Museum of History and Industry 


MOHAI is this region's preeminent institution for engaging people in the exploration and understanding of the history, character and development of our community. MOHAI activities are specifically designed to help individuals come face-to-face with the challenges of the past, to understand their role in the present, and to envision opportunities for the future. MOHAI provides a spectrum of history and heritage programs that make local history valuable, relevant and engaging.

Mission Statement
MOHAI collects and preserves the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region and beyond. Highlighting innovation and education, MOHAI enriches lives by sharing the individual and collective stories of our communities.
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Museum of History and Industry
860 Terry Ave N 
(206) 324-1126 

Leonard Garfield 
Executive Director 


Museum of History and Industry Programs

MOHAI creates and presents award-winning exhibits that explore specific themes in local history or present nationally relevant topics to local audience. MOHAI's core exhibit, True Northwest: The Seattle Journey explores some of the trials and tribulations of Seattle on its long and bumpy journey from wilderness to world city. MOHAI also curates and builds exhibits, such as Drawn to Seattle: The Work of Seattle Sketcher Gabriel Campanario, and Revealing Queer, a landmark display exploring how the Puget Sound LGBTQ community has grown, changed, become more visible, and worked towards equality.   

Anchoring these exhibits are artifacts and images from MOHAI's extensive permanent collection, including more than three million photographs, over 100,000 3-D artifacts, and an archive of 200,000 items such as corporate records, theater programs, ephemera and oral histories. The collections provide an invaluable resource to researchers interested in the rich past of Seattle and the Puget Sound.   

MOHAI's education programs served more than 45,000 K-12 students and teachers last year. MOHAI works with area teachers to ensure all programs are aligned with state learning standards and are easily integrated with lesson plans. Through museum-based and in classroom programs, MOHAI provides hands-on experiences for students that connect what they learn in the classroom with artifacts and stories from our past. MOHAI ensures that all students regardless of means can participate by providing scholarships and subsidizing bus transportation. For youth 14 and younger admission is free.  

Reaching out to the community, MOHAI offers a wide range of public programs focused on adult learning. From pub trivia nights to neighborhood history tours that explore and interpret Seattle's past to curator and artist lectures, MOHAI makes history accessible and fun for people across the region.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

On December 29, 2012 MOHAI opened a new museum in the historic Naval Reserve Armory in Lake Union Park. More than 200,000 of people have learned about Seattle's past, and deepened their commitment to Seattle's future.  

We have expanded our education programs to include early learning with miniMOHAI where the museum is transformed into an engaging play space for kids with six stations set up in the building including stories, dramatic play, math and pattern activities. New school programs include Salish Stories where students play a game listening to stories, looking at historic photographs and handling artifacts crafted by local artists to discover the culture, history, language and lifeways of our region's first peoples. The award-winning Significance of Salmon program is a hands-on program where students investigate the important role of salmon in the Pacific Northwest by exploring the history of salmon as a resource and the stewardship of salmon populations today. This is co-presented with the Center for Wooden Boats. Students visit both locations and venture out on Lake Union in a historic Gill Netter boat.  

One of our current needs is to fund our scholarship program where qualifying schools can receive discounted program fees and assistance in paying for bus transportation.


Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) believes that understanding history is relevant to today's world, it fosters pride of place, and helps individuals in our community understand the importance of civic engagement. Their goal is to create a better informed and more engaged citizenry.

Best Practices
MOHAI invests in extensive testing and evaluation of its programs and methodologies in order to ensure they are compelling and effective in their delivery. They solicit feedback from various constituencies through surveys, interviews, and focus groups. They engage advisory committees in the development of their educational curriculum, and tie all their education programs to the state learning standards set out by OSPI.

Proven Success
MOHAI has seen increases in ticket and membership sales, and has expanded its exhibits and education programs. All activities at the museum are specifically designed to help individual and families come face to face with the challenges of the past, so they better understand their role in the present and can envision opportunities for the future. MOHAI is particularly interested in engaging new audiences, and actively use new technology and social media tools. The museum received an award for their social media work.

They are on schedule to relocate to the historic Naval Reserve Armory Building in November of 2012, which will be part of the planned South Lake Union Park. They hope that this new location will increase their accessibility and help them reach an expanded audience and integrate them into the community's cultural landscape. Researching the effect of moving to a new space on organizations like theirs, MOHAI learned that a large percentage have substantial debt after two years, and, as a result, built funding for long-term sustainability into their capital campaign. They are trying to prepare for unknown costs. A live video feed of the renovation of the Armory is available on MOHAI’s website.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

9/10/2013 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/10/2012 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/10/2011 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2009 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/14/2006 $35,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/16/2004 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.


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