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City of Seattle

November 4, 10:44 AM click here to comment > 188

Save Building 30 at Magnuson Park by applying MOHAI money

We recently learned Building 30 at Magnuson Park is at risk. The Fire Department and City building inspectors are restricting its use due to deteriorating conditions. Parks has been scheduling more than 35 events in the building each year. Now, they will be able to only host four.

This is bad news for all the people and activities that have found a home in building 30, including the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale, the Arboretum Foundation Plant Sale and the Best of the Northwest Craft Show, along with more than 30 other events each year.

It’s also bad news for the Parks department. These events generate $121,000 annually, which helps fund critical recreational activities all over Seattle. The loss of this ongoing revenue couldn’t come at a worse time. It will mean even deeper cuts to Parks budget.

But there is a solution. During the debate last month over the City’s deal with MOHAI, Councilmember Licata successfully negotiated a zero interest, $8.5 million, two-year loan from MOHAI. I still think this was a bad deal for Seattle. The City Council gave away way too much to MOHAI: $47 million from the sale of Parks property, along with a commitment for a $300,000 annual subsidy payment to the museum.

Councilmember Licata’s loan concession does give us an opportunity to make a smart investment with this $8.5 million loan that will actually pay us dividends for many years to come. Parks estimates that, for $8.5 million, they can renovate building 30 to keep the hangar open for community events and can renovate the west wing for artist work space.

This will bring in almost half a million dollars in annual revenue to Parks that they would not otherwise have. It will protect the $121,000 in event space rentals and will generate an additional $350,000 from work space rentals in the west wing. That’s a pretty good return.

This type of sustainable investment is a responsible use of these funds. For starters, profits made from the sale of Parks property, should be reinvested in Parks – not used to fund other City services. We should also resist the temptation to use one-time loan funds to restore programs that require ongoing revenue. This investment helps preserve Park assets and Parks funding, and will be a sustainable asset.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn


Comment from Jensi Albright
Time November 9, 2010 at 10:42 am

Dear Mayor McGinn,
As one of the organizers of the annual Seattle Century bicycle ride (a gourmet celebration by bike of the wonders that the Seattle Metro area offers), our start and finish line at Building 30 in Magnuson Park has been a key element to the Seattle Century’s growth and success – we are very grateful for its existence and to have access to it. What a treasure for Seattle to have such a versatile public event space centrally located that is so easily and safely accessible by bike via the Burke Gilman Trail. It is a rare thing to find a great venue so accessible and affordable with adequate facilities – bathrooms, parking, electricity and water. We are another of the many many diverse events who have found a great home in and around Building 30 at Magnuson Park and we’re so saddened by the prospect of losing it. Of course, we’ll figure out alternative venues for our event but what a loss for all of the community for so many community events – how many venues have sported such a wonderful mix of events? This is a living and useful piece of Seattle’s public history and present, I hope that it can be recognized and maintained as the gem it is and a great model for how to functionally preserve historic public spaces. It seems like a wise investment – it receives thousands of dollars per event in rental revenues and provides a much needed accessible public event venue. As a member of the public and also as a rentals-paying customer of the space, I highly encourage the investment in the upgrades to Hangar 30 with the MOHAI funds.

Comment from Joe Mills
Time November 9, 2010 at 11:28 am

As a big fan of the Friends of the Library book sale, I completely support the Mayor in his effort to save Building 30.

Comment from Marty Herbert
Time November 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I approve of McGinn’s funding plan for Building 30 in Magnuson Park. It’s a valuable resource for the community.

Comment from Mark Drummond
Time November 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I fully support the use of funds to renovate Bldg 30. Thank you for proposing to do so.

Comment from Kathy Teufel
Time November 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Hangar 30 is a valuable space for many community groups (including the Friends of The Seattle Public Library and Washington State Obedience Training Club) with an excellent central location. Please allocate funds to put Hangar 30 up to code.Thank you.

Comment from Tom B.
Time November 9, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Building 30 clearly offers a much needed facility for the local community. Mayor McGinn’s thoughtful funding plan makes sense for the city. Please continue to fight for its approval!

Comment from P. Omar Manuelian
Time November 9, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Use the available MOHAI funds, raise the rental fees by the current rate of inflation (1.5%), and you will have, to paraphrase you, a smart investment that will pay dividends for many years to come. The benefit to the city is not only in the rental fee, but in the value-added of the sales and money spent by Seattleites in all the events and organizations that use Building 30 for the benefit of the civic order.

Comment from Laurie Amster-Burton
Time November 10, 2010 at 5:28 am

I strongly support this plan to renovate Building 30, allowing its continued use by community groups and providing much-needed income to Seattle Parks.

Comment from Judy Davenport
Time November 10, 2010 at 7:24 am

We can not loose Bldg 30 at Magnuson Park it is a vital gathering place for community based events. I fully support,urge, beg and plead for the renovation of Bldg 30.

