Historic Hansen Building Gets Seismic Retrofit

The Hansen Building pictured in 2012, photo courtesy of the Lohrers.

After announcing and awarding an unprecedented $28 million investment in King County’s cultural infrastructure last year, we’re excited to see funded projects underway all over the county. Saving Landmarks was a portion of Building for Culture funds specifically dedicated to preserving our region’s invaluable built environment, and last month we saw it in action in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The historic Hansen Building is currently undergoing a seismic retrofit, thanks, in part, to this program.

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The Hansen Building pictured in 2012, photo courtesy of the Lohrers.

After announcing and awarding an unprecedented $28 million investment in King County’s cultural infrastructure last year, we’re excited to see funded projects underway all over the county. Saving Landmarks was a portion of Building for Culture funds specifically dedicated to preserving our region’s invaluable built environment, and last month we saw it in action in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The historic Hansen Building is currently undergoing a seismic retrofit, thanks, in part, to this program.

Built in 1905, the Hansen Building was nominated to the U.S. Department of the Interior National Register in 1976, as a contributing building in the Ballard Avenue Landmark District. Located in old Ballard, on the corner of Ballard Avenue and NW Dock Place, the Hansen Building is privately owned by Roger and Laurie Lohrer, and leased to commercial tenants.

As stewards of the site for the last 18 years, the Lohrers are dedicated to preserving the building and the sense of permanence it brings the community. “Our goal is to preserve its historic character, distinctive features and period-typical craftsmanship” said Laurie Lohrer. “We value our role to preserve this architectural gem. We decided in invest in the voluntary seismic retrofit, as the best, long term way to protect the building, passersby and our tenants. Our thanks goes out to 4Culture and King County for grant funding, to our tenants for their patience and cooperation, our terrific project team—Marpac Construction, SMR Architects and IL Gross Structural Engineers—to the City of Seattle DCI, SDOT, Ballard Avenue Landmark District Board, and Puget Sound Energy, who all helped make our retrofit possible.”

Dock Street Properties LLC PR-16-0795 Hansen 05 Roof Demo for Seismic Ties 092116
Roof demo for seismic ties, September 2016, photo courtesy of Dock Street Properties LLC.

King County's Essential Tools: Equipment Grant Recipients

One of five lawns at the historic Dunn Gardens that will be cared for by a brand new mower. © 2014, courtesy of Dunn Gardens

When you take an art class, see a play, or check out an exhibit, it can be easy to overlook all the tools that go into making those experiences possible—but for the organizations who put them on, equipment is critical. Through our Cultural Equipment grant, we help fund the things that get used day-in and day-out. They’re not always the most glamorous—kiosks, shelving, data servers—but in the hands of King County’s cultural organizations, they make a big impact. We just awarded our 2016 Cultural Equipment grants! Here are a few highlights:

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2015 Centennial video shoot © 2014, courtesy of Dunn Gardens
One of five lawns at the historic Dunn Gardens that will be cared for by a brand new mower. © 2014, courtesy of Dunn Gardens

When you take an art class, see a play, or check out an exhibit, it can be easy to overlook all the tools that go into making those experiences possible—but for the organizations who put them on, equipment is critical. Through our Cultural Equipment grant, we help fund the things that get used day-in and day-out. They’re not always the most glamorous—kiosks, shelving, data servers—but in the hands of King County’s cultural organizations, they make a big impact. We just awarded our 2016 Cultural Equipment grants! Here are a few highlights:

The Arab Center of Washington noticed something missing from their otherwise successful 2015 Arab Festival at Seattle Center: performances by youth. To promote Arab arts among our region’s young people, the ACW has partnered with Waseem Sbait, a local musician, and Laila Taji, a community organizer, to offer classes centered around the derbekkeh, a durable and kid-friendly drum. After piloting an Arabic derbekkeh class this spring with a small group of preschoolers using borrowed drums, Waseem, Laila, and the ACW are ready to expand. Using their Equipment grant, they’ll purchase 10 derbekkeh drums and plan to offer a 4-week class this fall!

