Foss Waterway Seaport will officially open its doors for the summer season this weekend with a celebration that includes family-friendly festivities, cake-cutting, live music, the Tacoma Fire Department fire boat, special maritime boats, activities and exhibits, and the firing of cannons.
Located on Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway, Foss Waterway Seaport recently completed a $1.8 million renovation of the last surviving historic Balfour Dock wooden wheat warehouse, which houses the museum. The project was funded by a $750,000 Heritage Capital Projects grant from the Washington State Historical Society, as well as private donations. Olson Kundig Architects, construction firm Jones and Roberts Company, and Foss Waterway Seaport have taken great care to ensure that the exterior walls retain the same appearance as they did when the building was first constructed, according to Foss Waterway Seaport Executive Director Wesley Wenhardt.
“We are so excited to welcome visitors again for the summer, and give them the opportunity to re-connect and re-unite with the Tacoma waterfront, Puget Sound, and to the incredible maritime history of our region,” added Wenhardt.
The inaugural exhibit for the summer season, Peek in our Attic and Share our Dream, will highlight the many historic maritime treasures in the museum’s collection. Throughout summer, themed programs and weekend activities will use those artifacts as touchstones to connect visitors to their shared maritime past — the sailors, ships, rail yards, the workers, and port that shaped the South Sound into the region it is today. A series of family events are scheduled throughout the summer. Science camps will be held in August.
The grand re-opening celebration will be held on Sun., May 18 at 12 p.m. at Foss Waterway Seaport, located at 705 Dock St., in downtown Tacoma. The museum will be open throughout the summer between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sundays. Regular tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children and seniors. In celebration of Museum Week Northwest, a special buy-one-get-one free admission will be offered May 18 through May 23 on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. More information is available online at fosswaterwayseaport.org.
To read the Tacoma Daily Index’s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Foss Waterway Seaport renovation, click on the following links:
- Foss Waterway Seaport reopens May 11 (Tacoma Daily Index, May 2, 2013)
- Preservationists push for regional maritime heritage area designation (Tacoma Daily Index, August 10, 2009)
- Foss Waterway Seaport reports fund-raising success (Tacoma Daily Index, February 7, 2008)
- Milestone for maritime museum (Tacoma Daily Index, October 22, 2007)
- Foss Waterway Seaport kicks off historic wharf replacement project (Tacoma Daily Index, October 17, 2007)
- Foss Waterway Seaport receives two major grants (Tacoma Daily Index, April 30, 2007)
- State Legislature aims to fund several key Tacoma projects (Tacoma Daily Index, April 25, 2007)
- Historic Balfour Dock wharf received funds for improvements (Tacoma Daily Index, April 12, 2007)
- Creating a maritime haven: Foss Waterway Seaport moves forward to build its vision of maritime heritage (Tacoma Daily Index, June 16, 2005)