Comment from Dennis Eros
Time November 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Copy of email to Seattle City Consel: “The City of Seattle has decided to close Hangar 30 to all uses except the Tennis Club, daily use, and 4 other favorite events per year.
Right now there are about 30 other users who will be locked out. I have invested nearly $250,000 over the last 7 years to promote the Sand Point Antique & Design Market at the park. It is now suggested that I can no longer use Hangar 30 because of a long standing hissy fit between DPD, the fire marshal and the park. I am caught in the firestorm.
I am retired and live on less than $1,300 a month SS. I gross about $100,000 from my promotion of the first viable antique show in Seattle’s history.
If I cannot continue to use the hangar I will be forced into bankruptcy.
I also think the decision to limit use of the hangar to certain favorites and not others might be actionable. I am not advocating for the closure of the hangar, I just want to be one of the persons on the favorite list.
Please advise you thoughts.”
Dennis Eros

Comment from Marilyn Sandall
Time November 10, 2010 at 1:12 pm

If Building 30 at Magnuson Park is renovated, it will generate revenue to Seattle while providing a home and venue for the arts, for cultural events and for community groups. As a member of the Magnuson Park Advisory Committee, I urge you to use the MOHAI funds to renovate Bldg. 30.

Comment from James H. Roll
Time November 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm

If the Council supports Mayor McGinn’s proposal, in ten years Seattle will still be renting out space in Building 30, the Parks Department will be collecting rent, and more than thirty organizations which work for issues that benefit the entire city will have a home. If the Council does not support the plan, in ten years the city will own a large, unused building which generates no income, and thirty organization which work for the benefit of the city will be floundering.

If the MOHAI money is used to improve Building 30, in ten years the people of Seattle will be able to point to a long lasting benefit the money gave the city.

Comment from Gina
Time November 10, 2010 at 8:01 pm

As a member of several organizations that hold big events there, I urge you to use the MOHAI funds to renovate Bldg. 30.

Comment from Margeaux Fox
Time November 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

Mr. Mayor and citizens of Seattle; as a college student and a young women from a near by town, I can’t tell you how useful and important public libraries are for my generation. Though they are not as heavily used as in the past – and this is due to a variety of reasons – they still serve an increasingly important function in our society. The budget cuts, which reduce the hours the library is open contribute to this attitude of disuse; when the library is only open during the hours we are in school it does not seem like a practical or useful tool. I know that people want to be able to use the library and take advantage of its resources, so what we need to do is stop slashing after school hours and the safe, educational environment the libraries crate. Instead we need to increase funding and restore the libraries to a fully functioning and realistically usable entity.
Thank you for your attention to this issue, and for your time.

Comment from Elizabeth Elsenboss
Time November 11, 2010 at 11:41 am

After reading many of the letters concerning the closing of Hangar 30 I see that this problem has been an ongoing situation for many years. I recently moved to Seattle from CT and my first question is: Why was it that when the budgets were not so tight as they are now the money to make these necessary repairs were not used. Now, when communities/organizations(FOL) need this building for very necessary fund raising it is a do-or-die closing. How can a city the size of Seatle allow this to happen. People are willing to volunteer many hours of both time and labor for these fundraisers but they need a place to hold their events. Do whatever is necessary to get this building in the proper shape. Another question I have is:Why is it okay for some organizations to use it BUT for others it is ‘unsafe’.

Comment from Cheryl in Ballard
Time November 12, 2010 at 8:19 am

I support Mayor McGinn’s plan and am happy that someone in Seattle City government is looking at this issue in a way that both preserves the function of these buildings AND is using funds that are already available.
As a friend of the Seattle Public Library and a volunteer at their book sales, I look forward to using Building 30 for years to come. Thanks!

Comment from Gene
Time November 12, 2010 at 9:47 am

Use the MOHAI funds to renovate Bldg. 30. Keep this multi use venue open and public. It’s the right thing to do.

Comment from Kris Lambright
Time November 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I fully support allocating funds to get Bldg 30 up to code so that the FOL can continue to use this site. The FOL book sale is great asset to the community. It would be a shame to have to move it as no comparable alternatvie site has been located.

Comment from maryellen healy
Time November 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Let’s keep the good stuff, like Hangar 30, and it sounds like a plan is already in place that benefits the parks as well. The Friends of the Library book sale is a cultural event, a priceless event that’s at the heart of literate Seattle.

Comment from Paul
Time November 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

As an avid participant in the library’s book sale, you should make the necessary repairs to the hanger. Since we are already cutting funds to organizations, I think we should at least give them a place to rise their own money and continue to keep the city vibrant.

Comment from Gretchen Bishay
Time November 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Please save building 30. It is a terrific resource for so many groups occasional, large events. I don’t see how it and its copious parking could be found anywhere else in the city. In fact I am surprised it hasn’t been renovated already to better serve existing and additional types of events. I’ve been volunteering at the semi-annual book sale most of the 12 years I have lived here. I often wonder how the books stay dry.

