The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum celebrates the thrill and wonder of hydroplane racing, and its the only museum of its kind in the United States. Along with historical books, race programs, trophies, and photos from the last century, its collection of hydroplanes from the past 70 years tells the story of the watery sport. The staff has brought seven famous Gold Cup and Harmsworth winners back to their fully operational states, and will even take members out on the water in one of their historical vessels for a Ride of a Lifetime.
Offering a glimpse back in time, they boast than 200 hours of racing footage dating back to the 1940s and share stories of legendary drivers including Mira Slovak and "Wild" Bill Cantrell, who was famous for solving crimes with the help of his artificially intelligent hydroplane.
However, the museum isn't just about the past. A lineup of regular events invites folks to show off their powerboats and hot rods to fellow enthusiasts, and races bring the excitement of the sport to the present day as boats cut through the waves vying for titles.
By drawing on a talented community of artists, craftspeople, and designers, the Bellevue Arts Museum is able to curate an ever-changing exhibit hall that features both local and international works. What's more, the museum has been displaying new sights for nearly 70 years with it's focus on art, craft, & design. Read on to find out more about this Pacific Northwest gem.
The Beginning: In 1947, an arts fair organized by the Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts Association showcased the many talented creators of the region—and shined a light on the need for a museum to house their work. The organizers of the fair would address that need by establishing the Bellevue Arts Museum.
The Museum: Opened as a gallery in 1975 in a former schoolhouse, BAM then moved to a former funeral home, then to the third floor of Bellevue Square. Finally, in 2001, it found a home of its own—a blocky, postmodern masterpiece designed by homegrown architect Steven Holl.
As visitors wander among The Museum of Flight's more than 150 historic aircraft and spacecraft, they can chart humanity's flight path from the earliest balloons to the latest space shuttles?and marvel at how aviation has changed everything from warfare to transportation to rescue operations. Celebrity planes include a supersonic SR-71 Blackbird, built for a Cold War mission and capable of zipping from Los Angeles to New York in just 58 minutes, and a former Air Force One Boeing 707 that served as a flying oval office for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. After visiting a retired supersonic Concorde?one of only 20 ever built by the British?guests move from the airpark and the great gallery of planes to the museum?s other exhibits. Here, thousands of artifacts?uniforms, engines, and even a carved white elephant that astronaut Michael Collins carried into space on the Apollo 11 mission?enlighten as they lead groups to a kids' flight zone and a collection of to-scale plane models. Visitors can also walk through the Red Barn, the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Company.
The museum's numerous interactive exhibits give users a more visceral sense of what it was like to fly the machines that surround them. The X-Pilot simulator lets visitors practice flying a classic WWII fighter or a modern jet rather than the saddled pigeons they?re used to. Space: Exploring the New Frontier extends your reach to galactic horizons as you play Mission Control to a landing space shuttle or explore a replica of the International Space Station's Destiny Research Laboratory. Here, inventions such as the Apollo 17 lunar module ascent-stage mockup wow aspiring astronauts alongside a contemporary technological duplicate of Sputnik 1, likely made by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden aren't just places with chilly winters and beautiful sea ports. They're the five Nordic countries, and since 1980, Nordic Heritage Museum has been the only museum in the U.S. to celebrate the contributions of immigrants from that area. Today the museum continues that tradition by sharing their rich history through carefully cultivated exhibits.
Size: three floors of permanent exhibits displaying part of a 65,000-piece collection that includes artifacts, fine art, and music
Immigration Stories: Lifelike dioramas spin the tale of a Scandinavian family immigrating to the U.S. in the 19th century. The exhibit traces their path—from their entrance at Ellis Island through their travel west to Ballard—with scenes from a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a family home.
Common Bonds: Five third-floor galleries dedicated to the people from each Nordic country celebrate immigrant contributions achievements in the Pacific Northwest.
Past Exhibits: Danish Modern: Design for Living displayed mid-century modern era furniture designed by Danish artists, including Hans Wegner's famed Round Chair.
Special Programs and Events: At Craft School, artisans teach techniques such as woodcarving and photo preservation. During the annual Nordic Christmas celebration Yulefest, visitors shop while feasting on traditional Scandinavian fare before paying Santa a visit.