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One-Year Countdown for America’s Car Museum

Robert Ross

We’ve long been friends of the folks at the LeMay—America’s Car Museum. When we  met the foundation’s visionary president and CEO, David Madeira, back in the mid-2000s, both he and his team of dedicated staff and donors were waging an uphill battle to achieve the near-impossible: create a destination venue of grand scope and proportion in the Northwest. Thanks to dogged determination and the goodwill of some very generous donors, the museum will celebrate its grand opening on May 19, 2012.

Barely a year away, the Tacoma, Wash., project has powered through the recession and continues unabated to the finish line. When its doors open, the four-story, 165,000-square-foot museum will include an impressive show field, a banquet center, a library,  and other venues. It is estimated that the LeMay will attract more than 425,000 visitors annually.

The stunning campus and buildings are the inspired work of Los Angeles–based architect Alan Grant, who has created a unique architectural setting that sets the bar for automotive museums around the world. Fifteen galleries within the main facility will house up to 500 automobiles, many of which were collected by the late Harold LeMay, whose initial bequest got the ball rolling for this ambitious project. According to his wife, Nancy, “Harold never met a car he didn’t like.”

Keep track of the progress at the LeMay web site. (www.lemaymuseum.org)

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