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Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum not yet part of SAM’s return

Volunteer Park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum won’t be part of the Seattle Art Museum’s reopening after closing five months ago due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

SAM announced its reopening plans Monday after statewide restrictions (PDF) on museums — and bowling alleys! — were loosened :

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) reopens its downtown museum to the general public on Friday, September 11. The museum will initially be at a limited capacity and open Fridays through Sundays, 10 am–5 pm. SAM Shop and SAM Gallery will also reopen. TASTE Café at SAM, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and the PACCAR Pavilion at the Olympic Sculpture Park remain closed until further notice. Timed tickets will be sold online only beginning September 4 for the September 11 general public reopening.

Under the state’s current limits, capacity must be restricted to 25%.

“We are so excited to welcome everyone back to the museum,” CEO Amada Cruz said about the return of the museum. “Seeing art in person is an irreplaceable experience, and with fewer visitors in the space, it will also be a uniquely intimate one.”

A SAM spokesperson said there was no information on when Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum might join the reopening, saying SAAM is “focusing on opening one location to start.”

SAAM shuttered in mid-March as COVID-19 numbers began to rise. In February, the building had reopened after three years of closure and construction to overhaul and expand the museum.

Volunteer Park’s other big construction project, meanwhile, is preparing to break ground. The $3 million project to create a new covered amphitheater in the park went out for bid for contractors earlier this month, the Volunteer Park Trust reports. According to the trust, the design of the new amphitheater combines necessary renovation with the parks historical identity. The new amphitheater’s modern appearance is planned to enhance the historic features of Volunteer Park’s Olmsted landscape, a characteristic integral to the park since its inception in 1904, while providing the community with a venue featuring better acoustics, protection from the elements, improved amenities for performers, ADA-compliant pathways, and a safer performance space.

You can learn more and donate to support the trust and the project here.


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Ryan Packer
Ryan Packer
1 year ago

Hopeful that SAM will be able to provide access to museum visitors who need ADA access while we keep Volunteer Park Drive closed because I can’t imagine opening that road back up.

My Thoughts
My Thoughts
1 year ago
Reply to  Ryan Packer

Why can’t you imagine it opening? I live nearby and like it closed as well but on what criteria should it remain closed? Not to mention it is used as a drop off point for a school or two and many like to visit amenities that nearby parking helps. When the museum and conservatory open won’t it be reasonable for the ample parking in the park to be accessible?

1 year ago
Reply to  My Thoughts

I agree. Presumably, parking is not allowed in order to discourage use of Volunteer Park. But this can’t go on indefinitely. A beautiful public park is meant for people to actually use it. I don’t see how forbidding parking is making it any more safe.