Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Petition to save PI globe

According to to an article on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (PI) website, the end of the newspaper's published edition seems to be approaching.

Oddly enough, I have to come to accept this. It is with a heavy heart that I have come to realize that this may be what is necessary to save Seattle's other daily newspaper, The Seattle Times.

Once a staunch supporter of a two newspaper town, the thought of a "no newspaper town" is far scarier to me than losing the PI. However, the real reason for this post is my concern over an important Seattle landmark.

The 30-foot steel globe atop the PI headquarters has come to symbolize more than a Seattle institution. I have heard reporters of the PI speak of the globe as a reminder to them about their journalistic ethics. The strong eagle figure being symbol of honesty, integrity, etc.

Personally, I view it as a important piece of local history, made even more significant by the potential closure of the 146-year-old paper. It's glorious glow can be seen far out into Eliot Bay and down the South slope of Queen Anne.

Until 1986, when the PI relocated, it was also perched atop the newspaper's building at Sixth Avenue and Wall Street near the Seattle Center. In a town where many historical landmarks have fallen to make way for condos and skyscrapers, this is one landmark I believe is worth saving.

A history of the globe can be found on the PI website. It includes example of how the globe reflects the life and times of Seattlites:
The globe, which uses about 38 kilowatts per hour when fully lit, has been turned off several times during power shortages.
The globe now rests on a pyramidal base conceived by Seattle artist Clair Colquitt, who felt the base should serve as an aesthetic transition between the modern office building and the whimsical neon symbol.
So, here's my plan. Admittedly, I should probably call the PI, the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) or the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) first before putting this out there in cyberspace. However, I will have to pass that baton onto one of my dear readers. The best I can do is an online petition to the Hearst Corp.

Should the PI shutter its operations and close for good, I would like to see the globe donated to a local nonprofit capable of caring for it, such as MOHAI or the SAM.

SAM's Sculpture Park for example is just down the street from the globe's current location and if it was properly placed on a pillar or platform it would be a nice attraction.

Likewise, MOHAI would be a perfect custodian of this Seattle landmark. The goal of the organization is to preserve such artifacts. Their lack-luster nondescript building in the Montlake area could use a show-stopping stunner like the PI globe. At least people like myself could drive by from time to time to soak our wounds regarding the closure of the PI.

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