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LeMay car show approaches as museum effort continues

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on July 31, 2007 at 1:07 pm |
July 31, 2007 1:07 pm

For those of you who can’t wait for the LeMay Musuem to open near the Tacoma Dome, you can take a good long look at the collection – of some 800 vintage, classic and specialty automobiles – at the 30th annual LeMay Car Show and Auction on August 25.

The show, which will include hundreds of cars from local collectors, will begin at 9 a.m. at the museum’s current location, Marymount Academy, and at the LeMay family homestead. It’s a fundraiser for the museum, and costs run $10 for adults, $5 for active military and $20 for families. Call 253-536-2885 or visit for more information. Shuttle buses will run from parking areas at nearby churches and schools. Addresses and directions are on the Web site.

As for the effort to build the new museum, CEO David Madeira recently met with The News Tribune editorial board and said he’s looking forward to presenting the latest construction plan to the Tacoma City Council.

He assured us that the museum board is committed to building in Tacoma.

He said the overall new fundraising goal is $143 million, which includes the city’s donation of land, or $125 million without.

"We have 34 percent of the total funding. We may be over $50 million today. To say we’re at $50 million is pretty remarkable progress," he said.

The new, phased construction calls for a collectors’ car center, a storage facility for the LeMay collection, administrative and educational space and an outdoor "showfield" to precede construction of the main pavilion museum. By phasing, Madeira said, the museum would save $3 million to $5 million.

Paul Miller, a board member who also met with the board, said, "If we go back to 1999, and look at what the city funded, it was a 180,000-square-foot box building and a 15-story tower – a $40-million to $80-million black box." Now, he said, plans call for "a $140-million amazing structure. Nobody’s saying we’re not going to build it. We’re staging it differently."

Add to the mix the development of retail in the area. I’m working on a longer story on how that development is progressing, and I’m waiting for some documents from the city. As they say at Jiffy Lube, stay tuned.

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