David Madeira's THREAT GAME or How the LeMay Museum Stole Christmas

look out Peter Callahan is feeling hacked off!! (ew).
posted Dec 22, 2009
THE TACOMIC - David Madeira's THREAT GAME or How the LeMay Museum Stole Christmas (tacoma, lemay, museum, David Madeira)
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Here is what I understand so far, Tacoma is giving two humongous parking lots away to the LeMay Museum folks so they can build a giant silver cucumber to place all the cars crazy old-man Harold LeMay collected over his lifetime. The LeMay Museum folks are on shaky financial ground so they'd like to put up the two humongous Tacoma Dome parking lots up as collateral to get more bank loans; however, the city is less than thrilled with the idea of some bank owning the two humongous parking lots at the Tacoma Dome should the dream of an automobile museum fail to capture the imagination of a depression plagued public. Naturally, about the only recourse a rational thinking president of the LeMay Museum can do is to threaten to give up completely on Tacoma and go someplace more Automobile Museum friendly... like Puyallup...  or some god forsaken sh!t-hole town that would happily suck up all expenses for the privilege of displaying a bunch of musty, obsolete consumer products. We're not talking about an International Museum of Carousel Art! We're talking about AMERICA'S CAR MUSEUM!!!! HORSELESS CARRIAGES!!  You know those four-wheel machines burning through all our planet's irreplaceable sweet crude oil. Those same infernal machines all the a-holes working at Russell will be piling inside to drive up to Seattle everyday next year.

car habitat

freedom isnt free

by Erik on 12/22/2009 @ 12:13am
The LeMay Museum will be great.

What do you have against museums?!

by NineInchNachos on 12/22/2009 @ 12:23am
maybe I just outgrew my hotwheels

by NineInchNachos on 12/22/2009 @ 12:26am
Other Christmas Gifts to the Wealthy:

- Bicentennial Pavilion Sale to Hotel Murano
- Pacific Plaza $1 Lease
- ???

by ElectricElliot on 12/22/2009 @ 12:36am
The only thing the Lemay Museum is going to attract is debt. Sure, there are a handful of car enthusiasts out there, but I don't think folks will come from far and wide to hit this up. After opening, five visitors a day, max.

by Erik on 12/22/2009 @ 12:57am
In the post oil world, people are going to have to bury and entomb their cars.

Why not in Tacoma?

by Mofo from the Hood on 12/22/2009 @ 7:51am
Tacoma has a museum of glass. Enough said.

by NineInchNachos on 12/22/2009 @ 8:02am
i'll go on the free 3rd Thursday art walks.
Just hope it is more exciting than the WSHM..

from the pictures kinda reminds me of a chuckie cheese

by The Jinxmedic on 12/22/2009 @ 8:08am
I am not even bothering to post on this thread. It's not worth losing my friends about.

okay - one post:

I would suggest a field trip to the Marymount facility and arranging a visit to the residence collection would be in order, to see just what the significance is about. Get your data together before condemning an entire project.

I can use similar arguments simply based on personal opinions, too- for example:

1) I don't like glass- get rid of the Museum of Glass. Glass can break, it is sharp and pointy. It is a hazard to life and limb. Get rid of it. Also- the hot shop is too hot, and contributes to global warming. I thought we were supposed to be progressive around here?

2) History is icky, old, and stuffy. Get rid of the State History Museum. Who wants to see a bunch of old stuff, anyway? Yuk. The FUTURE is what it's all about, man. Get real.

3) Why are we wasting money and resources on an Art Museum? You want to see art? Go to New York City. I hear they have a good museum there. All supporting art does is to encourage non-productive people to remain non-productive. What a waste of space. We could use all that money for a new needle exchange program.

(and on, and on, and on....)

by NineInchNachos on 12/22/2009 @ 8:29am
Yeah, this cartoon shouldn't be taken too seriously.
I believe JinxMedic is 98% correct with all his pro-LeMay opinions.

