Museum of Glass
It began in August, 1992 in the course of a conversation between two friends, Phil Phibbs, who had recently retired as president of the University of Puget Sound and artist Dale Chihuly who had grown up in a neighborhood near the campus and had attended the university. Dr. Phibbs suggested that Tacoma should have a glass museum. He reasoned that artists from the Pacific Northwest had played a major role in the Studio Glass movement as it developed around the world. In particular, Dale Chihuly had influenced the movement significantly, first through his personal artistry and then through the Pilchuck Glass School, which he had founded in the early 1970s with Anne and John Hauberg.
It was serendipitous that the ideas to build a glass museum and redevelop the Thea Foss Waterway coincided to become a civic undertaking. Now the Museum is part of a larger cultural district, but it was ten years of visionary leadership, energy and hard work that made the dreams of a revitalized waterway a reality.
Today, the Museum’s stainless steel cone serves as a beacon to a stunning contemporary art museum as well as a symbol for the restoration of a waterway and the revitalization of a city.