I can't help but notice that the Chihuly museum has been open and raking in the dough for eight months and yet we are still without the concessionary million-dollar playground that backers promised to build in exchange for plunking their museum down on public land for 30-odd years.
Per the museum's lease agreement with the city, the Seattle Center is supposed to work with the Chihuly group to assemble an "Artists at Play Advisory Committee" who will then painstakingly advise them on how to build a goddamn playground.
But as far as I can tell, there is no advisory group, let alone a plan to build the damn thing or anything resembling a timeline to get it done.
I called the Seattle Center, Seattle City Council member Jean Godden (who oversees the Seattle Center committee) and the mayor's office to find out what the holdup is; the mayor's office at least promised to get back to me today or tomorrow with details. "It’s part of our agreement with them, so it’s going to get built," said mayoral spokesman Aaron Pickus. So... they could build it next year or 29 years from now, when their lease is set to expire?
Remember, Chihuly backers also "agreed" to build a 1,700-square-foot retail gallery that would showcase other Northwest artists, and then broke that promise faster than you can shatter a $5,000 artistic sperm centerpiece.
The Chihuly museum's grandiose talk of creating a legacy for the city seemed to only last as long as the effervescence in their champagne toasts on opening night.
UPDATE: The mayor's office says that the Seattle Center will be sending out a call for "Artists at Play" applicants sometime in the next few months, with the hope of formalizing a committee by April. It seems that one of the holdups is that original playground location was instead used to sell trinkets for the Seattle Center 50th anniversary celebration, so we have no actual designated park space. They're scouting out a new location now. Hopefully it won't wind up right next to the dumpsters.