Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, Washington, United States
LMN Architects

The Naval Reserve Armory building at Seattle’s Lake Union Park has been repurposed as the new home of the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). The Armory now houses the museum’s extensive collection of historic photographs, costumes, and objects presenting the history and culture of the Pacific Northwest in a series of dramatic new public spaces.

The MOHAI project was born out of two strong commitments by MOHAI’s leadership. The first was to put the history museum in a historic building which is fundamentally a cultural and sustainable commitment. The second was to connect the renovated Armory to the surrounding community by transforming an under-utilized asset into the centerpiece of the surrounding south Lake Union neighborhood. In addition, a new synergy of historic entities has emerged as MOHAI formed partnerships with the adjacent Center for Wooden Boats and organisations operating the historic moored ships.

Construction of the original Armory was completed in 1942 to train thousands of young recruits for duty in the U.S Navy. The Armory, designed by prominent Seattle architects Marcus Priteca & William R. Grant, is a Seattle Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building’s significant historic features include a large Drill Hall in the center of the building, a nautical themed entry, and a prominent presence on the Lake Union waterfront. The adaptive reuse of the armory as a museum required the careful integration of new elements while preserving its noteworthy original features.

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