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Thursday, August 12, 2010

KEXP and Open Platform Firm Up Partnership for Fun Forest Site

Posted by on Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 3:28 PM

The Seattle Center's review panel recently asked follow up questions pertaining to the nine proposals vying to inhabit the Fun Forest Amusement site at the Seattle Center. All but one proposal* made the deadline and their answers will soon be publicly posted, according to the Seattle Center. Meanwhile, Open Platform and KEXP, two proposals The Stranger strongly endorses, have used the Q &A as an opportunity to define and strengthen their joint use of the space.

Just picture Dave Matthews humping a mime.
  • via the Seattle Center
  • Just picture Dave Matthews humping a mime.
"We've developed language in concert with one-another," says Lorna Jordan, local artist and Open Platform spokeswoman. "In both our proposals, we now talk about how KEXP can easily let go of Area B, and we bullet the ways we can work together to benefit the city."

KEXP proposes turning Area A, the Fun Forest Arcade into office and studio space while Open Platform hopes to turn Area B into an outdoor performing arts venue. Jordan says that Open Platform contacted other projects—including proposers from the Chihuly museum, the Northwest Native Cultural Center, and Friends of the Green—to see if they had any interest in collaborating in the space. "Whatever happens with the building, we wanted to be clear that we're willing to work with whoever," she says. "In the end, though, only KEXP was as excited to work together as we were."

4Culture has agreed to be Open Platform's fiscal sponsor, meaning that the King County arts organization will help with grant applications and assist in their capital campaign. Meanwhile, Jordan says the group has its board of directors together and a list of supporters as impressive as KEXP's—including Seattle Arts and Lectures, Town Hall, and On the Boards.

"Our proposal went from 10 percent to 100 percent, in terms of how we can pull this off," says Jordan. "Together, KEXP and Open Platform make a pretty solid team."

The next step is waiting to see if the review panel selected by the Seattle Center to critique the proposals agrees. The panel is expected to make its recommendation to Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams sometime this month. Nellams will then make his recommendation to Mayor Mike McGinn for consideration. If the mayor approves, a contract is drawn up between the city and the proposer (dealing with payments and such), which is then voted on by city council.

*Paul Kragt—who's proposal was really a request that architecture, park, and landscape each be taken into consideration at the site—didn't submit answers to the panel's follow-up questions.


Comments (19) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
I sure would like a combo of the NW Native and Open Platform visions. Very functional, great tourist attraction, and you could always put a small KEXP and Chihulhy studio in the corner in a 20'x20' or maybe 30'x30' space, with say 2-3 stories, without impacting the park atmosphere.

The answer is not always either-or, sometimes it's All of the Above.

Plus the batting practice stand for the kid's hardball league - cause I love the sound of breaking glass in the morning.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 12, 2010 at 3:40 PM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 2
Wow. Another baseball/Chihuly museum joke. Those just don't get old.
Posted by heywhatsit!? on August 12, 2010 at 3:45 PM · Report this
seandr 3
Why doesn't KEXP just move into the EMP? They'd make a great exhibit.

The EMP, by the way, already has a huge and mostly unused performance space in it. And Vera Project is nearby as well. Boring.
Posted by seandr on August 12, 2010 at 3:48 PM · Report this
in-frequent 4
Though I'd rather KEXP than Chihully, I'm not terribly keen on office space at the SeaCen. I, too, have thought it'd be great if KEXP could use the EMP space. I do, however, like the idea of a nice(r) outdoor venue, and the idea of partnerships and flexibility are also appreciated.
Posted by in-frequent on August 12, 2010 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
@3 well, then we'd have to have the KEXPEMP BOTB and that many acronyms would cause permanent brain damage for Dale Chihulhy.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 12, 2010 at 4:12 PM · Report this
crazycatguy 6
No one wants to go to the Center to look at another ugly office building.
Posted by crazycatguy on August 12, 2010 at 4:21 PM · Report this
seandr 7
@5 Actually, their acronyms are already entwined - KCMU was switched to KEXP after the EXPerience Music Project made a big donation.
Posted by seandr on August 12, 2010 at 4:27 PM · Report this
Memorial Stadium is already slated to come down and it would be - during the summer - an outdoor amphitheater for performances. I'll bet they get dinged on that basis on their proposal.
Posted by westello on August 12, 2010 at 4:36 PM · Report this
seandr 9
I just discovered the city of Seattle has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Very Project. Now the city should subsidize a competing identical project just a few blocks away?

