Another Backward, Half-Baked Idea for Seattle Center
The Owners of the Space Needle Want a Massive Chihuly Glass Museum Next Door
Maybe not. An idea for a huge, new, ill-defined pay-to-play tourist attraction—a Dale Chihuly exhibition hall, to sit at the base of the Space Needle—is already in the design stages. It was the idea of a wealthy local family, the Howard Wright family, which owns the Space Needle. The plan calls for a 44,550-square-foot exhibition hall of Chihuly's glass art, to be placed inside and to extend the current Fun Forest arcade pavilion. The plan does not describe Chihuly's vision, but it calls for a whopping 21,500 square feet of exhibition space, plus a retail shop and cafe. (By comparison, the Henry Art Gallery has about 14,000 square feet of galleries and the Frye Art Museum about 12,000 square feet.) Admission would be paid, and the venture would be for-profit. The Wrights would pay for construction, and the museum—the Wrights prefer it not be called a museum, and they have a point, since it won't have curators, but no other word is quite right, either—would be privately run.