Today at 2:00 p.m., the Seattle Design Commission, which oversees development projects on public land, was supposed get more information about a proposal to build a Chihuly glass museum in Seattle Center. But the Seattle Center canceled the presentation yesterday, at about the same time Jen Graves posted this piece on the project—which would supplant two-acres of public land with a private exhibit requiring paid entry.
"They didn't give us a reason at all why they pulled it," says Valerie Kinast, who works for the City's Department of Planning and Development and staffs the design commission.
- Proposal for two-acre Chihuly museum next to Space Needle
The Chihuly museum has sparked controversy in the last day, in part because the project eats up some of the 17 remaining acres of public land in Seattle Center (out of 74 acres), and because it works against the Seattle Center Master Plan, which calls for an open lawn and pond in that space, not more buildings for private use.
For its part, the Seattle Center says the growing controversy—including skepticism from City Council Member Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Parks and Seattle Center Committee—had nothing to do with pulling the discussion from the table. Robert Nellams, manager of the Seattle Center, had only looked at concept drawings earlier this week and "thought it was a good idea to hold off until it was resolved," says Seattle Center spokeswoman Deborah Daoust. Until what was resolved? "I don't even know what they were—a couple minor things," says Daoust. "We did talk about that this would attract attention."