I just couldn't resist an opportunity to mock an important person with that kenny rogers line that came to me in a dream.

It would be sad to lose LeMay to another city.

by fredo on 12/22/2009 @ 8:37am
Good drawing RR.

Elliot, I don't agree that lemay would not draw crowds. The auto may be a relic and symbol of all that's wrong with modern culture but they're fun to look. Given the choice I would rather look at old cars than old Indian blankets and blown glass thing-a-ma-jigs.

Having said that, Tacoma has a long history of involvement with projects which were supposed to draw huge crowds of tourists to our city. Anyone remember the Bicentennial Pavillion or the Tacoma Convention Center? And we've been detrimentally entangled with non-profits before. Remember the MLK Housing Authority?

The city manager needs to proceed cautiously here. If we are going to give away the building site then we need to be assured that the museum is going to be built and operated. We cannot lose control of the property and never get a museum.

by The Jinxmedic on 12/22/2009 @ 8:40am
There's always Dayton, Nevada. I hear they got the Minting and Money museum that was supposed to come to the other side of Foss waterway... (but I think that move is more state-caused than city-caused)

'toon on, sir.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 12/22/2009 @ 8:52am
The LeMay people have all those fancy cars, let them put them up for collateral. Personally I don't think these LeMay people are any better than the MLK housing people. All they are looking for is some money to pay themselves, the project is secondary. At least with the cars on the line they have some incentive to actually make this work. With city property they are free to walk away when they have exhausted the money and haven't come up with anything close to being a museum.

by NineInchNachos on 12/22/2009 @ 9:00am
Tacoma is the best place for another museum.


by fredo on 12/22/2009 @ 9:14am
The city already owns a large multi-purpose structure which is currently not being used, is located in proximity to the proposed museum site and which could be inexpensively modified to provide for a temporary museum suitable for testing the waters. Its call the Tacoma Convention Center.

The non-profit lemays are having trouble raising enough money to build their dream structure. Part of the problem is that nobody knows what the demand for a car museum is and construction costs are extremely high.

The only reason I can see for not putting the lemay into the convention center (at least on an interim basis) is ego. The lemays would have to admit that their plans are a little shaky, and the city would have to admit that building the convention center was a mistake.

by The Jinxmedic on 12/22/2009 @ 9:24am
The collection originally comprised of 3000 vehicles.

The initial planning was paid for by private and corporate donations, and after that, the "lesser significant" cars were used (read "sold") to fund architectural fees, EIS's, comercial viability studies, and contractor assessments- leaving only the core collection of approximately 1500 cars intact and owned by the non-profit foundation. Museum collections CAN NOT be used as collateral, which is why so much of the collection had to be sold to get this project underway.

It never ceases to amaze me how little most people know about how actual museums operate, and the rules binding them.

(Check out source documentation from AAM, WMA, or the NPS to get the idea of how this works in real life.)

For a little more information on the LeMay project, try reading about it from the source- it's not all of the answers, but it's better than guessing:

by The Jinxmedic on 12/22/2009 @ 9:33am
Fredo- build the museum as planned, and you have a draw to help give a reason for corporations to support the convention center. Planning convention locations is ALWAYS based on not just available facilities, but also local draws- Tacoma is trying, but isn't quite there yet. A major car museum attracts visitors who could care less about art, history, or glass museums. The LeMay museum would be that kind of a draw. I have worked on several major museum projects (but not this one), and have seen the studies. Trust me on this.

Incidentally, one of the stumbling blocks has been the absence of enough hotel room availability in the downtown core (i.e.the Foss Waterway development), but that's another story for the city council now, isn't it?

by Erik on 12/22/2009 @ 9:53am
Auto racetrack in county = bad.

Resting place for fancy cars at the end of the LINK line = good.

by fredo on 12/22/2009 @ 10:09am
Jinx-I'm not trying to sound like an authority on museums, I'm not. I'm only commenting as an interested observer.

