Something huge is coming to the Pacific Northwest and you may not have even known about it.
Due to the fact I was swallowed up in the Nordic community as a result of my marriage to a girl from Ballard, I know that there’s a lot of excitement about the first weekend in May. Yes, this year, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday. And, if I may digress just a bit further, did you know that whatever day St. Patrick’s Day falls on is the same day as Cinco de Mayo? And in 2018, BOTH are on Saturdays!
OK, now back to the subject at hand–that first weekend in May, Seattle is going to be celebrating the opening of the brand-new Nordic Museum right there on Market Street in Ballard. Let me try to help you realize just how big of a deal this is:
- This has a been a dream for years, with some convinced it would never actually happen. In the early days, there were two factions–one that wanted the museum at it’s new site and another group that wanted it to be where the Museum of History & Industry ended up on Lake Union. The ones who wanted it closer to Seattle thought it would be best for the sake of tourism, but the long Scandinavian history of the Ballard area seemed to make the Market Street location more appropriate. Market Street eventually won out.
- The new museum was designed by Mithun. Among their more famous works, the National Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D.C.. They also designed the Seattle Aquarium and the Januik/Novelty Hill Winery over in Woodinville, among many other projects.
- That opening weekend could bring quite a few Scandinavian celebs to town, and even heads of state. We’ll see how the guest list shakes out.
- The New York Friggin’ Times even named the yet-to-open museum as one of the Top 52 Places in the World to visit in 2018!
The new Nordic Museum is going to have a larger performance hall with better acoustics, more room for exhibits that they couldn’t bring in to the previous location at that abandoned Seattle elementary school. (which is being refurbished and put back to work as a school in the near future)
Sadly, one of the things not making the move is the “Dream of America” Exhibit. As I understand it, the exhibit was given on loan to the museum by Denmark and apparently, it is going to head back there now. A lot of the things that “Dream” demonstrated will now be done electronically, as the move is made into a high-tech environment. I was fortunate enough to video-tape the final docent tour of the Dream of America and by watching the video below, you’ll be able to enjoy the full experience of what that exhibit offered, thanks to the expert commentary by one of the long-time supporters of the museum, Mari-Ann Kind Jackson.
I’m a big fan of everyone living their dream. The new Nordic Museum has been a long-time dream for so many Seattle people who have dedicated hundreds of hours to making it happen.
And in just a couple of months that dream becomes reality. The celebration is set for that first weekend in May. Hope to see you there.