Comment from Gavin Wild
Time November 14, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Dear Mayor McGinn,
I support your initiative to renew this sustainable asset in the way you are proposing, it is a very unique approach and will be a good example for other projects to go by.
I am invited annually to contribute to an organisation that uses the facilities in Hangar 30 for three weeks, every year I travel from Australia to participate in the activities, I have enjoyed this very much and would like to call Seattle home one day as the people and places like this of Seattle are really wonderful and you should be all proud of your community. It’s like a universal principle between artists that work and need spaces like this for everybody to benefit in so many ways, not just financially but for the community more importantly.
Thank you and I hope to enjoy Seattle and Magnuson park for years to come.

Gavin Wild

Comment from Sarah Tegue
Time November 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm

As a member of the steering committee for the King County Construction Career Day, which for two years now has used this hanger to house the main part of our event, I would like to strongly encourage taking action to save this hangar. Our event is free to all schools in King County, and we introduce more than 800 students to well-paying, highly satisfying jobs in the construction industry. We hope to be able to use this hangar for years to come, to help show the future leaders of our country how important the construction industry is. As the aging construction workforce begins to retire, we will have to fight to find capable, educated, skilled workers to build our buildings, roads, bridges, and high-rises. Please save this hangar and help this park continue to support programs like ours. Thank you.

Comment from Jill
Time November 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I support using funds for updating Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park to make it possible to hold such important community events like the Friends of the Library Book Sale!

Comment from P. Tymas
Time November 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm

As a volunteer and lover of books, the Friends of the King County Library needs the building to hold their annual fund-raising events which draws thousands of people from all over. Please make every effort you can to see that we have funds to bring the building up to code. Many other entities use the building and it would be a huge undertaking to find someplace else to house the many events.

Comment from Silja Griffin
Time November 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm

The Library Sale at Magnuson Park must be saved. For our city’s readers of all ages, it’s a much anticipated event. I fully support the Mayor’s plan.

Comment from Bill Andersen
Time November 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for your support of Hangar 30, especially its use for the twice-yearly book sale, an iimportant community event at many levels.

Comment from Julia Deak
Time November 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I support your plan to use this loan to renovate Hangar 30. Losing the annual library book sale would be another step backwards in terms of keeping libraries open. Our city needs libraries and the educational opportunities they provide. Thank you for working to support them, and taking steps to assist private citizens who are also supporting them.

Comment from Brian Goetschius
Time November 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm


My wife and I are life members of FOL and for years have worked with Tim Clifford, a previous
responder. I fully agree with Mr. Clifford that saving Hanger 30 is a rare opportunity for Seattle to have at its disposal, a fine multi-use facility for all the events that take place every year. If you have never been to a booksale, you really must. It is a real sight to see the hanger filled with tables of books and
families buying boxes brimming with books.
It is a wonderful place that Seattle can’t afford to lose.

Comment from Marie
Time December 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Please, Oh Please Save building 30!

Comment from Harriett Cody & Harvey Sadis
Time December 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm

We are members of the Friends of the Seattle Public Library, long-time participants in the semi-annual book sale, all managed and run by dedicated volunteers for the benefit of the Library. We urge you to support funding for bringing Building 30 at Magnuson Park, so that it can continue to be available for these wonderful non-profit community groups for the benefit of the SPL — as well as many other groups which rely on this space for their annual non-profit fundraising events. Thank you.

Comment from Herbert Sauro
Time December 11, 2010 at 8:09 am

The book sale is a wonderful local event, and a valuable resource for the community. It is unique in that it attracts all ages. Please do whatever is necessary to ensure it will continue. My family attends events at building 30 every year.

Comment from George from Shoreline
Time December 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm

As an educator, I admit that I like books, and books are the “food of the soul” (paper….rather than electronic…. books). So, I strongly support reading and absorption of knowledge and learning….and any strong means to support these. In the present economic climate, it may be remarked that some prominent politicians know the cost of everything, and the value of nothing (as was said famously about Ronald Reagan’s former Budget Director). So how about replacing the Alaska Way Viaduct with a much more durable version, a much cheaper and safer alternative than the tunnel proposed for building on unstable fill soil…and use part of the savings to support unemployed or destitute poor people, and to refurbish Building 30 at Magnuson Park?

Comment from Debra Borchert
Time December 22, 2010 at 11:53 am

I fully support using the funds for renovating Building 30 in Magnuson Park as well as some of the other facilities. These are revenue generating properties and we are better off as a community for having those assets available for public use. I urge you to find a way to keep these properties available to the public.

Comment from Brian from Greenwood
Time January 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Bldg 30 is a perfect use of the money.

Comment from L Barina
Time January 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Please allocate a portion of our public funds to renovating building 30. Among other uses, this building is used to house the biannual Seattle Public Library book sale. This event not only provides a forum for like minded readers and collectors but also helps to provide students and people at all income levels inexpensively priced books and therefore knowledge that in turn helps to educate and enrich our community. The profits provided by this book sale then further this community educational imperative by reinvesting the proceeds in our public libraries, which also provide a haven for many and make knowledge and information accesible to everyone.

Comment from Jennifer Meredith
Time January 30, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I strongly support this plan to renovate Building 30, allowing its continued use by community groups and providing much-needed income to Seattle Parks.

Comment from Jay Salmon
Time April 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

I support the renovation of Building 30. This is well worth it, and a great public benefit.