Environmental Review! Comments needed by November 30

Events are accelerating around the museum expansion project. The Master Use Permit signs have appeared with a deadline of November 30 for public comment. (The deadline was extended by written request.) We need as many people as possible to send public comments!

Send comment letters to PRC@seattle.gov and be sure to reference Master Use Project # 3024753. You can also enter this number at this City web site to see project documents.

In commenting on an environmental review, it is helpful to reference questions from the SEPA Environmental Checklist such as:

  • What views in the immediate vicinity would be altered or obstructed?
  • Would the proposed project displace any existing recreational uses?
  • What measures do you propose to avoid, minimize or mitigate for deliberate impacts to historic structures or cultural resources?

On behalf of the park, thank you for taking action when it was needed.

3 thoughts on “Environmental Review! Comments needed by November 30”

  1. My neighborhood watch was forwarded a request to get engaged in this process. I responded with the following to my neighbors:

    Like many, I love the park and use it regularly. Like, all, I live in a home that 110 years ago that replaced open land. Like all, I live in a city that is growing and changing in significant and material ways. I am not affiliated with the museum and have no personal agenda in this matter beyond a sensible approach to the issue. Volunteer Park is 48 acres. Google tell me that and also tells me that this is equal to 2,090,888 square feet.

    The claimed intrusion by the expansion is 0.6% of the total park. It is on the dark east side of the park. The project would also include a recapture and improvement on the north side of the museum where the loading dock is and is a space that is not available to the public. The addition will mean more useful space in the museum which benefits the public at large, and is being designed with care and in my view, architectural quality (the addition is modern and not an attempt to replicate the historical building but complement it as is generally done when historical buildings are altered). I think if allowed to proceed it will open up and enlarge the usefulness of the park, while preserving the vast majority of open space. The trade-off is well worth it in my opinion and those who live close to it especially benefit. There is nothing in the project to my knowledge that would decrease neighborhood quality of life such as traffic increase or change. If anything, a refreshed and improved museum enhances our access to a great collection a few minutes walk from us.

    The park also has a reservoir that may be recaptured by covering or closing, which is considerably more than the space in question. Visit Jefferson Park where this took place and now has an award winning landscape in place of the reservoir there – to see how land can be reclaimed for park use.

    I am sure the group advocating against this are well-intended. But given the facts I just don’t get it. Is the main concern really the taking of 13000 or so square feet, or something else? As with many things, those most passionate raise the loudest noise. I urge all of us to be better informed and if you support this project, make your voices heard as prominently as those opposed.


    1. Brian, from my perspective, the current proposed design, for many of us opposed, daily park users, feel it would damage the entire look and feel of that side of the park. We actually find this 50′ box with glass offensive and so we are willing to fight not to have it.

      Many opposing do not oppose supporting the museum to renovate and get the needed upgrades to the current space it occupies. The purposed project has not been adequately approved and vetted by the public, yet it is being pushed forward regardless.

      And it seems the 20+ million dollars to be given from the city to this expansion is too much money when dollars could be put to better use elsewhere. Because of the look of the original architect proposal and the current design does not offer any new exhibition area, plus the traffic study they did was only for evening hours, it indicates that this expansion is desired to have better event space for non public events, yet the public is paying for it.

      I think there need to be an alternative design with less foot space into the park and costs less money, which makes more people happy.


      1. The current proposed design leaves much to be desired from the point of Olmsted design principles. It compounds the original drawback of the structure and especially the additional wings added in the 1950s. I’m sure Brian doesn’t realize that the reservoir is a key Olmsted landscape element. The prospect of looking out at and over a calm and reflective body of water is deeply restorative and attractive to park-goers.

Comments are closed.