Seattle City Council, reversing itself, votes against Ballard site for aquarium on December 17, 1971.

  • By Patrick McRoberts
  • Posted 1/01/1999
  • Essay 2174

On December 17, 1971, eight months after voting to approve a site in north Ballard for the new Seattle Aquarium, the Seattle City Council votes to reverse itself and to bar the aquarium from being located there. The Council responds to pressure from an opposition initiative.

The 5-4 vote was an exact mirror image of the vote to approve the site on April 5, 1971. It followed a longstanding, back-and-forth controversy over the site for the new $3 million aquarium, which had been approved by voters as a part of the Forward Thrust proposals on February 13, 1968. The proposed Ballard site was at Meadow Point on Puget Sound, just north of Golden Gardens Park.

The vote was a victory for the Coalition for Open Space Action, which had gathered the required 15,560 valid petition signatures to qualify for submission to the Council.

Mayor Wes Uhlman, although a supporter of the Golden Gardens site, later said he would not veto the measure. The most likely site for the aquarium now appeared to be the central waterfront.


Sam R. Sperry, "Council Votes to Bar Aquarium at Golden Gardens Park Site," The Seattle Times, December 17, 1971, p. A-1; "Aquarium Petition Qualifies," The Seattle Times, December 1, 1971, p. B-8.

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