museum logo
New Museum Project

Rendering of the new Lacey Museum and Cultural Center

What’s Happening at the Site?

The old warehouse has come down as Phase 3 of the New Lacey Museum & Cultural Center project is wrapping up. Phase 3 was funded by the City’s second Heritage Capital Projects Grant from the Washington State Historical Society.

Phase 4, construction of the new facility, is intended to take place by 2026 depending on available funding. Until then, the site will not only be the home of the Lacey Depot, both a free public use trail amenity and private rental space but also the City’s Food Truck Plaza including diverse foods to try, entertainment, pop up markets, additional outside seating, and an educational kiosk regarding the New Museum & Cultural Center project. And, of course, the train playground is a always huge hit for families!

Check out our time lapse video below to see the whole project in 90 seconds.

Lacey’s New Museum Project

The museum will be an east anchor of the City’s new Depot District (see map below), which is in close proximity to the historically rich and significant Saint Martin’s University. The Depot District will be an inviting, walkable area of Lacey, which will connect Lacey’s past; considering the replica of the historic depot and the artifacts that will be housed in the museum – to Lacey’s future; considering the larger space needed and the innovative exhibits, programs, education, and community gatherings that will take place there.

The museum campus will provide vitality to the Depot District with a train-themed playground, picnic tables, and restrooms. The museum campus will provide a picturesque space for families, students, and community to gather and has the additional benefits of walkability and connectivity with a focus on cultural heritage, historic preservation, and civic value and identity.


Objectives from public comment, stakeholders, and staff input, include:

  • Increase visibility
  • Be a center for community engagement
  • Educate all ages, genders, ethnicities & backgrounds about Lacey history, heritage & culture
  • Provide opportunities for new & repeat visitation
  • Improve identification of Lacey as a unique CityStrive to meet professional standards
  • Increase public trust in the museum

Project Background

The new museum project, one of Lacey’s long-term goals, has been in development for nearly a decade.


Extensive public input for the City’s Comprehensive Plan substantiated the need for museum expansion. The project was added to the Capital Facilities Plan and approved by City Council.

An architectural firm was hired to solicit public input for the program, develop a floor plan, a preliminary site plan, and cost estimates for the museum. Public workshops generated ideas that helped refine design concepts and solutions.


An in-depth review of the site plan, floor plan, and design concepts reveled that the original plan to house museum operations in the reconstructed historic train depot was logistically challenging.

The City purchased the adjoining Carpet Express property, which provided an opportunity to re-envision the project.


Staff updated the site plan, evaluated the Lebanon Street extension, revisited parking and circulation, considered exterior changes, and evaluated interior space needs. The train depot was approved as a separate structure and project, originally conceived as a commemorative project for the City’s 50th Anniversary.

Following an extensive community-outreach campaign, the Community and Economic Development Department developed a subarea plan for the City’s new Depot District.


The State of Washington awarded the City a Heritage Capital Project Grant to fund the design contract with KMB Architects. Design work began in the fall.

The Lacey Depot and nearby train-themed playground were completed along with historic markers.  Work continued on the architecture and engineering for the new museum.

Architecture and engineering were completed for the new museum. The Lacey Depot opened to the public. The City was awarded a Heritage Capital Project Grant by the State of Washington to prepare the site for construction.


The Food Truck plaza pilot program started at the Depot site.  Bids were awarded to begin the site work.

The old carpet store building was demolished and the site was prepared for construction.