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Filed under: Satire

Prank sign: WaMu Center will be turned into condos
by Monica Guzman
September 29, 2008

Update: We’ve got a picture of the pranksters. See below.

A reader this morning sent me a link to pictures of what appears to be a land-use notice posted on the side of the downtown WaMu Center.

The notice says the 42-story skyscraper recently acquired by JPMorgan Chase will be turned into “approximately 350 condominium units” and that the “connected museum complex,” a.k.a., the Seattle Art Museum, “will be demolished to clear space for a future parking garage development with capacity for an additional 563 vehicles.”

The sign looks pretty real (take a closer look below). But don’t panic. It isn’t.

A search for the posted project number on the Seattle Department of Planning and Development site this morning turned up nothing. The public comment date is suspiciously short. And on top of that, the paper looks a little too flimsy — like it just came out of a printer and couldn’t survive more than a couple hours of Seattle drizzle.

When I wrote to the reader saying the sign might be a hoax, he replied, “It is indeed a hoax.” I asked if it’s his hoax. He said it was:

It is mine. I knew it wouldn’t last long up there, so I don’t feel too bad about a little promotion.


It went up about 10:00 PM yesterday night. I expected security to come take care of it pretty quickly but as they did their rounds they simply read it, assumed it was supposed to be there and moved on. It was up until at least midnight, i have no idea how long it stayed after that.

Before I got this apparent confession, I left messages with the planning department, the Seattle Art Museum and JPMorgan Chase asking about the sign. I’ll update with more if and once I get it.

A reader e-mailed this close-up of the fake land-use sign posted on a wall of the downtown WaMu Center.

Update, 3 p.m.: A Seattle woman named Tamara Weikel tells me she happened to be walking by the WaMu Center Sunday night when she saw not one but two people putting up this sign.

Weikel is the woman in the picture above. And she took this picture of the pranksters, whose faces she obscured with a little red-eye retouching.