In light of Mayor Mike McGinn's Wednesday endorsement of a Chihuly exhibit and radio station KEXP joining the Seattle Center campus, you may be wondering what happened to Open Platform, the outdoor performance art public space that won many hearts here at The Stranger. Are there plans to make room for the brilliant minds behind Open Platform on the Seattle Center campus?
The short answer is, no. But the longer answer may be yes (HAR HAR HAR).
Here's why: Along with ushering in Chihuly and KEXP, the Seattle Center intends to open up 12 acres of green space by tearing up three acres of asphalt in the Center Square space (next to the EMP) and knocking down the south bleachers of Memorial Stadium, which will free up an additional nine acres.
Accomplishing this will take time—the center needs to raise approximately $10 million to fund this project—but once it happens, Seattle Center director Robert Nellams says the space will be open up to bids from the public on what should happen there (like the Fun Forest site was). And Nellams is "very interested" in having Open Platform compete in that process. "We had a lot of conversations with Open Platform and their concept of open space that we want to see done," said Nellams during a recent interview.
Meanwhile, Lorna Jordan, a spokeswoman for Open Plaform (as well as an environmental artist who does some pretty amazing work), says that the group is still very interested in leaving its mark at Seattle Center. "We're still having those conversations," says Jordan, who says that 12 acres would be way more exciting to develop that the 1.3-acre Fun Forest site. "We always thought our ideas were bigger than Fun Forest south."
And that's where I think Goldy's wrong about the Chihuly exhibit's million dollar playground contribution. He already says it won't be good enough. But I think it might be pretty kickass—if the Seattle Center moves forward in tying that million-dollar playground to the 12-acre redevelopment project with brilliant minds like the ones behind Open Platform, as Nellams has indicated.