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He's not the only one thinking about dunking the Globe. Historian Paul Dorpat weighs in with his own water solution. "Might we give the P-I Globe an impervious shrink-wrap and lower it to the floor of Puget Sound? I recommend somewhere below the line that Washington State Ferries take between Seattle and Bremerton on the good chance that commuter submarines will eventually take over much of that traffic traveling at business class speeds that would be too disruptive to Bainbridge Island shorelines if permitted on the surface. I expect that these subs will be equipped with windows and seabed illumination too. Because of its size, approaching and passing the P-I Globe at atomic sub speeds would be, well, awesome." Yes, and it would create an audience for underwater billboards.
Back on the surface, Historic Seattle's Eugenia Woo thinks it ought to be on top of a building "so it can be viewed better and spin as it was meant to do." It would also keep it out of reach of vandals. Certainly the scribes at Hearst's seattlepi.com would feel comforted having it overhead wherever they are working.
One building top to consider is its original home. Architect and preservation consultant Larry Johnson, who recently helped get landmark designations for Ballard's Carnegie Library and the Neptune Theater, thinks the Globe really ought to go back to the P-I's old headquarters at Sixth and Wall (currently occupied by City University). While that building has undergone some exterior changes, it retains its basic shape and some of its 1940s Moderne feel. The pedestal that once held the Globe is still empty.
According to the Globe's landmarks nomination, the building was designed without a final decision about the signage. The P-I invited the public to send in suggestions. They included a concept from a University of Washington student named Jack Corsaw who suggested a curved map of the world marked with flashing lines of light to indicate where news was happening. That apparently inspired the P-I's design staff, who turned that map into the Globe and added the P-I slogan and the giant eagle on top — a sign of Seattle's (and the P-I's) global ambitions and national purpose. The steel Globe was fabricated by Pacific Car and Foundry's Structural Steel Division, the outfit that later erected the Space Needle.
Leonard Garfield wants to get the public's input, so consider this an opening to begin thinking about where the Globe ought to go. Seattle often turns to the public to weigh in, not just on tunnels and stadiums. A public contest came up with the nickname "The Emerald City" in the early 1980s, and just this fall, the Space Needle asked the public to submit concepts for painting the Needle's top and vote on the finalists. (Disclosure: I helped pick the finalists.) As a result, the Needle top is being painted in the pattern of a green forest.
Garfield lays out a few simple considerations for prospective locations.
First, he says, issues of feasibility and affordability are, obviously, paramount.
Second, Garfield says MOHAI would want the Globe to remain in the public landscape, prominently sited in public view.
Third, it has to be some place where ongoing stewardship can be ensured, meaning it has to be accessible, not threatened by too much wear and tear or vandals. Putting it at the bottom of Elliott Bay or using it as a pontoon might be a tad problematic.
Likely, the location will require someone to partner with MOHAI, such as the city, a developer, a park, a business or some other institution (how would it look atop the Gates Foundation?). Finding the right partner will be a factor in a final location.
And this being Seattle, Garfield says, it would be nice to have some fun. Herschensohn jokes that "it might be a kitchy addition to the Space Needle, but I'd have to oppose its relocation as President of the Queen Anne Historical Society." Still, the Globe has the capacity to make people smile, and it would be nice to keep that going.
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