Whatcom Museum, Bellingham

3.8
#3 of 6 in Museums in Bellingham
THE WHATCOM MUSEUM occupies three distinctive and historically significant buildings in downtown Bellingham's cultural district.



THE LIGHTCATCHER...250 Flora Street

... is designed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects’ founding partner, Jim Olson. The building is named for its focal point and most innovative feature — a spectacular, translucent wall 37 feet high and 180 feet long, that captures the Northwest’s most precious natural resource: sunlight. The 42,000-square-foot-building integrates natural materials native to the region and will be the first museum in Washington designed and registered to LEED Silver-Level specifications.

Open Wednesday-Sunday, noon-5 PM

FIG open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 AM-5 PM; Sunday, noon - 5 PM

OLD CITY HALL...121 Prospect Street

... home to Whatcom Museum since 1941, is a beloved city landmark. With its Victorian cupolas and central clock tower a stately community presence for more than a century, the history of the building and its inhabitants (including prisoners!) remains central to the Whatcom Museum’s mission. While our fine art exhibitions have moved to the climate-controlled galleries of the Lightcatcher, Old City Hall reopens in December 2009 for with some of its most popular programs. long-term plans include renovating the building to include additional space for both temporary and permanent history exhibitions, while opening areas like the old basement jail for tours.

Open Wednesday-Sunday, noon-5 PM



THE SYRE EDUCATION CENTER...201 Prospect Street

...is home to a classroom space and permanent historical exhibits for group tours and school field trips including "Northwest Coast First Nations", "Pioneer Life," "Logging," and "Birds of the Pacific Northwest." Built in 1926 as the City of Bellingham’s fire hall and adjacent to the 1892 Old City Hall Building, the Whatcom Museum’s widely recognized Photo Archives are also located on the second floor of the Syre Education Center; the archives are open to the public for research.

Open by appointment.

Photo Archives open Wednesday-Friday, 1 - 5 PM To visit Whatcom Museum and other attractions in Bellingham, use our Bellingham online sightseeing planner .
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Whatcom Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
43 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We were going to hike but it was really raining. We decided to tour the museum. We were glad that we did. The Native American exhibits are very informative. We had a 5 yr old with us and he...  more »
  • This review is for specialist interest. The Darius Kinsey photo archive has several thousand full plate images of early Washington logging - scenes, people and especially machines - trains, donkeys...  more »
Google
  • It's been awhile since I've been there but I remember being impressed by the history of the area and the wildlife display. A good museum. Worth a look.
  • A beautiful & well preserved historic building in the cozy cute town of Bellingham. The Whatcom Museum (Old City Hall) is a local gem and worth an afternoon of exploring. Free parking is limited but there's ample street parking. Wonderful chamber music concert venue for the Bellingham Chamber Music Society!

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