Tacoma has a beautiful and mostly unused facility with huge capacity. Building it was a mistake, but now it's here. Lemay has plans for a beautiful facility but apparently doesn't have the funding. I'm just putting the pieces together.

Jinx you state that convention centers are ALWAYS based on local draws. Could you tell us what the local draws were that precipitated the decision to build the Tacoma Convention Center?
And since the Convention Center is a complete flop perhaps you would comment on the use of "local draws" in the decision making process. Is Lemay going to be another flop like the Convention Center?

As a final comment, once my wife I planned to buy a second home in Hawaii. We looked at some properties with a realtor and then ran the numbers. Subsequently we built a home in the Philippines. I mention this story because it illustrates an important life's OK to change your plans.

by Mofo from the Hood on 12/22/2009 @ 10:58am
I recently read that in China the American made Buick automobile is quite popular.

This to me is encouraging news because I grew up thinking that American ingenuity is the best in the world.

The proposed LeMay museum, if built to represent American ingenuity in architectural design & engineering---the building itself and the contents---it should be embraced by the technological community and the art & design community, academics and laymen alike.

If American ingeniuty represents anything, it represents what is exceptional about America, and that thing is personal freedom.

You want socialism? You want the government to regulate your hard-earned dollars?---tell you what health care you will have, tell you how many children you will have, tell you what kind of housing you will have, tell you how you will travel?---Move to China.

by daubermaus on 12/22/2009 @ 11:44am
Push da button.......

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 12/22/2009 @ 11:54am
We may have lost the Luzon building but fredo is building in Luzon?

by The Jinxmedic on 12/22/2009 @ 11:55am
har har...


by NineInchNachos on 12/22/2009 @ 12:49pm
Man. that Crenshaw zinger is worth 100+ experience points. LEVEL UP!

by L.S.Erhardt on 12/22/2009 @ 5:14pm
Does that make him a level 16 commenter?

While the level may not be impressive, his +12 Mace of Wit makes Crenshaw a formidable foe

...also notice both photos provided were taken in Federal Way.

by Exchequer on 12/22/2009 @ 5:36pm
The mark of a good satire cartoonist is compelling artwork, a keen sense of what’s going on around them and a healthy dose of sarcasm and intellect. This piece has the first but totally lacks the other three. Shame shame this is junk.

by JesseHillFan on 12/22/2009 @ 5:57pm
I would like us to have a nuclear weapons museum so we could look at various types of nuclear and thermonuclear ordnance.You know good ole fun stuff from the 20th century.How about including a Davy Crockett tactical nuclear rifle,an atomic cannon and put some I.C.B.M.'s in there too.We could have a cold war area with bunkers,radiation testers etc.
Kenny Rogers that's straight out laughs from MAD TV.
I like the drawing.

by NineInchNachos on 12/22/2009 @ 8:19pm

feeling hacked off like Peter Callahan?

by NineInchNachos on 12/22/2009 @ 10:54pm
maybe i'm not a satire cartoonist. Maybe i'm a humorless cartoonist like Ziggy or Garfield.

Even so, the tacomic gets a plug from the fine folks at the TNT

also yes, I am a fan of the Davy Crockett Nuclear Bazooka. JesseHillFan you should see if you can pick up a copy of the worlds worst weapons book.

might make a good Christmas present

the entry in the book about project pluto is particularly horrifying

by L.S.Erhardt on 12/23/2009 @ 12:15am
Every once in a while, those idiots in the Pentagon cook up a great acronym.

SLAM is probably the best armed forces related acronym of all time.

