February 26, 2014
Media Contact: Julianna Verboort, 253.272.4258 x3011,

Final Beam Raised into Place at Tacoma Art Museum as Haub Family Galleries Take Shape

Museum also Celebrates Completion of Building Fundraising Phase
Raising more than $15.5 Million

(Tacoma, WA) – With a drum roll and roaring applause, this afternoon Tacoma Art Museum raised the final steel beam into place for their building expansion as part of the upcoming Haub Family Galleries. As is building tradition, the beam, signed by supporters of the museum and community members, was adorned with a tree and American and Washington State flags and then lifted high into the web of steel structures that have taken shape on Pacific Avenue. The event also marked an important moment in The Campaign for Tacoma Art Museum as they announced the success of the Building Campaign phase after raising more than $15.5 million toward creating a gathering space for people, performances, and art.

Construction began on Tacoma Art Museum’s building expansion on November 4, 2013. Since then, the site has been transformed and the shape of the Haub Family Galleries can finally be seen. The new wing will provide a home for the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art, double the museum’s gallery space, provide greater art experiences for visitors, and increase the museum’s role in downtown Tacoma. The anticipated opening for the building expansion and its new galleries is late Fall 2014.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a few months since we broke ground here,” said Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “Seeing the Haub Family Galleries and our building expansion become a reality is incredible. We can’t wait for its completion so we can share it with the community.”

The museum’s expansion integrates with other local projects including Tacoma’s Pacific Avenue Streetscape and the Prairie Line pedestrian and bike trail. As such, the impact of this project will extend beyond the museum’s property and support broad community collaboration.

The building expansion project’s team includes award-winning architectural firm Olson Kundig Architects, Murase Associates as the landscape architecture firm, Sellen Construction as the project’s construction company, and Bonewitz Project Leadership as project management.

The project will create a welcoming lobby and more than double the space to display art. It will also include a new family interactive gallery, a sculpture hall, and a visitor orientation room. Changes to the existing museum will include a new entrance from the parking level, new windows that provide a better view of the activities inside the museum, a faster elevator from the parking level, and enhancements to the cafe and museum store. The museum’s Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Plaza will also be transformed with a tall, gracious canopy that will arch over both the existing museum and the new wing. Outdoor art installations will be woven into the areas surrounding the museum.

At least 63% of the work on the building project is being completed by Tacoma area sub-contractors. The museum is also incorporating sustainable methods for the construction and design of the addition including: recycling of site debris, energy efficient design, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and conservation of resources through use of materials with recycled content.

“Our family is so honored to be able to bring Western American art to Tacoma and to share it with you,” said Liliane Haub, who was at the event representing the Haub Family whose donations have helped make the building expansion and the Haub Family Galleries a reality. “We are making a home away from home for the art collection.”

The Haub Family’s donation of approximately 280 works of Western American art, announced in July 2012, will transform Tacoma Art Museum into one of the leading museums in the country featuring Western American art.

Bringing the Haub Family Collection of Western American art is a chance for the museum to share an integral piece of American art history with the Puget Sound. It will broaden our definition of “the West” and open our eyes to the Northwest’s rich and complex place in the American West.

Steve Barger, President of Tacoma Art Museum’s Board of Trustees, added to the festive atmosphere of the event by announcing the completion of the Tacoma Art Museum Building Campaign phase of the museum’s larger capital campaign. The museum surpassed its original goal by raising more than $15.5 million for the building expansion and Haub Family Galleries. He also took time to recognize the donors, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State, City of Tacoma, Trustees, foundations, corporations, and individuals within the community.

The Campaign for Tacoma Art Museum began in June 2010 with the goal to transform the museum, secure its future, and create a public legacy for years to come. The Campaign continues to raise funds for an endowment that will increase community access by allowing free admission for youth 18 and under, bring in major national traveling exhibitions, increase educational programming, and build the premier collection of Northwest art.

About Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma Art Museum’s mission is to connect people through art. The museum serves the diverse communities of the region through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest. Tacoma Art Museum is located in the downtown Cultural District, near the Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum, and Union Station.

HOURS: Wednesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm, Third Thursdays 10 am–8 pm
ADMISSION: Adult $9, Student/Military/Senior (65+) $8, Family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18). Children 5 and under free. Third Thursdays free from 5-8 pm. Members always free.
CONTACT: 253.272.4258,,