There was supposed to be room for the artists at Magnuson Park.

Even when Ivars and Kidd Valley were going to take up residence there, the plan was that commercial ventures would pay higher rents to help subsidize nonprofits and other civically based tenants—leaving room in the public park for non-commercial public benefit. (Subsidy was needed in the first place because the buildings needed upgrading.)

Then, the artists who rent space there—about 25 midcareer Seattle artists, forming a little creative colony—advocated so that $2.7 million of the city's arts budget would be used to remodel a building for arts in the park. This wouldn't be zero-return on public money: artists afterward would pay rent. And the park would continue to be mixed in its uses, not just a place for offices and the Mountaineers alone.

Unfortunately, that deal fell through with the economy, and the $2.7 million was cut.

And Friday I heard from the artists that they're being unceremoniously evicted May 1.

The arts may have lost their place at Magnuson Park.

Perri Lynch, an artist who rents space there, expresses frustration and determination, in an email:

last year, the artists were asked to not oppose or resist the development of bldg. #11 [with all the studios in it]. we didn't. we were encouraged to self-organize and meet with the mayor regarding our situation. we did. we were encouraged to address city council. we did. all of which has taken an enormous amount of time and energy. when the bldg. #11 deal passed vote, council member rasmussen asked after our situation. parks told council and the public that we would have temporary studio space for two years with the development of bldg. #30 on the horizon as a permanent place for the arts at magnuson. after last night and the loss of bldg #2 as an option, we are left twisting in the wind without relocation assistance while development plans for #11 are clearly on track. so, i am planning to address council, the mayor, and parks yet again from the standpoint of making good on what we were promised. up to this point, i have had faith in the process and trust in the words; with only 10 weeks before eviction, we need parks and the city to walk the talk.