Hey, RR... you might like this one: Project Orion. I tell ya, anything involving Freeman Dyson is a winning concept.

by JesseHillFan on 12/23/2009 @ 1:16am
Here is a video about Project Orion.It was a very interesting concept at the time.There are some variations upon this idea.

by neap_tide on 12/23/2009 @ 3:04pm
Tacoma City Fathers: DON'T fall for it!
1) Look at the LeMay Museum's IRS 990 reports for the past several years (public documents available from the IRS or on-line). These are financial reports that non-profit organizations must file as part of maintaining their non profit status. It ought to be enough to make you wonder about the sincerity of leadership. You'll uncover data about more-than-handsome salaries..... and the new building isn't even up!
2) Crenshaw's idea about putting the cars up for collateral is a great idea! They need to "put the money where their mouth is"!

3) What do you think of the museum design? Looks nice but I smell high operating expenses. It's one thing to pay to build it. But forever after you need to pay for a lot of maintenance, utilities and salaries to keep the doors open.
4) Mr Mayor: Please read Paul Nutt's "Why Decisions Fail: Avoiding the Blunders and Traps that Lead to Debacle's". I wouldn't give anyone property who looks like they have a bit too much smoke, mirrors and hot air.
5) BTW I LOVE old cars and have one myself ( a '37) but you don't need an elaborate building to house the collection. Deep down I don't believe you are ever going to get enough visitors at $$ a head over a years time to pay all the bills, much less the directors handsome salary. Say 1,000 visitors a day (very optimistic) at $15 each and 360 days a year is about $5.4 million a year. Look at their level of expenses in their IRS 990. With the added expenses of a new building and larger staff an Aussie would say " My sums don't seem to be working out".

Sorry for the rant

by neap_tide on 12/23/2009 @ 3:16pm
Where do your factoids about museums not being able to use their collections as collateral come from?
Reference Metropolitan Opera New York borrowed $35 million using Chagall murals it owns as collateral. (New York Times, 3/3/2009)

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 12/23/2009 @ 4:54pm
It really works down to they just don't want to put up the cars for collateral. Once the cars are gone, and it is very likely this whole mess could go into foreclosure, the gravy train for the management will be gone. So long as they hang onto the cars they have some pretense of a museum and they can always go begging to keep themselves in cushy salaries and expense accounts. Should the city allow these guys to use the dome land for collateral the Lemay people can still walk away and peddle their cars to some other city and keep riding the gravy train. The cars are their ticket on the gravy train.

by Erik on 1/29/2010 @ 12:43am
Looks like a deal was worked out!

Tacomas city manager and LeMay auto museum officials this week resolved a lingering dispute over an agreement to build a long-awaited car museum on land next to the Tacoma Dome.

Both sides have agreed that museum officials can pledge city land donated for the project as collateral for future bank loans so long as they get the citys approval and spend the loans to improve the museum.

I think it was a good resolution, City Manager Eric Anderson said Wednesday. It protects us in the way we intended to be protected, and it gives the museum the opportunity to improve on its success.

The museum would clearly see this as a concession to the city, said Paul Miller, secretary of the museums board of directors. But its a request were willing to agree to in order to move this project forward.

Now that the clash has been settled, museum officials say they can move ahead to finalize financing for the projects first phase: construction of a $20 million car center for the collection.

Wed love to be breaking ground by April, Miller said.

Poor Freighthouse Square needs help now!

by The Jinxmedic on 1/29/2010 @ 6:16am
The LeMay facility just being there will help Freighthouse Square.

by Erik on 1/29/2010 @ 7:46am
The LeMay facility just being there will help Freighthouse Square.


by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/29/2010 @ 8:07am
All those people parking at the Tacoma Dome station hasn't done much to help out the Freighthouse Square. Every bLink that goes by the Freighthouse hasn't helped. I'm fairly certain a fancy car museum will not do much to help.

by Jesse on 1/29/2010 @ 8:18am
Yes! LeMay museum breaking ground by April?! I'll believe it when I see it.

by NineInchNachos on 1/29/2010 @ 8:46am
so with the agreement the city will keep their parking lot if LeMay goes belly up even if the land is put up for collateral?

