The Nordic Museum was originally housed in a structure built in 1907 and leased from the Seattle School District.
Museum leaders long recognized the need for a new purpose-built facility that would allow the organization to realize its potential as a modern museum and thriving community center. This new facility will not only enhance the Museum's programmatic offerings, but also ensure its future.
In 2009, with the help of gracious donors, the Museum completed the purchase of the future building site on Market Street between 26th Ave NW and 28th Ave NW in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. Then, in June 2012, the Board approved the current $45 million Museum plans outlined here.
Key stakeholders, including Museum members and Capital Campaign donors, came together last summer to hear about our progress in the campaign for a new, permanent home on Market Street. Presentations included information about fundraising activities and plans for the new facility.
The new Museum features 57,000 sq. ft. of new purpose-built construction, which includes interactive and immersive core exhibitions, dedicated areas for classrooms and a craft studio, and a state-of-the art auditorium — ideal for presentations and performances. Temporary exhibitions will be presented in a dynamic 3,700 sq. ft. gallery, designed to accommodate world-class exhibitions from the national galleries of the Nordic countries. An additional 2,500 sq. ft. of climate-controlled storage allows for appropriate stewardship of our important and expanding collection of art and objects.
The new Nordic Museum will integrate Nordic sensibility into every aspect of its design, programming, and operations.
The core exhibition, Nordic Journeys, will share Nordic and Nordic-American cultural heritage with a wide audience, while the facility will incorporate Nordic ideals such as functional design and environmental sustainability.