Construction begins on Seattle Asian Art Museum Renovation and Expansion

Public Groundbreaking Ceremony Commemorates Start of Work on Major Project to Preserve and Expand Museum’s Historic Art Deco Building in Seattle’s Volunteer Park

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) executives, joined by City of Seattle leaders, project donors and supporters, and members of the community, gathered at the Seattle Asian Art Museum on Tuesday, March 13 for an official groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the renovation and expansion of the museum’s landmark building. After years of design planning with the City, parks groups, and community stakeholders, followed by months of preparation, work on the building has begun and will conclude with the anticipated reopening of the museum in fall 2019.

L to R: Seattle Asian Art Museum campaign co-chairs Gursharan Sidhu (SAM Trustee) and Mimi Gardner Gates (SAM Director Emerita); Winnie Stratton (SAM Board of Trustees President); Kimerly Rorschach (SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO); Michael Shiosaki (Director of Planning and Development at Seattle Parks and Recreation); and Stewart Landefeld (SAM Board of Trustees Chair)

In her remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony, Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO, thanked attendees and supporters and reiterated the need to preserve and update the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s building—gifted to the city by SAM’s founder in 1933. “For the last 20 years, we’ve known the day would arrive when we needed to restore this architectural treasure that houses one of the most important Asian art collections in the country,” Rorschach noted. “That day has come.”The Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation and expansion project takes an early 20th-century building and brings it up to 21st-century standards.

The project not only ensures for years to come the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s role as a world-class cultural resource and park amenity for residents and visitors, but it also enhances SAM’s ability to share its significant Asian art collection and better serve a growing and increasingly diverse audience. The renovation and expansion preserves the 1933 historic building and its Art Deco façade; improves the museum’s infrastructure; protects the collection with climate control and seismic system upgrades; enhances ADA accessibility; and improves the museum’s connection to Volunteer Park, including the restoration of historic pathways in the park. An expansion in the back of the historic building provides approximately 13,900 square feet of much-needed new space, but changes the museum’s footprint in the park by only 3,600 square feet (less than one quarter of one percent of the park’s 48-acre total), because it is spread over three floors. The project adds a new exhibition gallery, a dedicated education space, and a new conservation laboratory.

The SAM renovation and expansion project provides many public benefits that include:

    • A partnership with Seattle Public Schools which includes 7 in-school education programs and 75 free school group field trips annually
    • Eight workshops, 3 day-camps, and 15 free lectures and panel discussions
    • A $50,000 scholarship assistance fund with annual escalation
    • An annual public cultural event

The project design team includes Seattle-based project architect LMN Architects (2016 AIA National Architecture Firm of the Year Award recipient), landscape architect Walker Macy, general contractor/construction manager BNBuilders, Inc., and OAC Services, Inc., providing construction and project management services. The Seattle Art Museum continues to work closely with Seattle Parks & Recreation, which owns the building and maintains Volunteer Park.

The renovation and expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum is funded by a mixture of public and private funds. The City is contributing $21 million to the estimated $54 million project, other funding has been secured from, Washington State, and King County, as well as significant gifts and pledges from individuals and foundations. The public fundraising campaign continues.

ASIAN ART MUSEUM – HISTORY

The Asian Art Museum is the original home of SAM. Set in the bucolic surroundings of the Olmsted-designed Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill, the Art Deco building was designed by Charles Bebb and Paris-trained architect Carl Gould in 1933. In the same year, museum founder Dr. Richard E. Fuller donated the building to the city. It opened its doors on June 23, 1933, presenting its founding collection of Asian art to the citizens of Seattle.

Following the opening of the Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle in 1991, the museum reopened as SAM’s center for Asian art and cultural activities in 1994. Its collection now features Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian art. Its offerings include popular public programming by the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas, and the McCaw Foundation Library,

The museum’s landmark building is included in the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in July 2016, joining Volunteer Park which was previously listed in 1976.

For more information on the Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation and expansion project, please visit seattleartmuseum.org/inspire. For construction updates, please visit saamconstruction.com

 

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Portion of Hing Hay Park to close in late January for gateway installation

The southwest corner of Hing Hay Park will be fenced off from January 16 to early February while Studio Fifty50, a design/make studio, installs the iconic artistic gateway structure for the park.

The gateway is the final design element in the park expansion project. It is a geometric red metal arch that will welcome the community into the park and define the main entry. The abstract perforations in the gateway represent leaf patters, an inclusive patterns representing all cultures in the Seattle Chinatown-International District. It is made of similar red metal used in the seating and stairs at the park. Studio Fifty50 is fabricating the gateway in their studio and will assemble it in the park.

In June 2017, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) opened Hing Hay Park expansion, which is located at 423 Maynard Ave. S at the corner of 6th Ave. S and S King St. The project doubled the size of Hing Hay Park and serves as an important community gathering place for the neighborhood.

The new park design includes a cultural performance space, with custom integrated seating that punctuates the terraces and provides micro-stages. The park also features activity areas for all community members to enjoy, including ping pong tables, seating, exercise machines, a badminton area, and shade trees. Additional features include planted terraces, lighting, necessary utilities and sidewalk improvements with ADA accessibility through the park.

