City Hall

Parks Meeting Overrun by Chihuly Cheerleaders

By Camden Swita April 2, 2010

The City Council’s Parks and Seattle Center Committee held a meeting (on unrelated matters) at Seattle Center last night. Unsurprisingly, it became a string of testimony about the proposed Chihuly museum.

Just as at an earlier last public hearing, Chihuly’s posse—mostly owners and employees of businesses that thrive on tourism—turned out in droves to cheerlead for the project.

Their argument haven’t changed, and neither have detractors’—sticking to Seattle Center’s Century 21 Master Plan which calls for more green space and investing in Seattleites rather than tourists.

Speaking of detractors, the Stranger’s news reporter, Cienna Madrid, took the stand to testify against the project. It’s unusual for a journalist to testify at a public hearing and then report on that hearing the following day. Madrid did not disclose her public testimony against the project in her story, titled "Chihuly Cheerleaders Don't Address Why the Project Doesn't Belong on Private Land."

“I haven’t heard a good reason why this needs to be on public land,” Madrid said. “I don’t understand, with all of the influence of the Wright family has, why it can’t be somewhere else in the city.”

Despite the heavy lobbying from the Chihuly crowd, parks committee chair Sally Bagshaw said she isn't sold on Chihuly at the Space Needle.

“I have questions about building something for one artist on public space and walling it off to the public," she said. "Can we open it up to all Northwest artists?"
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