Friday, September 10, 2010

MOHAI needs your help!

Some of you may remember earlier this year when the Steampunk Film Festival was held to help repair the clock that had been vandalised at the Museum of History and Industry. Well, this time, we need your help to save the entire museum. Here's a request from the museum, asking for your support:

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you today on behalf of MOHAI to inform you that the future of our museum is in jeopardy. As you may have read in the news last week, MOHAI’s agreement with the Seattle’s Mayor’s Office - one which would allow the museum to reopen in 2012 at the historic Armory at South Lake Union - is now being called into question. If we are unable to resolve this issue swiftly, MOHAI will be forced to close, and may not reopen.

If MOHAI has made a difference to your life or your community, please support us by writing an email or a note to the Seattle Mayor’s office and City council to let them know how you feel. I would also be grateful if you can help me raise awareness about this issue by forwarding my email onto friends, neighbors, and colleagues of your own. History matters and our voices really can make a difference.

Here is the situation:

1) The MOHAI building at Montlake is going to be demolished. In 2012, Seattle’s regional history museum must close its doors to make way for the expansion of the 520 bridge.

2) After three years of working together, MOHAI and the City reached an agreement last fall to save MOHAI by moving it to the landmarked Armory building at Lake Union Park. According to this agreement, all of the funds required to restore the old Armory and to complete the relocation of exhibits, staff, artifacts, and other museum services will come from MOHAI’s capital campaign and from compensation designated by the State to compensate MOHAI’s loss. You can learn more about this agreement in the following Crosscut article:,-the-MOHAI,-and-the-moolah/

3) In developments last week, the Mayor’s Office indicated that it now wishes to renegotiate our agreement, despite the fact that that the State’s compensation cannot be redirected. Compensation funds from the State are ONLY intended: to compensate MOHAI for the loss of the Montlake building and all the functions it contains. The compensation includes funds to not only help us restore the Armory building and create exhibits to replace those we will loose at our Montlake facility, but also to relocate many of the museum’s functions (including staff offices, the research library, and artifact storage) that cannot be accommodated at the Armory. To successfully complete our move, MOHAI must be able to keep the agreement.

If you believe that MOHAI plays an important role in our cultural landscape and serves our community by preserving and sharing our history, please share your thoughts with Mayor McGinn and City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Chair of the Parks and Seattle Center Committee.

Their email addresses are: and respectively.

If you would like to send a letter, the mayor’s physical mail address is: The Honorable Mike McGinn, Seattle City Hall 7th floor, 600 Fourth Avenue, P.O. Box 94749, Seattle, WA 98124-4749. We also request that you show your support by attending the City Council meeting scheduled for September 20th at 2 PM, at 600 4th Avenue in the Council Chambers, where the council members will vote on this matter.

Thank you for your support!

Museum of History & Industry

2700 24th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112-2099
P: 206.324.1126 Ext. 56 | F: 206.324.1346

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