Every week, the Grounds Manager at the historic Dunn Gardens faces a daunting task: mowing 65,000 square feet of grass across five different lawns using a 16-year-old lawnmower. Additionally, in the fall months, that same mower is also used to clean up and shred fallen leaves which, together with the grass clippings, is used to make a mulch compost that nurtures the large planting beds originally designed by the famous Olmsted brothers in 1916. After many years of service, the lawnmower will be retired, and replaced by a John Deere 1023E Sub-Compact Utility Tractor, which will be able to support the work of preserving this piece of Seattle’s past.

Seattle Children’s Theatre, along with many other King County theaters, are doing the critical work of making their performances accessible to hearing-impaired attendees. SCT’s current Assistive Listening System is more than 20 years old and soon to be discontinued, but with help from an Equipment grant, this year they’ll replace it with Hearing Loop technology in both of their theatres. The process, which involves moving and then restoring some seats and carpeted areas to accommodate the equipment, will ensure a full and high quality audio experience for all hearing-impaired patrons at SCT. Look for the system to be up and running in time for SCT’s new season in October!

See the full list of this year’s Cultural Equipment grant recipients!

 

Restored: Hori Furoba at the Neely Mansion

Hori bath house temporarily moved to prepare for a new foundation © 2015, photo by Linda Van Nest, courtesy of Neely Mansion Association

After years of planning and investment, the Neely Mansion Association recently unveiled the restored Hori Furoba, one of the few known examples of an extant Japanese-style bath house built by Japanese Americans in this country. With partial funding from 4Culture, the Association was able to develop and implement a preservation plan for the bath house, and also celebrate its restoration with a public dedication and festival. About this tremendous effort, the Association writes:

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Hori bath house temporarily moved to prepare for a new foundation © 2015, photo by Linda Van Nest, courtesy of Neely Mansion Association
Hori bath house temporarily moved to prepare for a new foundation © 2015, photo by Linda Van Nest, courtesy of Neely Mansion Association

After years of planning and investment, the Neely Mansion Association recently unveiled the restored Hori Furoba, one of the few known examples of an extant Japanese-style bath house built by Japanese Americans in this country. With partial funding from 4Culture, the Association was able to develop and implement a preservation plan for the bath house, and also celebrate its restoration with a public dedication and festival. About this tremendous effort, the Association writes:

HoriWe are proud to announce that restoration of the historic 1930’s Hori Furoba at Neely Mansion has been completed and is now open for public viewing! A designated King County Landmark, this rare Japanese American bath house is a physical reminder of the immigrant families who farmed the surrounding area during the 1920s and 30s, and their lasting impact within the local community. The restoration efforts included planning, design, restoration of original wood elements, a new roof and foundation, and even an archeological dig. Nearly $70,000 in funds paid for the project, including grants from King County and 4Culture.

On Saturday, June 25 the public dedication and celebration for the Hori Furoba restoration was held on the grounds of Neely Mansion. At noon the dedication ceremony began with a description of the families who lived and worked in the mansion, including the Japanese-American Fukuda and Hori families. The history and process of the extensive restoration efforts for the Furoba were shared, followed by comments from Hori family members. The Reverend Ogui of the White River Buddhist Temple then blessed the newly restored building.

Seattle Matsui Taiko drummers performed vigorously and loudly on the front lawn, as visitors watched in appreciation. The Japanese Minyo Dancers were next with intricate dances and wearing colorful costumes. Both groups performed throughout the afternoon and encouraged the public to participate in the activities. Tours of the Hori Furoba took place all afternoon, featuring the replicated soaking tub and inside laundry area. In the Neely Mansion, Ikebana arrangements were placed in several of the main rooms and refreshments were available for all.

We would like to thank all of the members of the public that helped us celebrate this auspicious occasion, and special thanks to the Hori Bath House Restoration Committee, BOLA Architecture, SWCA, Big Fish Construction, King County, and 4Culture!

It's Delicious! Writer Katherine Pryor on working with King County schools

Katherine Pryor received a 2015 Art Projects grant for “Read Your Greens” engaging with elementary schools in King County to build community and food literacy.

Katherine Pryor, MA, is the author of the children’s books Zora’s Zucchini and Sylvia’s Spinach. In addition to writing, she’s worked to create better food choices at institutions, large corporations, and food banks. Learn more at KatherinePryor.com, or on Twitter or Instagram @readyourgreens.

