Crews are at work this week removing the old wharf at the Foss Waterway’s historic Balfour Dock – soon to be known as the Foss Waterway Seaport, a museum and waterfont activity center celebrating Tacoma’s maritime heritage.
The project is no longer called the Working Waterfront Museum, but the museum’s focus will still remain the industrial and commercial history of Tacoma’s waterfront.
Seaport backers told the ed board today their first-phase fund drive will hit $3.8 million by year’s end; the goal was $3.7 million. Public funding obtained by the Foss Waterway Development Authority, owner of the dock, adds another $7.8 million. “The project has great momentum,” FWDA director Don Meyer said.
A second-phase campaign headed by board member Luke Curtis aims to raise $14.2 million in hopes of opening a completed Balfour museum building by April 2010. Seaport Director Tom Cashman says some exhibits may open in the north part of the 1900-vintage building sooner than that.
Meyer was particularly happy to report that temporary moorage will be installed in front of the buillding in time for the Tall Ships Festival next summer. By 2010, however, 1,200 feet of permanent and publicly accessible moorage should run from the Seaport to Thea’s Park at the mouth of the waterway.
The grand dream: By 2015, the public will be able to stroll on the waterway’s edge from Thea’s Park all the way to the head of the waterway.
The work now underway involves stabilizing the building, making seismic and fie-code improvements and installing a new roof. But structurally, the old, heavy-timbered building is in great shape, Meyer said.