October 12th, 2007 by Clark Humphrey

King County Executive Ron Sims has no official jurisdiction over the city-owned Seattle Center. That hasn’t stopped him from expressing his citizen’s right to suggest how he’d change the place.

Like most of the big plans about the Center floated lately by Mayor Greg Nickels, David Brewster, and others, Rice’s plan would raze the Fun Forest amusement park and High School Memorial Stadium.

Like some of these plans, Rice’s would raze KeyArena and the Northwest Court buildings, including the current Vera Project space. (Perhaps Rice hopes to bring the Sonics and Storm to a new suburban home.)

Like all of these plans, it would add lots more green park space and fancy landscaping, creating yet another New Seattle monument to world-class-osity. (Or, as Sims’s staff puts it, “a destination known worldwide.”)

Unlike the previous plans, Sims’s would add artist live-work spaces and a transit center. His office issued a “slide show” .pdf depicting old-fashioned trolley cars along Mercer Street.

I like the trolley idea. I’d like it better if Sims had said where these trolleys would go from and to.

My take on this, and all the other Center schemes: We don’t need another sculpture park. We don’t need another impeccably manicured cover scene for architectural magazines.

We need a homey, informal “back yard” serving, and welcome to, all ages and classes, for the widest possible variety of public uses.

So I want to keep high school football there.

I want to keep carny rides there.

I want to keep miniature-freakin’-golf there.

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