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Katherine Pryor w Zora cropped
Katherine Pryor received a 2015 Art Projects grant for “Read Your Greens” engaging with elementary schools in King County to build community and food literacy.

Katherine Pryor, MA, is the author of the children’s books Zora’s Zucchini and Sylvia’s Spinach. In addition to writing, she’s worked to create better food choices at institutions, large corporations, and food banks. Learn more at KatherinePryor.com, or on Twitter or Instagram @readyourgreens.

I’ve considered myself a writer since I was seven years old, so I suppose it makes sense that I would find my niche as an author for the seven-and-under crowd. My new book, Zora’s Zucchini, is the story of a little girl who brings her community together by sharing excess zucchini from her abundant summer garden, and I use the book as a way to talk to kids about sharing to reduce food waste. I wanted to bring this message to food-insecure communities, but didn’t know how.

That’s where 4Culture came in. When I saw the Art Projects grant call for Community Engagement proposals, I knew this could be the perfect opportunity to connect with King County schools serving kids in need. Over the 2015-2016 school year, I visited nine elementary schools in King County where at least 40% of students were eligible for Free & Reduced Meals—although at most schools, the numbers were closer to 70-80%. I read my books in gardens, libraries, gyms, and classrooms. I worked with librarians, teachers, garden educators, and nutrition advocates from Solid Ground and Lettuce Link to create meaningful programs for the children at each school. I discussed my writing process, and encouraged the children to think of themselves as storytellers.

It’s important to me to reach these kids because I was one. I was the kid with the free lunch punchcard, the kid scouring the refrigerated grocery store aisle for generic milk and orange juice to buy with our WIC coupons. With help from federal nutrition programs and the compassionate encouragement of my teachers, my hard-working parents made sure I grew up healthy, educated, and confident enough to pursue a creative profession.

Visiting schools with high rates of food insecurity to talk about food was intimidating. As I faced a gymnasium of 100 kids, I knew by sheer statistics that many members of the audience receive their primary meals of the day at school, and that some of the kids were experiencing hunger at home. Yet I was determined to leave them feeling empowered. I encouraged the kids to think about what they would do in Zora’s position. In short, what would they do with too much food?

“Sell it,” a young entrepreneur always said.

“Share it with homeless people,” someone would offer.

“Give it to my neighbors,” another kid would pipe up.

It’s easy to forget about the innate generosity and creativity of the human race. We’re surrounded by so much pain, witness to so much violence and senseless loss. Then a first grader with limited access to food describes her desire to share what she has with others, and suddenly the world makes a little more sense. We are makers. We are givers. We seek community, and strive to make those communities the best places they can be.

These are kids whose voices are worth fostering. We know there is a direct correlation between access to books and access to food, but I’m grateful for the many people out there working to change that. Visiting schools who could not usually afford to bring in an author has been one of the highlights of my writing career. I’m already scheming how to do it again next year.

Landmarks Capital Awards Announced

Virginia V, Seattle © 2016, courtesy of Steamer Virginia V Foundation

4Culture’s 2016 Landmarks Capital program will support a diverse array of projects to revitalize historic places across King County. This year, among 42 applicants, seven were new to the program. Twelve applicants were recommended for funding, with awards ranging from $14,471 to $30,000.

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Steamer Virginia V Foundation_99 Virginia V at LUP
Virginia V, Seattle © 2016, courtesy of Steamer Virginia V Foundation

4Culture’s 2016 Landmarks Capital program will support a diverse array of projects to revitalize historic places across King County. This year, among 42 applicants, seven were new to the program. Twelve applicants were recommended for funding, with awards ranging from $14,471 to $30,000.

Landmarks Capital grants go towards design, materials, and labor to repair and restore designated landmarks. Properties may be held in public, non-profit, and private ownership. Projects are evaluated for their quality, impact, and feasibility, and additional priority is given to projects that address an urgent preservation or stabilization need.

