Fort Worden Building 305 Art and Education Center

Port Townsend, WA


Make Art not War

Fort Worden and the accompanying Fort Worden State Park are located along Admiralty Inlet in Port Townsend, Washington. Home to arts and humanities programming since 1972, the turn of the century military fort has transitioned from a place made for World War I and II defenses into a world class humanities destination focused on the visitor experience. Following a Program Development Planning phase in 2015, Signal is working with Fort Worden and its partner organizations to design Makers Square that will provide facilities that focus on arts and education, studios, and residency programs.

Built in 1914, Building 305 (Quartermaster’s House) was the first structure on the Fort Worden site, serving as the headquarters for construction of all buildings throughout the life of the campus. It will be the catalyst for the adaptive reuse and development of Makers Square programming and tribute to the legacy of arts and education at Fort Worden State Park. Classrooms and studios will range from utilitarian and coarse, for material intensive programming through gallery and exhibit education and presentation. A daylit interior, new canopy and bleacher-type loading dock will embrace the historic character of the building while preparing it for a wide range of arts programming for the community and visitors.

As part of the historic preservation plan, buildings 308 and 324 will be upgraded to provide durable, much needed private artist studios in support of Makers Square programming, residency programs, and local artists. Resulting from twelve months of programming interviews, surveys, and workshops, Makers Square aims to provide a resilient resource for arts programming, from digital to analog, multimedia to fine arts, with foundations both in history and the future.

Year of Completion: 2018

Cannons: Zero

Artists per year: 30,000

Partner Organizations: 14+

This is really exciting, how we could develop this in a way that is flexible and sustainable. It’s great that the consultants recognized input from the community, rather than coming in with a preconceived idea.

Rodger Schmitt, Washington State Parks Commissioner


Port Townsend Leader
April 7, 2017

Port Townsend Leader
July 13, 2016

Daily Journal of Commerce
November 6, 2017