Landslide2008: Marvels of Modernism
Courtesy Brice Maryman


The Fair’s landscape and its buildings have gone through several periods of neglect and revitalization in their four decades of existence. In 2008, the Seattle City Council and Mayor’s office approved the Century 21 Master Plan. While the Science Pavilion was designed as one of the Fair’s major landmarks, the renovation plan calls for the removal of the original campus axis/walkway that connects the Pacific Science Center courtyard with the rest of the campus. Removal of the original circulation path will not only affect Seattle Center visitors’ access to the Pacific Science Center and its courtyard, but it will change the historic relation of the pavilion to the entire campus.

While the pavilion is located within the City-owned Seattle Center and has been occupied by the Pacific Science Center since the 1960s, it has been under continuous ownership of the Federal government since its construction. Within the last several years, the Pacific Science Center purchased the buildings and property and undertook strategic planning for the site. Initial plans suggest that the organization intends to demolish several of the original Yamasaki-designed structures to increase the open space on the site and to update the facilities. While key architectural elements such as the white arches would remain, such dramatic changes to the landscape would negatively impact the site’s historic design integrity. Moreover, the renovation plans are not subject to the same review process as the City-owned Seattle Center campus because the pavilion site is under private ownership.

back | next


List of Marvels

Boston City Hall Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

Estates Drive Reservoir
Oakland, California

Heritage Plaza
Heritage Park
Fort Worth, Texas

Kaiser Roof Garden
Kaiser Center
Oakland, California

Lake Elizabeth
Allegheny Commons
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Manhattan Square Park
Rochester, New York

Mill Creek Canyon

Kent, Washington

Miller Garden
Columbus, Indiana

El Monte
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico

Pacific Science
Center Courtyard

Seattle, Washington

San Francisco, California

Peavey Plaza
Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota

education partners
Garden DesignGeorge Eastman House
Additional Sponsors

American Society of Landscape Architects’ Indiana, Pennsylvania/Delaware, Minnesota, Northern California, Texas, Upstate New York, and Washington Chapters • Astorino • Charles Butt • Design Within Reach • Topher Delaney • Sandy Donnell & Justin Faggioli • Fathom • Tom Fox • Hillman Foundation • Indianapolis Museum of Art • Lorraine Osmundson • Richard T. Murphy • National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast, Southwest, and Western Offices- with funds from the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation of New York, Dodge Jones Foundation Intervention Fund, and Eastern Massachusetts Preservation Fund • James Richards • Seibert & Rice • Diana & Bruce Shuman • Ann Stack • SWA Group • TBG Partners • Michal and Jeffrey William Tincup • Unilock Inc. • The Woltz Charitable Trust