Seattle Center

Seattle Center

Seattle Center is a fairground, park and arts and entertainment center in Seattle, Washington. The 74 acre campus is the site used in 1962 by the Century 21 Exposition. It is located just north of Belltown in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood.


*The International Fountain: located in the middle of the campus, the fountain operates all year round. Built for the 1962 World's Fair, the fountain was built as a modernist water sculpture. With over 20 Spouts, the fountain goes through programmed cycles of shooting water patterns, accompanied by recorded world music. The music is changed every month, and chosen to coordinate with the water patterns.
*The Space Needle, an official city landmark [ Landmarks Alphabetical Listing for S] , Individual Landmarks, City of Seattle. Accessed 28 December 2007.]
*Seattle Center Monorail terminus
*Center House (formerly known as the Food Circus). This includes the Center House Theater, home to Seattle Shakespeare Company and Book-It Repertory Theatre, as well as the Children's Museum and The Center High School. Before the World's Fair, the building was an armory. Center House is an official city landmark.
*The Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
*The Fisher Pavilion
*The Fun Forest amusement park
*The Kobe Bell, an official city landmark [ [ Landmarks Alphabetical Listing for K] , Individual Landmarks, City of Seattle. Accessed 28 December 2007]
*The Mercer Arena
*The outdoor Mural Amphitheater, featuring a mosaic mural by Paul Horiuchi: the Horiuchi Mural is an official city landmark [ [ Landmarks Alphabetical Listing for H] , Individual Landmarks, City of Seattle. Accessed 28 December 2007] .
*The Northwest Rooms, a small conference center
*The Pacific Science Center, home of the Boeing IMAX Theater, Eames IMAX Theater, and Seattle Laser Dome
*The Seattle Center Pavilion

Performing Arts

*Seattle Repertory Theatre, home of the Bagley Wright Theatre, the Leo Kreielsheimer Theatre, and the PONCHO Forum
*Center House Theater, home of the Seattle Shakespeare Company and Book-it Repertory
*Theatre Puget Sound
*The Center School
*The Intiman Playhouse, home of the Intiman theater company
*McCaw Hall, home of the Seattle Opera and shared as a performance space with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, whose ballet school is adjacent. This is the third performance space on this site, the second being the Opera House built at the time of the World's Fair.
*The Seattle Children's Theatre
*The Vera Project (or VERA)


. KeyArena is a rebuilt version of what was once the Coliseum.
*Memorial Stadium, a high school football and soccer stadium, which predates the World's Fair.


Seattle Center hosts many cultural, music and arts festivals. Major attractions include:
*Festál, a year long series of world cultural events.
*Seattle International Children's Festival
*Northwest Folklife
*Bite of Seattle


Winterfest runs from the day after Thanksgiving to Jan 1. It is an annual celebration including ice skating, artistic and cultural performances, concerts, student showcases from area schools, storytelling, exhibits and movies. Winterfest also includes the Seattle trademark miniature train and village and New Year's Eve concert.

Winterfest includes several collections of performances, such as:
*"Winter Worldfest": A festival within a festival, represting cultural traditions
*"Worlds of Storytelling": storytelling, puppet shows for children and adults
*"Winter Solstice Celebration": a sunset extravaganza celebrating the winter solstice
*"Peace on Earth": an interfaith celebration

Other events include
*Circus Contraption and the Aerialistas, performance troupe
*Seattle's Best Jazz
*Womanipura, fire dancing troupe
*Magic Mystery Show
*Lelavision, modern and aerial dance

College Performance Series

The College Performance Series premiered in the 2007 Winterfest. It features outstanding performing arts groups of Washington state colleges and universities. The project allows high-level college performers to contribute to the celebration, and to showcase the state's university community during the winter season.

Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award

Every year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Seattle Center awards three youth peace awards to three individuals or organizations. These awards have become an honor of Seattle, and are heavily applied for. The award, along with $100, recognize outstanding youth and youth organizations who promote community, peace, leadership, justice and civil rights in the spirit of the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. Nomination forms are distributed to various organizations and schools in Seattle, but anyone can make a nomination. Forms are available at the Seattle Center programs office, and the deadline is usually November 30, for the January MLK Day award.

Future plans

There is a long history of plans for revision of the Seattle Center. In 2007 the 17 member Seattle Center Century 21 Committee appointed to consider potential changes presented a set of four plans.

One controversy has been where to put a replacement for SeaSk8, the skatepark that was demolished for the Gates Foundation headquarters. [Jonah Spangenthal-Lee and Nancy Drew, [ In Other News: Shooting at Sugar, Skatepark at Fun Forest] , "The Stranger", November 22, 2007, p. 10.]


External links

* [ Seattle Center Official Website]
* [ Guide to the Seattle Center Annual Reports 1966-(ongoing)]
* [ Seattle Center Century 21 Committee]
* "Seattle Center", p. 18–24 in [ Survey Report: Comprehensive Inventory of City-Owned Historic Resources, Seattle, Washington] , Department of Neighborhoods (Seattle) Historic Preservation, offers an extremely detailed account of the history of the buildings and grounds.

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