The design of the park is the result of a series of community outreach meetings, input from local organizations and Friends of Hing Hay Park. The team of MIG|SvR, a local design firm, plus Turenscape, a Beijing-based firm, created the park design that reflects the many cultures of the neighborhood and seamlessly embraces the old with the new. SPR purchased the International District Station Post Office site with funding from the Pro-Parks Levy to expand the original park. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy provided the development funding and brought the community vision alive.

For more information, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/hing-hay-park or contact Kim Baldwin, Project Manager, Seattle Parks and Recreation at kim.baldwin@seattle.gov.

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Next steps for Victor Steinbrueck Park Improvement project

Seattle Parks and Recreation(SPR) will be conducting additional investigative work into the structure below the surface of Victor Steinbrueck Park. This work will begin the week of December 18, 2017 and inform the design process for the Victor Steinbrueck Park Improvement Project. The park will not be closed. Park visitors will see boring equipment and access will be denied in the immediate work zone(s). Additionally, there will be construction noise during working hours.

The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy allocated funding to improve Victor Steinbrueck Park. The project includes improving sight lines into the park, renovating seating, renovating the former children’s play area, improving and expanding lighting, and upgrading landscaping. The park sits atop a privately-owned parking garage. The membrane between the westerly portion of the park and the parking garage below is failing. Major repairs to, or complete replacement of the membrane, will be necessary as part of any improvements to the park. We are in the final design phase of this project and anticipate construction beginning in 2019.

SPR has been and will continue to be engaging organizations including the Chief Seattle Club, the Friends of Market, surrounding residents and businesses and homeless advocates regarding the park. We have hosted two public meetings, held an online Open House, conducted surveys in the park and on-line and presented to the Pike Place Market Historical Commission Design Review Committee throughout the design process.  To see the schematic design please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/victor-steinbrueck-park.

For additional information, please contact David Graves at david.graves@seattle.gov or 206-684-7048 or visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/victor-steinbrueck-park.

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Hing Hay Park Expansion opens

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is happy to announce the Hing Hay Park Expansion opened today, Thursday, June 29. The community is encouraged to visit and enjoy the new park space located at 423 Maynard Ave. S at the corner of 6th Ave. S and S King St., in Seattle’s Chinatown International District. Hing Hay Park means “Park for Pleasurable Gatherings.” The park has doubled in size and serves as an important community gathering place for the neighborhood.

The new park design includes a cultural performance space, with custom integrated seating that punctuates the terraces and provides micro-stages. Activity areas for all community members to enjoy include ping pong tables, seating, exercise machines and shade trees. Additional features include planted terraces, lighting, necessary utilities and sidewalk improvements with ADA accessibility through the park. The design of the park is the result of a series of community outreach meetings, input from local organizations and Friends of Hing Hay Park. The team of MIG | SvR, a local design firm, plus Turenscape, a Beijing-based firm, created the park design that reflects the many cultures of the neighborhood and seamlessly embraces the old with the new. SPR purchased the International District Station Post Office site with funding from the Pro-Parks Levy to expand the original park. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy provided the development funding and brought the community vision alive.

The design includes an iconic artistic gateway structure on the southwest corner. This structure will be installed in late summer. The gateway is being fabricated off site and the artist will install it in July through August.  During installation, this section of the park will need to be fenced for public safety. After the gateway is complete, Mayor Murray, SPR and the Chinatown International District community will hold a celebration to officially open the park expansion.

For more information, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/hing-hay-park or contact Kim Baldwin, Project Manager, Seattle Parks and Recreation at kim.baldwin@seattle.gov.

 

 

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Hing Hay Park Expansion opens

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is happy to announce the Hing Hay Park Expansion opened today, Thursday, June 29. The community is encouraged to visit and enjoy the new park space located at 423 Maynard Ave. S at the corner of 6th Ave. S and S King St., in Seattle’s Chinatown International District. Hing Hay Park means “Park for Pleasurable Gatherings.” The park has doubled in size and serves as an important community gathering place for the neighborhood.

The new park design includes a cultural performance space, with custom integrated seating that punctuates the terraces and provides micro-stages. Activity areas for all community members to enjoy include ping pong tables, seating, exercise machines and shade trees. Additional features include planted terraces, lighting, necessary utilities and sidewalk improvements with ADA accessibility through the park. The design of the park is the result of a series of community outreach meetings, input from local organizations and Friends of Hing Hay Park. The team of MIG | SvR, a local design firm, plus Turenscape, a Beijing-based firm, created the park design that reflects the many cultures of the neighborhood and seamlessly embraces the old with the new. SPR purchased the International District Station Post Office site with funding from the Pro-Parks Levy to expand the original park. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy provided the development funding and brought the community vision alive.

The design includes an iconic artistic gateway structure on the southwest corner. This structure will be installed in late summer. The gateway is being fabricated off site and the artist will install it in July through August.  During installation, this section of the park will need to be fenced for public safety. After the gateway is complete, Mayor Murray, SPR and the Chinatown International District community will hold a celebration to officially open the park expansion.

For more information, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/hing-hay-park or contact Kim Baldwin, Project Manager, Seattle Parks and Recreation at kim.baldwin@seattle.gov.

 

 

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