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By Brandon Macz

The Seattle Asian Art Museum [closed] for a two-year renovation and expansion project on Monday, Feb. 27, however, the contentious expansion of the museum’s footprint remains under review by Seattle Parks and Recreation.

It will take at least six months to move museum operations and the art collection, according to the Seattle Art Museum, as well as preparing the site before construction begins. SAM reports “Serious seismic and climate control issues put both the art and patrons at risk, necessitating the closure.”

Seattle Parks and Recreation superintendent Jesús Aguirre put a “project pause” on the renovation in January, requesting SAM provide more information about the expansion, so SPR can “better understand some of the project’s drivers and more carefully consider (Volunteer Park) impacts.”

SAM issued a response to questions posed by Aguirre on Jan. 23. Rachel Schulkin with SPR reports the department is still considering the response, and expect to address the expansion with SAM shortly.

While the total expansion is more than 12,500 square feet, much of that square footage will be spread across three stories of a new addition to the southeast side of the museum, increasing the building’s footprint by 3,600 square feet.

That addition will include offices, a new meeting space and a 1,220-square-foot education and art-making space. SAM provided 251 programs at the museum in 2015, serving 17,000 people.

Constructed in 1933, the Seattle Asian Art Museum still uses the original furnace. While heat is provided to the building, the museum does not have air conditioning or a climate control system, which limits the amount of collections being made available for display.

A major part of the renovation will be a seismic retrofit, replacing a number of walls that were constructed with hollow clay tile.

The Seattle Asian Art Museum is expected to reopen in 2019.

Syndicated from Madison Park Times

City People’s Garden Store has re-opened this month, and is offering FREE special workshops to help you get your spring 2017 garden growing! From getting your seedlings going, to waking up your hibernating garden with some springtime sprucing, the Madison Valley City People’s Garden Store is the place to go for tips to jumpstart your spring garden.

Class: Seed Starting
Date: Saturday, February 25th
Time: 11 am – noon
Description: You can now set the seed catalogs down, take a break from dreaming of spring flowers, and get started growing your own. Late winter is the perfect time to start sowing seeds. Learn which vegetable and flowers may be started now indoors and which can wait a couple weeks for outdoor sowing. Agnes P. Cwalina, owner of Hori Hori Flowers, will cover seed starting tools and methods, including using your windowsills, heat mats, and soil blocking.

Class: Jump Start Your Garden!
Date: Sunday, February 26th
Time: 11 am – noon
Description: Richard Greenberg will help you Wake Up your Garden and get spring going! In this workshop, learn to get a head start on gardening with a little weeding here, a little pruning there, some soil preparation and more.

Workshops are held in the garden store’s indoor nursery.

City People’s Garden Store
2939 E. Madison St
Seattle, WA 98112
206-324-0737

Featured photo source: Pixabay.com

Celebrate the holidays with a couple of fun neighborhood events in Madison Park this month!

All December: Christmas Ships Festival
7pm – 10pm | Madison Park
The Christmas Ships Festival, presented by Argosy Cruises, offers nightly cruises around Lake Union and Lake Washington! Enjoy holiday beverages and snacks, plus live performances from Dickens Carolers. Click here to book your evening.

December 1: First Thursday Tram Tour
11am — 12pm | Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum’s new 13-passenger tram offers monthly tours of the expansive nature park. Riders and participants on the first Thursday tour each month will learn about highlights of the season, new plantings, history of the Arboretum and more as they travel from the Graham Visitors Center to the Pacific Connections Garden. This is an open-air tour that operates year-round, rain or shine. Register here.

December 8: Thursday Night Tastings
5pm — 8pm | Belle Epicurean
Enjoy some great Italian wines and tasty bites with friends and neighbors at Belle Epicurean on December 8th for their Thursday Night Tasting!

December 23: Christmas Ships Festival Grand Finale
7pm – 10:05pm | Kirkland City Dock
Argosy Cruises’ Christmas Ship Festival comes to a close on Friday, December 23rd, with spaces still available on the second follow boat for the Grand Finale event. Performances will be held at Gas Works Park and Portage Bay.

Starting this weekend, there are several fun (and free!) weekend walks at the Washington Park Arboretum through the end of November, before the Arboretum takes a break in December …

Saturdays, November 19th and 26th: Hour and a half themed walk to look at falling leaves and the trees they came from. There will be hands-on activities and learning for kids ages two to 12 years old and their caregivers. Registration is not required, just meet at the Graham Visitor Center at 1 p.m. to participate.

Sundays, November 20th and 27th: As the culmination of the Arboretum’s 2016 season, the Sunday weekend walks feature “Ancient Tree Species”. Of all of the species in the world, there are seven that are older than any others. These Sunday walks will highlight these special ancient tree species. Come join us at the Graham Visitor’s Center at 1 p.m. to participate in this hour-and-a-half long walk and education about these trees and their history on the planet.

Featured photo source: BotanicGardens.uw.edu