Arts Can It Be True? A Free Historic Building to an Arts Organization?
posted by November 8 at 15:51 PMon
Free aside from repairs, of course. But seriously: is this the kind of deal anyone will be interested in?
I’m on a deadline and headed for an airplane at the same time, otherwise I’d look into this more deeply, but this is the word that I and a bunch of other reporters just received from Scott Lawrimore, owner of Lawrimore Project downtown, which is next to the building in question:
It has come to my attention that the City of Seattle has released its hold on a permit to acquire the GIGANTIC, historical and long-fallow Immigration Building next to my gallery here in the International District.
This building was offered by the Government Service Administration and its Regional Manager to the City of Seattle for $1 if they would dedicate it for an arts or cultural purpose.
The City of Seattle ignored this offer.
The City of Seattle instead tried to get it for a developer to turn into mixed-use office space as part of their larger plan to turn my entire block into condos, retail and office space (for which it is not yet zoned).
The Government Service Administration and its Regional Manager now have a very small window of time where they can hear from ANY, I repeat ANY arts organization that can utilize this building for the greater cultural community’s benefit and make a “Public Benefit Transfer” of the property—essentially ‘give’ the building to an organization that will shepherd it for a cultural purpose. Whether it’s Artist Trust or the Gage Academy or Cornish or The Henry or U.W. or SAM or The Frye or On the Boards or A.C.T. or… THIS IS THE TIME FOR THEM TO LET THEIR INTEREST BE KNOWN!!!
If this interest is not made know within the next week, the G.S.A. will be forced to put the building up for public sale and the noble, altruistic intent of the GSA’s Regional Manager will fall by the wayside as it inevitably falls into the hands of a developer.
This is an amazing opportunity that should not go ignored.
Beyond this being an “arts” story, there is a larger issue with what the City of Seattle has set forth as its priorities.
ANYTHING you can do to get this story out there or spread the word to organizations that might benefit from this knowledge would be great.