Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fond Farewells to the Elevator Machinery Room

When I talk to Seattle people about my job, one of the first things I get asked is, "Oh! Have you guys moved yet?"

What they mean is "has MOHAI moved to its new location and opened to the public?" but what I hear is "please tell me lots of details about the MOHAI move process" (I'm the worst).

The fact is, there is no one move. Soon after I started, we moved artifacts out of an old storage location and into a new one.  This summer, staff started moving to our new Georgetown facility. The first wave of artifacts soon followed, and are still arriving in batches. Of course artifacts have also been moving to our new building in South Lake Union, and the rest of the staff will move there in about a month.  And yesterday, I moved.

At "old" MOHAI in Montlake, I had my own little office, complete with dim lighting and loud elevator noises. Here is how it looked just before the movers arrived:

And here is my new space:

First off: LIGHT. I brought my whole arsenal of lamps with me from my old office and now they are just lined up helplessly in the corner. Second: WINDOWS. Yeah, ok they aren't to the outside, but no collections person expects that. I have a great view of the hallway and collections storage, and that is a heck of a lot more cheerful than a cinder-block wall. Third: HUMAN INTERACTION. There aren't people visible in the photo, but there are lots around. The rest of my department moved to the new space months ago, and I've been spending a lot of quiet days alone in my old office. I'm looking forward to feeling more connected and not worrying that if I fall asleep at my desk I might get forgotten and locked inside the building. Here, if I fall asleep at my desk, everyone will see and make fun of me (the windows help with that). 


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