Governor learns future of Nordic Heritage Museum

Governor Christine Gregoire toured The Nordic Heritage Museum this afternoon and learned its plans for the future. “On the eve of Leif Erikson day, welcome,” said the museum’s executive director Eric Nelson as the governor walked through the front doors of the old schoolhouse on NW 67th St.

She toured the building that has housed the museum for 25 years, and shook hands with members of the board, volunteers and politicians. She greeted retired state representative Helen Sommers, pictured above, who represented the 36th district for decades.

Facing tough economic times, the governor told the group that she believes that as a community we’ll come out stronger on the other side of the downturn. She cited a Finnish word, “sisu,” which translates to “tenacious courage,” she said. “That’s what I think this is all about. You are determined to move forward. This is a great building. It will be missed. There’s no question about that.” And with that she moved on to see the plans for the future.

Governor Gregoire and a small group gathered at the museum’s capital campaign office on Market Street near the future site of the museum. Architect Richard Franko showed off the vision of the new building which will hopefully become an international destination for Nordic culture. He highlighted the “green” aspects, and he said they plan to have the building certified LEED silver, although they’ll go as high as they can. They hope to break ground in 2012 and be open two years later. At the end of the tour the governor proclaimed, “Today was a fun day. Not every day is fun!”

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

8 thoughts to “Governor learns future of Nordic Heritage Museum”

  1. Former Rep. Helen Sommers, whom I have the honor of succeeding in the Legislature, served our community in the state House of Representatives for 36 years.

    It was a really wonderful celebration and we're so excited by the opportunities and possibilities of the new Nordic Heritage Museum envisioned by their capital campaign.

  2. Dino Rossi would have been awesome to see in Ballard, and probably wouldn't have used Finnish words to fake interest in what is a really cool project.

    DINO TRY AGAIN!!! Beat this money-wasting, opportunity-squandering, no-good governor gregoire!

  3. I think the new spot is approx 28th NW & Market — the FenPro building/property (across from Firehouse Coffee).

    Any new news about what will happen to the old location–The school district property? I live nearby, so I hope that it is converted into something neat–like the Good Shepherd building at 50th and Meridian or Phinney Neighborhood Center. Those buildings host a school, class rooms for a variety of classes (art, music, dance, etc.) and a few businesses. The traffic impacts are a downside, but it would be fantastic to bring something like that to the community.

    I do hope that they will be able to maintain/save Webster Park. Even if they tear down the building and plat out the property into lots for single-home development, that park and the blacktop area is great.

  4. Seattle Parks bought the Webster playground area already, so that part is safe. The rest the district still owns.

    If we as a community want that building to be something PNA, Crown Hill Center, U-heights like, we need to get started on that process now. I might know a thing or two about how to get that done. How do you want to organize?

  5. I agree that Dino would be awesome to see from an entertainment perspective as all his scandals would blow up and give us a good Blogoyovtchesque freak show of corruption and incompetence, but I prefer to have a competent governor who will actually work for the good of the people.

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