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/29/2010 @ 8:59am
I think the museum will provide both an entertaining and useful resource that will show what men have used their minds to produce; and it will inspire others to surpass those creative and technological achievements.

by KevinFreitas on 1/29/2010 @ 9:27am
I think LeMay will be a great addition to our bevvy of local museums so I do hope this project gets of the ground soon.

Re: Will it help Freighthouse?

No chance. There are far more issues with Freighthouse (a couple of which Crenshaw pointed out above) than just that. Start with the smell and the terrible, claustrophobic layout and go from there...

by droid116 on 1/29/2010 @ 9:59am
Beep beep, um beep beep, yeah.

by Nick on 1/29/2010 @ 10:00am
Yeah, I don't think the problem with Freighthouse is it's location, visibility, or the amount of foot/wheel traffic nearby. I think most of the problems can be found from within.

by NineInchNachos on 1/29/2010 @ 10:24am
...or wafting out from within.

by Nick on 1/29/2010 @ 10:40am
I'm actually really excited about this. I know many of us aren't happy with the automobile, after what it's existence has done to our downtown core.

But a museum of classic cars also demonstrates our accomplishments in engineering and design and is a part of our cultural history.

I'm a bit partial because I love cars. But I look forward to a day when the only car-centric structure in downtown Tacoma is this museum. Heh, riiight....

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/29/2010 @ 11:33am
My take on Freighthouse Square:

It's setting resembles a street fair, which is a temporary happening. The key elements of street fairs include vendors that target their operating capital and sales cycle to time sensitive parameters. It's a hit and run method of sales. That usually works fine for subsistence funds, but not for generating surplus. If you establish a permanent setting for people who operate with a nomadic business model, the pressure of fixed expenses and the necessity of structuring a daily routine in a stable environment can and does separate the categories of different business people. The past tenents of Freighthouse Square no doubt include a mix of business owners that have returned to nomadic selling, and others who have moved to a different stable setting.

If Freighthouse Square is perceived as an ongoing streetfair, then the following assumption is worth considering. For the customer, the appeal of street fairs is the novelty of the event. Novelties, like ice cream, are very satisfying to the point where you over indulge and then you just might stay away from it for a long time. Suppose downtown's farmer's market, which also includes nomadic vendors, operated everyday of week. It wouldn't take long before the novelty of the event lost it's appeal and charm for both the vendor and customer.

Freighthouse Square is a novel setting that is continually striving to sustain its appeal and charm. Novelty, which by definition means something new, if used to characterize Freighthouse Square explains why that business model can never be a stable entity.

Freighthouse Square is an illusion.

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/29/2010 @ 11:45am
Unlike Freighthouse Square, the proposed car museum is a vision. They both offer temptation and opportunity, but that's a novelty which I personally find repulsive.

by NineInchNachos on 1/29/2010 @ 12:18pm
I loved cars once. But then I grew into an adult and learned of things that go along with owning a car. Now i'm old and hate cars. hate insurance companies. hate oil companies. hate driving. hate traffic. hate so many things it isn't even economical to list them all in a comment. My hotwheels? they're on display in my museum.

I look forward to visiting LeMay's giant glass cucumber for free on a third Thursday with my son with hotwheels tucked in his overall pockets: "look Son, look at these wonderful machines that once tried to kill our planet!"

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/29/2010 @ 4:08pm
Cars are made of all-natural ingredients.

by Altered Chords on 1/29/2010 @ 4:13pm
Oil and it's by products are organic compounds.

by NineInchNachos on 1/29/2010 @ 4:20pm
man and his creations are part of the natural world. That and a hill of beans.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/30/2010 @ 6:22am

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/30/2010 @ 2:01pm
I was walking near 26th & Proctor recently and I was surprised to find a shop that sells model building kits that included some of the same cars I built when I was a kid. Brands like Revell were on a shelf near the front window and the kits looked like they were O.E.M.* N.O.S.*

original equipment manufacturer
new old stock

If the new museum doesn't include a campus model kit shop, who wants to start a new business in the Dome District? Freighthouse Square rent can be business friendly. (NO glue sniffers. Potential business partners will be subject to handwritten drug test questions.)

by NineInchNachos on 1/30/2010 @ 2:42pm
Have you seen the What Shopee? over by the Mecca Mofo? They have tons of model kits. Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Even fantasy vehicles from the motion pictures!

