Capitol of anything except attitude – you’ve got that going for you. Might want to work on the enlightened outlook tho…

  10. Maybe they mean you moved here 15 years ago from Kent. You can leave Kent but Kent never really leaves you. The same goes for Lynwood.

  11. And lake city.

    15 years is long enough, unless you’re from Kent as I suspected, to know how to spell the hood correct. No excuse,

  12. The new-age shops are still thriving, not even a block away.

    Bigfootology is solely for the tourists, or “the same personality found at a small airport”

    Sure, people have fun snipe hunting, and the backwoods types tell stories expecting others to be credulous, but this shop isn’t for “us” on the Hill. It’s for the Duck tour set. The people looking for package deals and that want to go to the “first Starbucks”.

    Maybe you need to rethink your definition of culture? Maybe a place that has lasers and robots and electronics classes for people of all levels is just as valid, if not more to our community?

    I mean, I appreciated having a place “of mysteries” on the hill, but it’s not being replaced with an Applebees.