Over the weekend, CHS reported on the last visits to the Seattle Asian Art Museum before two years of construction and word from Seattle Parks official Michael Shiosaki of an “un-pausing” of the $49 million plan to overhaul the infrastructure of the 1933-built museum and expand it 3,600 square feet into its home Volunteer Park.
Monday morning, a spokesperson for parks and rec head Jesus Aguirre confirmed that the superintendent is ready for the project to get back on track.
The responses that SAAM provided to the issues raised by the community display an alignment with the mission and values of Seattle Parks and Recreation. The museum contributes to the use and activation of Volunteer Park and is an asset of our parks system that we treasure. We look forward to continuing public discussions about the project and have communicated to SAAM that the project pause has been lifted.
In January, CHS reported on Aguirre’s request for a pause and more information about the project after a wave of criticism from neighbors and park proponents concerned about the encroachment of the museum facility farther into the meadow behind the facility.
Monday’s announcement indicates Aguirre is satisfied that Seattle Art Museum director Kim Rorschach’s responses to the issues raised, including one key component establishing that the museum is, indeed, a key component of the park and, therefore, its expansion does not violate a voter initiative passed to prevent park lands from being developed for non-parks related purposes:
Rorschach’s complete letter is below:
The museum had been planned to reopen in 2019 after about two years of construction. Before any works begins, museum officials still need permit approvals from the city, and final sign-off from the landmarks board to alter the 84-year-old building.