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.