This year’s projects represent a diverse range of property types and communities. The full list of awards may be viewed under the “Recipients” tab on the program webpage. Here are a few highlights:

  • First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Seattle (FAME), a first-time applicant, was awarded $15,000 to support the preservation of stained glass windows. This congregation was incorporated in Washington State in 1891, and its 1912 building is the oldest church founded by African Americans in Seattle. Memorial windows, imported from Italy, include the names of many of the church’s founders. FAME is developing a long-term plan to restore all of its stained glass windows, and 4Culture’s grant will help to address the most immediate stabilization and repair needs.
  • An award of $20,900 will fund urgent repairs to the milk shed at the Dougherty Farmstead in Duvall. The foundation of the milk shed has cracked, causing the building to shift and requiring that it be closed to public access. This historic farmstead, which dates to 1888, is now owned by the City of Duvall and operated in partnership with the Duvall Historical Society. It’s a popular destination for school groups and visitors with an interest in agricultural history.
  • The National Historic Landmark S.S. Virginia V is one of two remaining Mosquito Fleet ferryboats that once served the Puget Sound, and transported passengers between Tacoma, Vashon Island, and Seattle from 1922-1941. Today the Virginia V serves as a floating classroom for maritime history, hosting over 15,000 people per year through public programs, events, and charters. Landmarks Capital funding of $15,900 will go towards restoring the wheelhouse, including the cabin eyebrow and port side window sill.

Thanks to all who applied for Landmarks Capital funding this year. The commitment and dedication of so many landmark owners to the stewardship of their properties is truly inspiring. Thanks, too, to the grant review panelists who worked hard to make sure the process was fair and equitable, in their consideration of many deserving projects.

Announcing 2016 Projects Grant Recipients

Merna Ann Hecht, Stories of Arrival, 2015. Photo courtesy of Jack Straw Cultural Center, photographer Sherwin Eng.

We kick off every year with our Projects grants. They fund a staggering range of work by individuals and organizations in arts, heritage, and historic preservation, and they set in motion a lot of fantastic King County cultural experiences for the upcoming year! The February and March deadlines brought almost 500 applications, with a large percentage of first-time applicants—something we’re especially excited about. Across all three disciplines, we funded 171 projects, for a total of just over $1 million. Here are just a few projects to keep an eye out for this year:

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Merna_Stories_JackStraw
Merna Ann Hecht, Stories of Arrival, 2015. Photo courtesy of Jack Straw Cultural Center, photographer Sherwin Eng.

We kick off every year with our Projects grants. They fund a staggering range of work by individuals and organizations in arts, heritage, and historic preservation, and they set in motion a lot of fantastic King County cultural experiences for the upcoming year! The February and March deadlines brought almost 500 applications, with a large percentage of first-time applicants—something we’re especially excited about. Across all three disciplines, we funded 171 projects, for a total of just over $1 million. Here are just a few projects to keep an eye out for this year:

In the Individual Arts category, Merna Ann Hecht received funding for her project Stories of Arrival, which brings the poetic voices of high school age refugees and immigrants—all of whom are English Language Learners—to the wider community. Look for an anthology release celebration and poetry reading as part of Tukwila’s annual Cultural Heritage Festival.

As part of this year’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Mikala Woodward was awarded funding for her Heritage project Drawing the Line: Lake Washington’s Historic Shoreline, a temporary outdoor installation marking Lake Washington’s historic shoreline. The installation will stretch about 2.5 miles along Lake Washington Boulevard in Southeast Seattle, and will happen on a Bicycle Sunday in July, when the street is closed to car traffic and many people are out on foot, bicycles, and skates.

North porch roof repair, Kirkland Womans Club © 2012, courtesy of Kirkland Woman's Club
North porch roof repair, Kirkland Womans Club © 2012, courtesy of Kirkland Woman’s Club.

With the funding they received this year through Preservation, the Kirkland Woman’s Club will conduct a Needs Assessment of their nearly-100-year-old building. Built in 1924, the KWC building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is in need of both functional and aesthetic updates. A professional Needs Assessment will ensure that the club’s members have a thorough understanding of the building’s structural and mechanical systems as they begin this ambitious project.

From the Group Arts pool, Longhouse Media will launch an expanded iteration of their hugely successful project, YOU ARE ON INDIGENOUS LAND. Mark your calendar now for Georgetown’s Art Attack on Saturday, October 12, when they’ll offer a gallery show of new work, a Native Art Market, and cross-community dialogue opportunities throughout the month. A broad range of art will be offered, including prints, murals, traditional Tlingit stick ‘n’ poke tattoos, Náakw Dancers and coastal jams with hand drums, and more.

