Nordic Heritage Sites

Heritage Sites

Nordic Heritage Museum
Finland Room Objects, courtesy Nordic Heritage Museum
Nordic Heritage Museum
3014 NW 67th Street, 206.789.5707
The center of Seattle's Nordic community is the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard, and it is the only museum in the U.S. that represents the cultural heritage of all five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.  Permanent exhibits highlight Nordic culture, the immigration experience, and settlement in the Pacific Northwest, while special exhibits feature contemporary and historic arts and cultural themes.  The museum presents a wide range of programs including contemporary art exhibits, concerts, lectures, and special events such as the Nordic Film Festival.
Leif Erikson
Photo by Joe Mabel
Leif Erikson Statue at Shilshole Bay Marina
7001 Seaview Avenue NW
At the entrance to one of the largest marinas on the West Coast, an imposing statue of Leif Erikson looks toward the water, in keeping with Viking tradition. According to Norse sagas, Erikson was the first European to visit North America, in 1000 AD, and he is a folk hero for generations of Nordic immigrants.

The statue was created by sculptor August Werner, and was originally unveiled for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. It is now surrounded by a series of runic-like stones with Viking designs created by artist Jay Haavik, and a tribute to Scandinavian immigrants in the Pacific Northwest.
Fishermen's Terminal
Photo by Holly Taylor
Fishermen's Terminal
3919 – 18th Avenue W, 206.728.3395
Since 1914, this terminal has been a home port for the North Pacific fishing fleet, providing fresh water moorage for a variety of fishing vessels, many operated by second and third generation Norwegian families. A ceremonial Blessing of the Fleet is held each May, and a Fishermen's Memorial honors those lost at sea. These working docks are busiest in spring as crews prepare to depart for the summer fishing season, to catch halibut, cod, salmon and crab.
Swedish Cultural Center
Photo by Holly Taylor
Swedish Cultural Center
1920 Dexter Avenue N, 206.283.1090
Founded in 1892 by newly arrived Swedish immigrants, this organization's current facility overlooking Lake Union was built in 1960, and is a striking example of mid-century Modern architecture. The Center hosts performances, classes, and special events such as a famed monthly pancake breakfast.
Old Norway Hall
Old Norway Hall, courtesy Museum of History & Industry
Old Norway Hall (now Raisbeck Performance Hall)
2015 Boren Avenue, 206.726.5011
Commissioned by the Sons and Daughters of Norway, this social hall built in 1915 originally featured carved dragons on each of the four gables, and hosted dances and social events for Seattle's large Norwegian immigrant community. The dragons have moved on, but the building retains some traditional Norwegian design elements. After serving as a dance club for many years, the Hall is now a classroom and performance venue for Cornish College of the Arts.
Washington Hall
Photo courtesy of Historic Seattle
Washington Hall
153 – 14th Avenue, 206.316.7613
The local chapter of the Danish Brotherhood in America commissioned the construction of Washington Hall in 1908 to serve the Danish immigrant community as a fraternal lodge, settlement house and social center. As a performing arts venue, Washington Hall has hosted artists such as Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix and Billie Holiday. It is currently being restored by Historic Seattle, and it serves as an event space in one of Seattle's most ethnically diverse neighborhoods.
Swedish Hospital
First nursing staff, 1910, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections No. UW4661
Swedish Hospital
1201 Madison Street [location of historical displays]
More than a century ago, Dr. Nils Johanson, a surgeon and Swedish immigrant, convinced ten of his fellow Swedish Americans to buy $1,000 bonds in order to finance the opening of Swedish Hospital. Historical displays feature the stories and people associated with this internationally recognized medical center, and the history of the surrounding First Hill neighborhood.
Nordic Heritage Museum
Photo by Mary Levin, University of Washington
Edvard Grieg Statue
Skagit Lane, University of Washington Campus
Seattle hosted its first world's fair, called the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, in 1909 where the University of Washington is now located. The Norwegian and Swedish communities played active roles in that celebration, building a replica Viking ship to sail across Lake Washington, and sponsoring special Norway and Sweden Days during the fair. Another Nordic cultural legacy of the AYPE is a statue of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, which is located in a quiet grove just northwest of Suzzallo Library, near the heart of the neo-Gothic university campus.

brochure pdf

Nordic Heritage Guide
Download the guide here.