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November 4: Construction Update


Written November 03, 2017

General contractors Kirtley-Cole have been focusing their efforts along Market Street, installing utility lines and pouring concrete sidewalks. They have continued zinc siding installation along the waterfront side of the Museum's exterior; now, it's nearing completion. On the interior, the wood paneling on the first floor door niche ceilings has been finished. (A glimpse can be seen in the photo below.)

Over the next 30 days...

Concrete will be poured at the Sun Terrace in the coming week, and the last of the zinc siding will be installed on the waterfront side shortly. At the west entrance, storefront window glazing is in progress; that work will continue through November.

On the interior, the fireplace adjacent to the café is due for installation next week. The skylights and metal ceiling panels in Fjord Hall are currently being installed, and that work is scheduled for completion by Thanksgiving. By mid-November, we'll see the construction of the dramatic bridges across Fjord Hall. In the auditorium, contractors have put the grid ceilings in place and are now beginning work on the wooden walls. They should be fully installed by November 22—right after Yulefest!

We are on target to have the building materially complete at the end of December, which puts us on track to begin migrating our offices to the new facility in the new year. Once we're there, we'll start getting the new Museum ready for its official Grand Opening on May 5, 2018!

Want to keep track of the Museum's progress?

We'll be posting updates to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so be sure to follow us! For the latest drone footage, check out our YouTube channel.

Thanks to Our Community Partners and Suppliers!

The new Nordic Museum would not exist without the support of our community—the friends, neighbors, and local businesses that have made our mission their mission as well.

  • Safeway of Ballard: Thanks for loaning free pallets for the collections move!
  • King County Library System (KCLS) and Ballard Inflatable Boats: Thanks for the unlimited supply of packing boxes for the library collection of books, as well as the large boxes for other collections items!
  • Ballard Transfer and Cascade Business Group: Thanks for providing free equipment, trucks, lifts, and operators and assisting with the load and transport of some of our oversized collection pieces, including the fish processor, wagon, and Nordic Spirit boat, and the fishing dory and Faroese clinker boat, among other pieces!
  • Max Performance Hydraulics: Thanks for the free use of crane and operator for the two boats we moved to the new Museum in July!
  • Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel: Thanks for the free de-installation and transport of the runestone (and re-installation into the Museum's East Garden)!
  • Pacific Fishermen Shipyard Co.: Thanks for the refurbishing of a pair of fishing trawler doors, which will go on display in the Nordic America gallery, at no cost to the Museum!
  • The Snow Company: Thanks for designing and fabricating a brand-new cradle for the Nordic Spirit Viking boat, at no cost to the Museum!

As a longtime Ballard community organization, we know how important it is to support our local businesses! Our gratitude goes out to the Ballard suppliers who are contributing to the new Nordic Museum project:

Campaign Update

Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the generous donors who have supported the Capital Campaign so far. If you haven’t yet joined the campaign, there is still time to help! Gifts of all sizes and all amounts are needed now to push the project to completion.

Looking for a way to contribute to the new Museum right now?

How about a family gift in memory of a relative? Or perhaps your holiday gift shopping could be simplified by giving gifts to the new Nordic Museum in honor of those hard-to-buy-fors on your list?

  • Give the gift of a plaque! Don't miss your chance to take advantage of this special opportunity. Our plaque program allows supporters and their loved ones to become a permanent part of the Museum. Each plaque will be displayed in the East Garden or streetscape areas, serving as a visual reminder of how our dedicated community came together to make the new Nordic Museum a reality.
  • Make a gift to the campaign! We're still seeking gifts that can be made as multi-year pledges or single donations.
  • Become a Member! Nordic Heritage Museum Members get more, especially when it comes to the new Museum! If you join now, you'll get all the usual perks, plus access to Members-only events in the month leading up to the opening and the opportunity to visit the new Museum before it opens to the public.

For more information about plaques, donations, membership, legacy giving, or other ways to support the Museum, please contact Deputy Director Jan Woldseth Colbrese at 206.789.5707 x39 or

We are in the final stages of the project, and we need your help to finish strong!

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, November 14 at 12 p.m., come to the Museum for the final Soup & Cinema of the season! This month's film is The Grump (Mielensäpahoittaja), a Finnish comedy. The Grump follows a curmudgeonly old farmer who moves into the home of his son and daughter-in-law after a bad fall. The three instantly butt heads — but come to discover that there's a lot they can learn from each other.

Our 40th Yulefest festival is close at hand! Join us at the Museum Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to celebrate the season the Nordic way: with treats, music, dancing, a holiday market, and best of all, Santa! After Yulefest, the Museum will close to make its final transition to its new home on Market Street—so this is one celebration you won't want to miss.