Milestones in fundraising, construction at Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum officials raised the final steel beam into place Wednesday afternoon for their building expansion as part of the upcoming Haub Family Galleries. As is building tradition, the beam, signed by supporters of the museum and community members, was adorned with a tree and American and Washington State flags and then lifted high into the web of steel structures that have taken shape on Pacific Avenue.

The event also marked an important fundraising milestone as museum officials announced they had raised more than $15.5 million toward the expansion project.

Construction began on Tacoma Art Museum’s building expansion on Nov. 4. Since then, the site has been transformed and the shape of the Haub Family Galleries can finally be seen. The new wing will provide a home for the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art, double the museum’s gallery space, provide greater art experiences for visitors, and increase the museum’s presence in downtown Tacoma. The anticipated opening for the building expansion and its new galleries is late Fall 2014.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a few months since we broke ground here,” said Tacoma Art Museum Director Stephanie A. Stebich. “Seeing the Haub Family Galleries and our building expansion become a reality is incredible. We can’t wait for its completion so we can share it with the community.”

The building expansion project’s team includes Olson Kundig Architects, Murase Associates, Sellen Construction, and Bonewitz Project Leadership.

When completed, the project will create a welcoming lobby and more than double the space to display art. It will also include a new family interactive gallery, a sculpture hall, and a visitor orientation room. Changes to the existing museum will include a new entrance from the parking level, new windows that provide a better view of the activities inside the museum, a faster elevator from the parking level, and enhancements to the cafe and museum store. The museum’s Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Plaza will also be transformed with a tall, gracious canopy that will arch over both the existing museum and the new wing. Outdoor art installations will be woven into the areas surrounding the museum.

“Our family is so honored to be able to bring Western American art to Tacoma and to share it with you,” said Liliane Haub, who was at the event representing the Haub Family, whose donations have helped make the building expansion and the Haub Family Galleries a reality. “We are making a home away from home for the art collection.”

The Haub Family’s donation of approximately 280 works of Western American art, announced in July 2012, will transform Tacoma Art Museum into one of the leading museums in the country featuring Western American art.

With a drum roll and roaring applause, Tacoma Art Museum raised the final steel beam into place Wednesday afternoon for its building expansion as part of the upcoming Haub Family Galleries. As is building tradition, the beam, signed by supporters of the museum and community members, was adorned with a tree and American and Washington State flags and then lifted high into the web of steel structures that have taken shape on Pacific Avenue. (PHOTO COURTESY TACOMA ART MUSEUM)

With a drum roll and roaring applause, Tacoma Art Museum raised the final steel beam into place Wednesday afternoon for its building expansion as part of the upcoming Haub Family Galleries. As is building tradition, the beam, signed by supporters of the museum and community members, was adorned with a tree and American and Washington State flags and then lifted high into the web of steel structures that have taken shape on Pacific Avenue. (PHOTO COURTESY TACOMA ART MUSEUM)

To read the Tacoma Daily Index’s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Tacoma Art Museum’s expansion project, click on the following links: