The Coos History Museum and Maritime Collection (CHMC) was founded by Oregon’s oldest historical society and now houses more than 250,000 historic photographs and artifacts of agrarian, maritime, and culture of the Oregon Coast. Located on the historic wharf at the gateway to Coos Bay in Oregon, the museum bridges the history of the region to the present through stories of the Coos and Coquille Tribes, coal miners, loggers, farmers, and shipbuilders who constitute the history of the region.
The Museum had long outgrown the facility it had occupied since 1950 and a grant in 2000 initiated a search for a new home. The grant stipulated that the new museum be located on Highway 101 in order to provide a development catalyst for the long abandoned historic wharf at Coos Bay.
Seattle-based Miller Hull Partnership was brought on to the project in 2010 with Mark Johnson (now Principal of Signal Architecture + Research) leading the team as Project Manager and Project Architect.
The goal was to design a museum that paid tribute to the past, drawing reference to historic wharf structures, while also serving as a beacon for change along the historic waterfront. The simple barnlike form of the building honors the history of the site while conveying a message of community and culture.