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P-I globe’s future unclear as staff moves, but MOHAI wants it

The staff of the is moving out of the waterfront building with the iconic spinning globe on its top. It's unclear what will happen to the globe, but at least one Seattle organization is interested in taking control of it.

A spokesman says the PI’s lease is up at the end of this month, so they’ll run the web-only news site from a larger space nearby. 

The website became the last remnants the 146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer when its owner, Hearst Newspapers, ceased printing the paper edition in March 2009. 

The 18-ton globe stands about 30 feet tall and was constructed in the late 1940s. It's future is uncertain. There is a bid to designate it a historical landmark, and the Museum of History and Industry is interested in taking stewardship of it.                  

“The globe is one of those unforgettable images from the time when Seattle was really bursting on the international scene,” says museum director Leonard Garfield of the neon green and blue sphere with red lettering and a soaring eagle on top. “It reflected our notion that we weren’t just a province on the edges of the continent – that we were at the very center of our world. And the globe spinning reminded us of that every single day. So we should keep that on the city landscape.”

He says they’ve expressed their interest in the P-I globe to Hearst, but so far, no agreement has been reached.  He did say that he was not aware of any bid to move it from the building on Elliott Avenue. 

MOHAI, on the other hand, moves to its new location in the South Lake Union Armory Building in November of next year (2012.)


Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to