LeMay: America's Car Museum Opens in Tacoma

Tacoma’s new car museum is an ode to hitting the road.
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Cars may have lost some street cred among bikers, environmentalists and anyone tired of pouring her paycheck into the gas tank, but a new museum in Tacoma is here to remind us of the glory days, when we could rev up and roll down the road free of guilt. LeMay: America’s Car Museum opens this month next door to the Tacoma Dome, in a shining chrome and glass structure that looks vaguely automotive. (Is it a rearview mirror? A grille?)

Sourced largely from the massive car collection (listed in the Guinness Book of World Records) of Tacoma garbage/recycling magnate Harold LeMay, the exhibit features vehicles from prehistoric times (a Flintmobile from the movie The Flintstones) all the way back to the future (a 1983 DeLorean DMC-12, à la Marty McFly).

The gallery can house as many as 500 cars, and emphasizes innovations in speed, technology and design, including a 1918 Cadillac limousine; a tiny, three-wheeled Messerschmitt KR200 from 1956; and a 1963 Corvette Stingray. The museum also boasts a 3.5-acre outdoor show field, which in the future will be used to display autos, host outdoor festivals and present one of the best things about cars: drive-in movies.

Opens 6/2. Times vary. $8–$14 (children younger than 5, free). 2702 East D St.; 253.779.8490; lemaymuseum.org

Ferries on Lake Washington? It's Not the Worst Idea

Ferries on Lake Washington? It's Not the Worst Idea

It happened before, it could happen again
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Lake Washington is a magnificent community asset, but it’s a barrier where traffic is concerned. Michael Christ has a solution. He’d like to reintroduce passenger ferries, which graced the region’s waterways from the 1850s to the 1930s.

Christ, the CEO of Seco Development, who is betting heavily on Renton’s mixed-use waterfront development, Southport, pictures slow-moving, barge-like boats transporting 150–175 people and countless bicycles at a time. A trip between Renton and Seattle might take an hour, he says, but there would be Wi-Fi and a chance to get some work done (and more routes eventually added). “It would be so much more beautiful than driving,” says Christ. “It would be romantic.” Skeptics—and there are plenty—say commuters would prefer bus, light rail or car; that boats are expensive; and there isn’t enough development along the lake to make the plan work. 


Christ calls them shortsighted. The boats he’s envisioning are energy efficient and cheap (less than $5 million for three boats circling the lake) and would connect with other public transportation. 

Would King County executive Dow Constantine, who backed the popular water taxi between West Seattle and downtown, go for a new “Lake Link”? That may not be such a far-fetched idea. The county is reviving an idea, raised and quashed when the great recession hit, of testing two passenger ferry routes to the University of Washington—one from Kenmore and the other from Kirkland. As Christ points out, big growth is projected for cities all around the lake. “You’re going to have 5 million people living around this lake,” says Christ. “It’s just a question of time before this happens.”