I once saw an artist who combined plastic model kits with crab shells. the VW bug with crab legs was pretty fantastic.

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/30/2010 @ 3:42pm
I'll check out the What Shopee next week. After my model making transition from WWII and Korean War planes to Horror flick stars like Phantom of the Opera and Wolfman, the first car model I bought at 9 or 10 years old was the then prime time T.V. star the Munstermobile. That model is long gone but I still have from that same era, in its original box, "Li'l Coffin" complete with a human skeleton that leans on the car with his elbow---Not For Sale.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/30/2010 @ 4:07pm
The What Shopee is a true Tacoma treasure. They have seriously stuck by downtown through thick and thin and even thinner.

by NineInchNachos on 1/30/2010 @ 4:57pm
dunno, seems like the munstermobile is something the what shoppe would have.

by L.S.Erhardt on 1/30/2010 @ 7:39pm
I would give Mofo's right leg for a Munstermobile.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/31/2010 @ 5:23am
Well, there is the CLAWmobile... ...we will probably bring this over to the make space to work on, and to make accessories for it.

by NineInchNachos on 2/8/2011 @ 7:59am
thanks exit133!

and here...

good times!

by cisserosmiley on 2/8/2011 @ 10:26am
i wish everyone would take another look at this because it is really this type of stunt that goofs the grand scheme of social interaction it is extremely difficult to engineer a populations' demographic. "leaders" in tacoma have paid consultants millions over the decades to tell them WE are "under incomed" well, building a church of dukes of hazzard does not help...even if it were a museum of national treasures WE would still need "leaders" that guide our populations' needs forward instead of being bummed at who we are.

by NineInchNachos on 2/8/2011 @ 10:45am
you'd think the kinds of folks interested in the dukes of hazzard would frown on using gobernmint community bail out money... like alienating your base or something?

by The Jinxmedic on 2/8/2011 @ 11:02am
To reitterate a year-old comment- someday, you should wander on down to Le May's Marymount facility in Parkland and see some of what's there. I believe that this collection does indeed constitute a national treasure, and I rather look forward to the "Fall 2011" opening of LeMay's Tacoma operations.

by NineInchNachos on 2/8/2011 @ 11:06am
I would love to see his sausage grinder collection.

by cisserosmiley on 2/8/2011 @ 11:37am
ya, i spent all those years getting a history degree too...but it doesn't make it ok to steal tax dollars when there just was not the money from this community or from local and state lawmakers. the real point though is, like many other things "leaders" want to make this place better, more seattle like, less tacoma like, better for techy people, bad for current residents, good for theater and art and museums, bad for eating healthcare and warm winters - car tunnel does not help anyone?

by The Jinxmedic on 2/8/2011 @ 11:42am
I saw the sausage grinders at the LeMay house once- they are pretty amazing, too. Some are in a wire-mesh chicken coop type arrangement, which is really quite appropriate. I still think that would be a good exhibit in the WSHM Wunderkammer gallery.

by Mofo from the Hood on 2/8/2011 @ 9:55pm
People really need to visit the LeMay Car Museum and come to terms with the necessity of sophisticated manufacturing. If not then we're all at risk to lose the freedoms for which the United States is revered.

by cisserosmiley on 2/9/2011 @ 1:48am
better use for lemay cars #1
give one each to bus riders who now have no bus service

by NineInchNachos on 1/30/2012 @ 1:24pm
Oh that, LeMay...

by NineInchNachos on 3/28/2012 @ 1:20pm

where is it listed the number of HUD block grants the LeMay burned up?