Say what you want about the Chihuly proposal, it is nowhere near as unoriginal, boring, milquetoast, and redundant as the KEXP thingy. Chihuly seems downright subversive in comparison.
Posted by seandr on August 12, 2010 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
Subversive? Uh, maybe if you're a Millionaire.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 12, 2010 at 5:21 PM · Report this

I have proposed that EMP take over Seattle Center and turn it into a Classic Rock and Roll Animatronic Disneyesque Fun Fair.

Imagine, being greeted by a live "Elton John" who'll escort you onto the "Purple Haze" Rollercoaster. Or, have some Jam and Scones in "Strawberry Fields".

You get the idea. People could wear the Sly Stone jumpsuit in the museum and put it to good use.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 12, 2010 at 7:08 PM · Report this
It would be shocking if the mayor picked a project from his buddies at SvR. Shocking, I tell ya.
Posted by Lew on August 12, 2010 at 7:59 PM · Report this
Uh, the Center House is huge and under used. It could easily house KEXP or Chihuly. Probably both.

Usually, when we think of Parks we think of Open Space and Greenery and maybe a place for kids to play. Is there something wrong with that thinking?
Posted by Zander on August 12, 2010 at 11:34 PM · Report this
Let's not forget the Native American Heritage Center and the Northwest Mystery Museum also have stages. But it seems with the mural amphitheater and EMP not to mention the stadium, we have too many large stages.
Also, not too impressed with KEXP putting their office in a public park. Can't they entertain the public in their current location?
Posted by Seattle San on August 13, 2010 at 12:50 AM · Report this
It's clear that these guys have banded together and worked with their PR firm - Pyramid - to try and "smoke and mirrors" the fact that they have NO MONEY to make any of this happen.

Show me the money - not the Dave Mathews letter.

Agree that KEXP should either go in EMP or next to Vera Project.
Posted by mcskeptic on August 13, 2010 at 8:10 AM · Report this
KEXP should be on the Seattle Center campus. It's a great idea. An even better idea is to have Chihuly and KEXP there. Yes, KEXP is mostly office space, but their plan is exciting and includes some great interactive elements, important to a medium that is losing 1 million listeners per year. The KEXP plan is a risk, but one that could end up being the future of radio. And with Chihuly at the Center, there could be some money for the Center to support other great ideas like Open Platform. But we do definitely need something that actually has money now to move forward now, because the City will continue to cut budgets at The Center, and without income the Center will start slashing more programming, like what it just did with Winterfest.

On open space. Do we really need more in Seattle? Keep in mind the 13 new acres of open space created by the take down of Memorial Stadium and the rest of the fun forest space, and the massive amount of open space on the waterfront we'll have when the viaduct comes down. The waterfront will truly be our City's central park, not Seattle Center. The Center needs programming and institutions that will draw people beyond what would be mostly unused open space
Posted by Meinert on August 13, 2010 at 9:50 AM · Report this
Seattle Center should not be used for private office space.
Seattle Center should not be used for private office space.

Seattle Center should not be used for private office space.
Posted by Seattle San on August 13, 2010 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Cienna, every time you refer to it simply as the "Fun Forest" as opposed to the SOUTH Fun Forest space, you mislead your readers who might not be intimately informed about the situation or familiar with the layout at Seattle Center. This whole hoopla is over the small kiddie-ride area, plus the arcade building. None of these proposals have anything to do with the much larger - and, before it was torn down, more popular - NORTH Fun Forest area that housed the roller coaster, log ride, etc.
Posted by Dingle Berries on August 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Please take into consideration the LONG studied solution, the 2008 Century 21 proposal, which was accepted by the council which removed the building entirely and thereby opened up the Center.
There are plenty of locations for KEXP and "whatever," then not realizing the goals set forth in the 2008 plan to make for a grand entrance to the campus.
Posted by Muncey on August 14, 2010 at 12:08 PM · Report this

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