Seattle museum opens Saturday at new site (gallery)

SEATTLE — Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry officially opens Saturday at its new location in the city’s booming South Lake Union neighborhood.

The $90 million facility in the refurbished Naval Reserve Armory gives the museum 50,000 square feet of exhibit space and moves it from a largely hidden home in a Montlake park to one of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods.

The museum was established by a nonprofit historic association in 1952.

Opened in the first year of World War II, the armory hosted military training activities on a pier over Lake Union’s southern shore. The U.S. Navy transferred ownership of the Naval Reserve Armory to the city of Seattle in 2000.

In 2009, the city reached an agreement with the museum to relocate it.

Some familiar pieces will be on display in the new museum, which features four towers of artifacts circling an atrium: the red neon Rainier Beer “R” and the 1919 Boeing B-1 floatplane that carried airmail between Seattle and Victoria.

The museum has also added some items that have been in storage for decades, including an ornate, life-size ceremonial dance figure donated to the museum in the 1950s by the people of Kyoto, Japan.

Last year, Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos donated $10 million to the museum for a new exhibit focusing on Seattle’s history as a center for industrial innovation, dating back to Henry Yesler’s steam-powered sawmill.

It marked the largest donation in the museum’s history.

The grand opening kicks off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by performances from a poet and local musicians throughout the day. Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in activities, such as Salish weaving demonstrations, print making, and a build-your-own periscope project sponsored by the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society.

More in Local News

Woman badly burned in north Everett house fire

Two men escaped unharmed from the burning home on Lombard Avenue.

House passes ban on bump-fire stocks

If the Senate approves, Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign it into law.

Man charged with rape, manslaughter of teen dying from overdose

Brian Roberto Varela’s arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

Unitarian Universalist Congregation puts faith to work

Its “religiously liberal” members are open to differing creeds and doctrines.

Aid crews get a dose of digital medicine

iPad app does the math for them so aid crews are free to treat children

Boy, 15, pleads guilty to kicking death of teen in Marysville

Prosecutors are seeking 30 days behind bars, which is the higher end of what’s allowed for minors.

No injuries after fire ravages vacant Marysville house

Firefighters could not prevent flames from causing damage throughout the interior of the home.

Spikes put end to ride from Seattle to Everett in stolen car

Two men were taken into custody at the bottom of Marine View Drive off I-5.

2 arrested after Marysville shooting leaves man brain dead

The victim had shown 1 suspect — a friend — a stack of money he won at the casino, police said.

Most Read