Tahoe Maritime Museum finalizing move to Tahoe City to expand offerings | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Maritime Museum finalizing move to Tahoe City to expand offerings

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Tahoe Maritime Museum is in the process of purchasing Tahoe Tree Company's large swath of land in Tahoe City in order to expand its offerings and attractions to locals and visitors.

The Homewood-based museum plans to relocate to Tahoe Tree Company's 10-acre property and 6,400-square-foot building at 401 West Lake Blvd. once escrow closes, which is likely in October, said Lora Nadolski, executive director of Tahoe Maritime Museum.

The museum's facilities are currently split, with its gallery and offices in Homewood, and its collection of more than 30 vessels, artifacts and archival materials stored in a leased Reno warehouse, she said.

"The great piece of this property is that it's large enough that everything can be on the property and actually preserve a lot of the grounds," Nadolski said.

The nursery company — which is not being sold — will continue operating on the property.

"We still love the nursery part of it," said Leslie Hyche, who, with her husband, John, owns Tahoe Tree Company. "(The property) it's a big nut to carry, especially with winters around here, so this will kind of lighten the load, and we just found somebody who would love the land as much as we have and take great care of it."

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Since the deal is in escrow, financial terms are not being disclosed at this time.

Until the deal goes through, Tahoe Tree Company and Tahoe Maritime Museum at 5205 West Lake Blvd., Homewood, will continue to operate normally in their respective locations.

After escrow closes, Tahoe Tree Company will lease a portion of the property from Tahoe Maritime Museum to maintain the nursery business on site, John said.

In the fall, Tahoe Maritime Museum will relocate its gallery exhibit to the then former Tahoe Tree Company building, making minor modifications to the structure for display purpose, Nadolski said. Outside, Tahoe Tree Company will sell mainly plants, flowers and trees, John said.

Tahoe Maritime Museum plans to sell its Homewood homestead, with money from the sale to go toward loan payments for the Tahoe Tree Company property and future campus construction, Nadolski said.

As a nonprofit organization, it will also seek donations from individuals and private foundations and apply for local, state and federal grants to raise campus funds, she said.

A fundraising campaign is expected to kick off this summer, Nadolski said.

Since campus plans are "very preliminary" at this point, it's unknown how much it will cost, she said.

However, the campus is envisioned to include historical and art exhibition galleries, classroom and community meeting spaces, a boat restoration building and collection storage facility, with a small library, according to the museum.

It's anticipated the campus would take a few years to complete, Nadolski said.

"One location is much easier to manage," Nadolski said. "… For us it actually ends up making it so we can offer much more to the public when they come into the museum because it's not just one gallery, so there's going to be a lot more for them to see and do here."

In addition, the museum hopes to continue holding known events on the property, such as concerts for the Lake Tahoe Music Festival along with other events and private functions.

About Tahoe Maritime Museum

It was founded in 1987 and began as a small seasonal display in Sugar Pine Point State Park in the late 1990s. In 2001, Tahoe Maritime Museum purchased its current Homewood location at 5205 West Lake Blvd., opening its 5,500 square-foot gallery building in 2008. Visit tahoemaritimemuseum.org to learn more.

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About Tahoe Tree Company

It was founded by Leslie Hyche’s father, Dave McBride, in 1954, and is one of the older family-run businesses in the area. Visit tahoetreecompany.com to learn more.