Metro Parks is proposing a substantial new building in Wright Park in association with much needed renovations to the W.W. Seymour Conservatory. A public meeting to discuss the proposed building design will be held this Thursday (Jan. 21st) at 6 pm at Metro Parks Headquarters at 4702 South 19th Street. Historic Tacoma urges you to attend this public meeting and voice your concerns. You can find out more about the proposed designs here.
While we have applauded Metro Parks for recent improvements, such as restoring much of the original landscape design, renovating the restrooms, removing the old wading pool and building and adding a very popular water feature, Historic Tacoma has concerns about further reducing park space by adding a large new building. The Seymour Conservatory certainly needs accessible bathrooms and storage space, but meeting these needs does not require a large building. Not only is the conservatory a designated city landmark but the park itself is also a designated landmark. Instead of jumping immediately to four variations of a large new building adjacent to the conservatory, we believe that Metro Parks should consider a broader range of alternatives. For example, what is now the Park Operations building, originally was designed as a community space, could be expanded down or up to provide meeting space. Or, can Metro Parks consider partnering with the Karpeles Manuscript Museum almost directly across S. G St. from the conservatory for space? We simply think that taking valuable park space in this small, urban park for more large buildings without considering more alternatives is not the way to go.