Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hearst, Please Save the Seattle P-I Globe

I worked at the Seattle P-I, first as a reviewer who dashed from the theater and raced to the P-I building, then on Wall Street, as the first edition presses were rumbling. Anyone entering the building passed under the spinning P-I Globe, an Earth ball topped by a giant eagle aglow with neon and the spinning words, "It's in the P-I." Entering that place on deadline, I felt like Jimmy Olson about to see a guy in a cape fly skyward. The globe wasn't fine art but it was a visual treat, especially then when it faced the giant pink creature of the Elephant Car Wash.

When the P-I gave up its Sunday edition, then its building, and move to rented waterfront offices as part of a doomed marriage with the Seattle Times, the globe move too, placed atop the rental offices.

Today, the Times reports Hearst's lease at its offices is about to expire and the fate of the globe is uncertain. Three former city council members are moving to grant landmark status to the fixture so it remains on public view. I prefer the present location, though it could go to South Lake Union and the Museum of History and Industry, run by the capable Leonard Garfield.

In the pantheon of Seattle icons, the globe is not the Space Needle. It occupies a second rank. But it is a magnificent work of neon and always fun to see. It deserves an elevated location where it can be seen from afar, which is why the waterfront is my preferred spot, perfect at night as your ride a ferry into downtown Seattle.

You don't need to know its history or even read a newspaper to appreciate a fixture that gives a jolt of fun to a city's landscape.

1 comment:

  1. I agree Casey. I live in West Seattle and I feel the globe should remain as part of the skyline, not banished to a museum. Art should be in our environment for all to enjoy. What can we do to prevent it from being packed away...? Let's get some help from Paul Allen...?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.