Construction Updates

Foss Waterway Seaport Image

The walls are tumbling down - our latest construction project!

Work began in mid-January on the restoration and rebuilding of the west, south and east walls of the Seaport’s historic Balfour Dock Building. A combination of a Washington State Historical Society – Heritage Capital Projects grant of $750,000 and private donations raised by the Seaport are paying for the $1.4 million of work now underway.

As work progresses on the building, care is being taken to preserve the existing structural elements of the building as well as both the exterior and interior siding where possible. All siding must be removed and then evaluated to determine whether the wood pieces can be reused on the building or must be discarded. This painstaking and important work is being done in partnership with the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

Olson Kundig Architects is working with the Seaport to make sure that once the renovation and rebuilding is complete in September of 2014 the exterior walls will look very much as they did when the building was first constructed. Thirty original windows frames, restored by Bear Wood Windows of Tacoma, are being used where possible. Some modifications are being made to improve views to the Thea Foss Waterway, provide freight access to the building and increase egress to meet present codes for public use. The Seaport’s original 60 clerestory windows were also restored by Bear Wood Windows and reinstalled in 2010.

The Seaport is using Jones and Roberts Company as the primary contractor on the work, the same contractor that was used on the dramatic glass wall on the north end of the building.

Be sure to check out the slideshow below to see photos. New images are added as the work progresses.

January 2014 - east wall

January2014 - west wall

January 2014 - south wall

Construction fence in place around the building

Construction Team - Jones and Roberts

Removing existing windows - east wall

Windows out - east wall

Putting in pillar supports and framing for windows - east wall

Removing historic siding - inside, west wall

Preserving and evaluating historic siding

Removing windows - west wall

Removing exterior siding - west wall

Removing historic siding, new framing - west wall

Framing - west wall

Framing - outside view, west wall

Putting in permanent support, removing temporary

Permanent roof support

Preparing outside walls for undercoat

Undercoating - east wall

Siding samples - our new look!

Preparing inside walls - west side

Next step - putting up drywall - inside, east wall

Inside work - replacing unusable piece

Building a temporary wall - south end