Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center 


The Seaport’s floating fleet moored Seattle’s Lake Union Park includes the tugboat ARTHUR FOSS (1889) and the Lightship No. 83 SWIFTSURE (1904), both of which have National Historic Landmark status.

The museum ships provide a hands-on venue for public tours, family tugboat story times, vocational training, trade workshops and annual festivals that celebrate workboat culture, boats, music and stories.  Public programs launch at the waterfront at the park’s Historic Ships Wharf.

Northwest Seaport possesses an extensive archive of material in collections related to its vessels and Northwest maritime history that has aided historic research and maritime authors.
Mission Statement
Dedicated to preserving and interpreting Puget Sound and the Northwest Coast Maritime Heritage by developing maritime-based educational programs and opportunities for the broad community.
Donate Now
Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center
PO Box 9744 
(206) 447-9800 

Mr. Shannon Fitzgerald 


Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center Programs

Employment Training
Both the Job Skills and Work Exchange and Boatwright-in-Residence program offer employment training, mentorships and overnight accommodations aboard ARTHUR FOSS.  The Northwest Seaport ships act as a platform to transform lives of people engaged in these programs, Seaport representatives and the visiting public.

Tugboat Storytime
Tugboat Storytime provides an engaging environment for younger children to enjoy maritime literature and boats. Families listen to stories and sing songs onboard one of the oldest tugboats afloat.  Other pre-schoolers and parents join together aboard the historic tugboat ARTHUR FOSS to listen to sea stories and maritime picture books read aloud.

Music Programs
Northwest Seaport’s music program strives to carry on the rich traditions of nautical music, and bring to life diverse historical and contemporary maritime work songs and forebitters. Monthly chantey sings aboard vessels at the Historic Ships Wharf provide community members with sing along opportunities. Northwest Seaport sponsors seasonal sea chantey concerts presenting Songs of the Sea, during which professional musicians perform for a lively and participatory public audience.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

With your help, Northwest Seaport continues to strengthen our services to the community by restoration of our National Historic Landmark ships (Arthur Foss & Swiftsure) and providing public programming at Historic Ships Wharf in Lake Union Park.

The Seaport shows national leadership in maritime heritage projects and partners with the National Park Service and regional organizations.

Three new staff positions in 2012 added several new programs, including the Job Skills and Work Exchange Program, Boatwright-in-Residence, Engineer Work Parties, school tours, and a new Man Overboard demonstrations during park festivals.

Highlighted successes in 2012 include:
  • National Park Service funding to write an article for SEA HISTORY on the decision-making process that ultimately led to the deconstruction of the Schooner WAWONA.
  • Distribution of WAWONA artifacts to local and national institutions, including the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) to create sculpture "Wawona" created by John Grade.
  • Began a Boatwright-in-Residence program providing skilled labor to support ARTHUR FOSS restoration.
  • Hosting of Open Museum Ship weekly boarding days, Gold Rush Tugboats celebration in collaboration with National Park Service and a fireworks viewing party and ice cream social on the ARTHUR FOSS.
  • Direct the long-running monthly Chantey Sings.
  • King County 4Culture recognized our work with a Landmark Challenge Grant of $25,000, the maximum funding, to complete system revitalization for the tug ARTHUR FOSS.  Systems repair will begin this winter in parallel with our continued work to restore the hull, supported by an earlier grant.



Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

There are no recent grants awarded to this organization.


Similar Organizations

Give broadly to Arts & Culture
If broadening access and engagement with the arts, increasing arts education in public schools, and creating and preserving arts space is important to you, then make a difference by giving to the Grantmaking Program.
Questions or comments about this organization?
Contact us to learn more.