Seattle is one of my favorite cities and this is probably because when I think of it maritime culture and history immediately come to mind. Pike Street Fish Market, Lake Union, The Center for Wooden Boats, the Washington State Ferries and even Starbucks, are just a few of the places, organizations and activities that help create Seattle’s maritime brand.
There have been several interesting articles in the Seattle Post Intelligencer this week about local maritime institutions and initiatives.
The Post Intelligencer reports that since opening in 1998, the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center has not come near its attendance projections despite occupying prime real estate on the waterfront. This has caused significant operating deficits to accumulate and left millions in unpaid and ultimately forgiven rent. (Odyssey asks port to keep it afloat: Unprofitable Maritime Discovery Center wants $3.2 million) Fortunately the Port of Seattle recognizes the benefits of the Discovery Center and its potential to educate locals and visitors about the important role maritime industries play in the city and region. The Port has put forward a plan to be a benefactor with a few strings attached. (Maritime museum to get $3.2 million).
Much more positive news comes from cross town. (Groundbreaking set for today at Seattle’s newest lakefront park). Thanks to some significant local philanthropic support the $30 million Lake Union Park project is being launched today. (Invitation). Lake Union Park will be a vibrant green space that celebrates Seattle’s rich maritime heritage.