And, a bonus, just because we’re so excited about this year’s projects—check out the trailer for Ruben Perez Rodriguez’s film Fight Fam, which received Art Projects for Individuals funding:
[vimeo width=”600″ height=”493″]https://vimeo.com/125708558[/vimeo]

Head to our website to see the full lists of Projects grant recipients in Arts, Heritage, and Historic Preservation. Thank you to all who applied—the size and variety of this year’s applicant pool are a testament to the strength of the cultural work being done in King County. To those who did not receive funding this year, we strongly encourage you to keep applying!

We also thank those who served on grant review panels for their dedication, wisdom, and ability to make difficult decisions. Our 2016 Projects Grant panelists were:
Tarik Abouzied, Michael Blum, Sheila Coppola, Jonathan Cunningham, Savvy Dani, Jason Everett, Dr. David Francis, Gabriela Denise Frank, Jessica Kottke, Alexandra Madera, Dr. Natalie Martinez, Julie LaRue, Richard Nelson, Michael Owcharuk, Darby Riley, Samuella Samaniego, Sarah Samudre, June Sekiguchi, Suzanne Simmons, Tyler S. Sprague, Zachary Stocks, Dani Tirrell, Mary Jane Topash, Aimee van Roekel, Danielle Villegas, Inye Wokoma, and Eugenia Woo.

Washington Hall Reopening

The Central District’s Washington Hall is fully restored and ready for audiences. Photo by Kji Kelly, Historic Seattle.

On Wednesday, June 1, Historic Seattle will mark the reopening of Washington Hall with a free celebration hosted in conjunction with anchor partner organizations 206 Zulu, Hidmo, and Voices Rising. From 5:00—8:00 pm, all are invited to visit the newly restored Hall and enjoy music and light refreshments.

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The Central District's Washington Hall is fully restored and ready for audiences. Photo by Kji Kelly, Historic Seattle.
The Central District’s Washington Hall is fully restored and ready for audiences. Photo by Kji Kelly, Historic Seattle.

On Wednesday, June 1, Historic Seattle will mark the reopening of Washington Hall with a free celebration hosted in conjunction with anchor partner organizations 206 Zulu, Hidmo, and Voices Rising. From 5:00—8:00 pm, all are invited to visit the newly restored Hall and enjoy music and light refreshments.

“Washington Hall has served a cross-section of citizens for more than 100 years, and we are proud to have successfully restored this beloved building so that it can continue to meet the needs of the community and provide a home for arts and culture,” says Historic Seattle’s Executive Director, Kji Kelly.

Built in 1908 for the Danish Brotherhood, Washington Hall originally served as a fraternal lodge, settlement house, and center for social and cultural activities of Seattle’s Danish immigrant population. Over time the Hall became a hub for social and cultural activities reflecting a broad array of ethnic communities. This is a building that many have called home, as it served as an affordable rental facility and hub for activities within the local Jewish, Filipino, African American, Korean, Eritrean, Ethiopian and other communities.

The "Hall for All" has served the community since 1908. Photo by Kji Kelly.
The “Hall for All” has served the community since 1908. Photo by Kji Kelly.

Washington Hall has also served as a popular performing arts venue, hosting musicians and speakers such as Marian Anderson, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimi Hendrix, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and Joe Louis. Many of these events were held at Washington Hall because it was the only venue of significant capacity in Seattle that would allow people of color to perform.

Although the Hall had consistently been used as a performance space since its construction, it had fallen into disrepair and was in danger of demolition before Historic Seattle negotiated a purchase in June 2009, with help from 4Culture. Since acquiring the building, Historic Seattle has conducted a 7-year campaign totaling nearly $10 million to finance four phases of construction. This campaign culminated in November 2015 with a King County Building for Culture grant to fully fund the recently completed final phase of construction.

Upon the reopening of Washington Hall, the anchor partner organizations will manage its operations and continuing use, and will ensure that the “Hall for All” continues to serve the Central District community’s needs for performance, gathering, and meeting spaces. Historic Seattle will retain ownership of the property and ensure its long-term maintenance and stewardship. This self-sustaining operating model guarantees that Washington Hall will be a vibrant, affordable, diverse arts and cultural facility that serves Seattle and King County’s arts, heritage, and preservation communities.

