Tacoma, Wash. - The Foss Waterway Seaport announces the historic 113 year-old Balfour Dock Building and Working Waterfront Maritime Museum will open to the general public for the season beginning May 11, 2013.
The museum and building have been closed for ongoing renovation and seismic upgrades. A new 55 foot high glass front has sparked great interest and community attention since its completion last November. Adding to the intrigue of the dramatic glass wall was the continuing emergence of artistic jelly fish hung from 150-foot span rafters.
The all-glass wall of the Balfour Guthrie warehouse building has created a breathtaking space both from outside the building and from inside looking out. Visitors to recent special events held in the building have been mesmerized by the fascinating truss system which supports the 45,000 square foot historic structure and views to the mouth of the Thea Foss Waterway and Vashon Island.
The northern one-third of the building will open for public viewing and will include a number of new and updated exhibits highlighting the history and construction of the building including the historic importance of Tacomas waterfront.
Other exhibits will include a children's learning area where youngsters can build their own truss system, learn to tie knots, and explore sea life below the water in Puget Sound. A number of historic artifacts and pictures will portray the story of the famous "Mosquito Fleet" that used to ply the waters of Commencement Bay and Puget Sound. The continuing importance of worldwide shipping to and from Tacoma will be the focus of an exhibit that lets visitors see in real time the comings and goings of ships in Puget Sound. Other historic exhibits including artifact boats and three classic recreational boats will be on display. These classic boats are just a small part of a 23 boat display on loan by members of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, which will open on June 22nd.
Public hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and special reduced admission pricing will be offered May 11 and 12, 2013.
There is parking adjacent to the Seaport and the scenic outdoor esplanade and public docks are open to walkers.
The Seaport anticipates closing for the winter season in October when the next phase of continuing renovation at the Balfour Dock Building will resume.