▶THE MAN:Harold LeMay turn down a car? Never
▶ACRES OF CARS:LeMays keep cars the way Harold left them
▶GALLERY:Slide show of LeMay and his cars – past and present
OPENED: June 2, 2012
ADDRESS: 2702 E. D. St., across from the Tacoma Dome
From Memorial Day to Labor Day
10 a.m.–5 p.m., seven days a week
Adult – $14
Student/military/senior (65+) – $12
Youth (5-12) – $8
Child (Under 5) – Free
Members – Free
Family (two adults and up to four children) – $40
Adults (10 or more) – $10 per person
Schools (10 or more) – $5 per person
BY THE NUMBERS
35 million: Pounds of concrete used to make the building.
14,200: Total man hours to build the museum.
150: Workers per-day (at peak) on the museum construction site.
79,000: Total square footage of museum walls and roof.
2,980: Sheets of 1⅛-inch plywood used to build the roof.
175: Average number of vehicles on display each day.
300: Number of cars that will fit on museum’s 3½-acre grass show field.
391,590 square feet (9 acres): Dimension of museum campus.
200: Volunteers needed to support operations.
Source: Lemay America’s Car Museum
A long, winding road from one car lover's dream to world-class museum
1942 – Harold LeMay barters for his first truck to start Spanaway garbage collection service, the basis for Harold LeMay Enterprises.
1963 – LeMay begins his most active and productive phase of collecting vintage cars.
1964 – Harold marries Nancy.
1995 – The couple first discusses the idea of a non-profit museum for Harold’s car collection.Show More ◄
Late 1996 – Tacoma City Manager Ray Corpuz leads a delegation to speak with LeMay about putting a car museum in Tacoma.
1997 – The LeMay Collection is listed in the “Guinness Book of World Records” as the largest privately owned antique and vintage vehicle collection in the world.
1998 – Harold and Nancy LeMay form nonprofit Harold E. LeMay Museum corporation.
July 1998 – LeMay and the City of Tacoma announce joint pursuit of a downtown car museum. Mayor Brian Ebersole says, “The city is hugely interested.”
October 1998 – City launches $30,000 task force study of feasibility and possible sites.
June 1999 – Task force says best location is parking lots west of Tacoma Dome.
August 1999 – Preliminary design includes 251,000-square-foot museum plus 10-story glass tower – the Tower of Horsepower – to display 800 cars.
September 2000 – City tentatively agrees to give Dome parking lots to museum.
Nov. 4, 2000 – Harold LeMay dies at age 81.
January 2001 – State Transportation Improvement Board awards $1 million grant to city for architectural work on museum.
April 2002 – Museum board hires consultant David Madeira as CEO.
May 2002 – Museum gives city ultimatum: Quit fiddling and close deal at Dome, or we move.
August 2002 – City and museum close deal on nine acres next to the Dome, plus promise of utilities and parking with total value estimated at $17.5 million.
November 2003 – Museum board approves design concepts for museum.
August 2004 – LeMay family gives $15 million to museum. Campaign for “America’s Car Museum” pegged at $167.5 million.
January 2005 – Nicola Bulgari, vice chairman of the Italian jewelry company Bulgari, joins museum’s board of directors.
June 2006 – State Farm Insurance gives $1.5 million to the effort, gets naming rights for museum’s theater.
2007 – U.S. economy sputters. Museum fundraising stalls.
September 2007 – Museum and city agree to build museum in stages. No Tower of Horsepower.
August 2008 – Waste Connections Inc. of Folsom, Calif., buys the Harold LeMay Enterprises garbage empire for undisclosed amount. With annual revenue of $100 million, LeMay is the largest privately owned solid waste services company in the Northwest.
April 2009 – City agrees to apply for a $3.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 108 program and relend it to the museum to help it get construction financing.
September 2009 – Museum auctions off 129 cars from LeMay collection, nets $1.1 million from $2.5 million in sales.
June 2010 – Groundbreaking ceremony for museum.
September 2011 – Construction mostly completed. First public event, “Hard Hats and High Heels,” celebrates end of construction and kicks off $12 million fundraising campaign to cover operations costs until museum opens.
May 2012 – Nancy LeMay contributes an additional $700,000.
June 2, 2012 – Grand opening.
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