Following the June 1 opening celebration, this summer will see all kinds of performances and events at Washington Hall! Mark your calendar for this month’s happenings:

Jazz Intoxication with HistoryLink
Friday, June 10, 7:00—10:00 pm
Relive the first documented jazz performance in Washington state, exactly 98 years later in the place where it happened!

King Khazm: Diaries of a MAD
Friday, June 17, 8:00 pm
Hip Hop emcee and producer King Khazm presents a double album release and theatrical interpretation of how a bi-racial, disabled youth was able to overcome challenges in Seattle’s Southend.

Guest Post: Breaking Ground on the New Burke Museum

Last summer, we announced our Building for Culture initiative. This historic $28 million investment in our cultural infrastructure is now in motion all over King County, including, most recently, at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Alaina Fuld, Director of External Affairs at the Burke, recaps a major milestone in the museum’s ambitious plan to build the New Burke:

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Last summer, we announced our Building for Culture initiative. This historic $28 million investment in our cultural infrastructure is now in motion all over King County, including, most recently, at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Alaina Fuld, Director of External Affairs at the Burke, recaps a major milestone in the museum’s ambitious plan to build the New Burke:

Elected officials, Burke and University of Washington leaders, and University Temple Children’s School students break ground on the New Burke. Photo: Burke Museum.
Elected officials, Burke and University of Washington leaders, and University Temple Children’s School students break ground on the New Burke. Photo: Burke Museum.

First dates and first dinosaur sightings. A room full of adults clamoring to touch a mammoth tusk. A teenager experiencing a new sense of pride in his culture. “A-ha” moments and deep relationships that span decades.

These were just a few of the stories shared as more than 500 people gathered on Wednesday, May 18, to celebrate breaking ground on the New Burke: a new, flagship facility for the Washington State Museum of Natural History and Culture planned to open in 2019.

The new, 113,000 sq. ft. building located on the University of Washington (UW) Seattle campus will be 60% larger than the current facility. The New Burke will have an innovative “inside-out” design, integrating exhibits and learning areas with visible research labs and collections storage throughout the museum.

“[In the new facility] the Burke will be better able to share the story of the Northwest and our place in the world. It will inspire understanding, wonder and pride in this place we call home,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Architectural rendering showing the paleontology collections space in the New Burke. Illustration: Olson Kundig, Stephanie Bower Architectural Illustration.
Architectural rendering showing the paleontology collections space in the New Burke. Illustration: Olson Kundig, Stephanie Bower Architectural Illustration.

For nearly eight decades, the Burke collections lacked a permanent home, moving between UW buildings. Today, the absence of climate control and backup power in the current facility, erected in 1962, now threaten the long-term viability of our state’s natural and cultural heritage collections—a total of more than 16 million objects.

In the New Burke, climate control and backup power will protect the collections for decades to come. State-of-the-art labs will serve more students, researchers and artists. More education space will allow the Burke to potentially double the number of Pre-K–12 students served each year.

Students from the University Temple Children’s School—located across the street from the site of the New Burke—joined project donors and officials for the ceremonial groundbreaking. The group used shovels, pick axes and other field tools used by Burke archaeologists and paleontologists for the “dig.”

[youtube width=”610″ height=”493″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE01_bZJtog[/youtube]

The groundbreaking was the culmination of a year filled with exciting steps toward the New Burke: completing design of the new building; receiving funding from the State of Washington, King County and the City of Seattle; success in private fundraising; and receiving approval from the UW Board of Regents to break ground.

To-date, $67 million of the total $99 million project budget has been raised. The museum will request $24.2 million from the State of Washington in 2017, and continue to raise private funds.

Consultation with diverse community groups about the exhibits and education programs being developed for the New Burke will also be a major focus for the coming years.

“The Burke Museum has been exploring our shared heritage and natural history for 135 years,” said Constantine. “This new building will help continue that tradition for a new, and very different, century.”

View more photos from the New Burke Groundbreaking Ceremony. Learn more about the New Burke: newburke.org.