The Seattle Asian Art Museum, closed since early 2017 for renovations and expansion, will reopen to the public on Feb. 8, 2020.
The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) had originally planned for its Asian Art Museum, located in Volunteer Park, to reopen in November. But that date was pushed back when the museum found that significant work still had to be done on the building’s vintage passenger elevator, according to SAM.
The $56 million project includes a new glass-enclosed park lobby on the east side of the building and a new gallery, education studio, conservation center and community meeting room, among other things. Of the total cost, SAM is on the hook for about $32 million, which the museum says was raised through private support. The City of Seattle, which owns the building, is kicking in $21 million, while the state is giving $1.5 million and King County $1.4 million, according to SAM.
The museum has said it needs to renovate and expand to improve seismic safety (to protect people) and its HVAC system (to protect ancient Asian artworks). A small but vocal opposition group called Protect Volunteer Park had opposed the renovation, particularly the proposal to expand the building’s footprint.
Free tickets for the opening weekend celebration Feb. 8-9 will be available in early December at SAM or online at seattleartmuseum.org.