Foss Waterway Seaport kicks off historic wharf replacement project

Supporters of Foss Waterway Seaport, a maritime heritage, education and activity center, announced yesterday it will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 18 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to kick-off a project to replace its crumbling wharf.

According to Tom Cashman, executive director of the Seaport, wharf replacement will save the building for remodeling and for another century of service as the Foss Waterway Seaport, which will eventually become the US west coast’s largest and most comprehensive maritime heritage, education and activity center and one of Puget Sound’s leading boating destinations.

The Seaport is being developed by a public-private partnership between the Foss Waterway Development Authority, a public agency, and the not-for-profit Foss Waterway Seaport organization, which will lease and redevelop the building. When redeveloped the Seaport will feature an 18,000 sq foot maritime heritage museum, a K-12 year-round marine science laboratory, a heritage boat shop, meeting and conference facilities and more than 1200 linear feet of docks and floats for short-term guest moorage.

The Balfour Dock Building, which has been the home of the Foss Waterway Seaport for the last 11 years, is the oldest remaining intact building linked to the Tacoma’s commercial and industrial maritime founding, and the last surviving segment of what was once a mile-long wheat warehouse. It is located at the birthplace of the Port of Tacoma and near the home of the original Foss Company.

The Seaport is also expected to publicly announce the beginning of a $12 million capital campaign to add funds already raised by the museum, Foss Waterway Development Authority, and the City of Tacoma for the project.

Foss Waterway Seaport Executive Director Tom Cashman. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)