Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

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OMSI from across the Willamette

OMSI (for short) is a science and technology museum located at 1945 SE Water Avenue in a set of inventively renovated industrial buildings along the Willamette River.


  • Location: 1945 SE Water Ave., Portland, OR
  • Hours:
    • Museum 9:30am - 7:00pm MONDAY — SUNDAY
    • Submarine Tours start at 9:50am MONDAY — SUNDAY
    • Theory Eatery 11:00am - 4:00pm MONDAY — SUNDAY
    • Galileo's Snack Bar 8:30am - 7:00pm

The bicycle commuter Springwater Corridor trail segment begins just south of the OMSI property and leads all the way to Sellwood then east to Boring. The Tilikum Crossing Bridge currently under construction will terminate just south of OMSI. The CL Line streetcar also terminates at the museum.


The museum's history begins in 1903 with the display of odd artifacts in hallways and alcoves of the Portland Citty Hall. The collection was evicted in 1936, containing about 12,000 artifacts. On November 5, 1944, the Oregon Museum Foundation was founded with the mission of establishing an Oregon Museum of History, Science, and Industry. It displayed its first collection of natural history objects at the Portland Hotel. Subsequent small exhibits occurred around town to generate interest and donations. In 1949, a house at 908 NE Hassalo was donated to establish the museum. Within a year, the Pacific Northwest's first public planetarium opened in a dome on the front lawn.

OMSI's annual attendance had grown to 25,000 by 1955 which led to the expansion to a new site at Washington Park, completing the original goal of a hands-on museum. (That building is now occupied by the Portland Children's Museum.) This opened to the public on August 3, 1958 and a planetarium was again included.

The building was designed to handle 100,000 people a year but by the mid-1980s, 600,000 people per year were visiting the museum. In 1986 is was announced that the museum would move to a new location on the east bank of the Willamette River. Property that included the historic Station L power plant was donated by Portland General Electric and the building construction was paid for via fundraising. The new site opened in 1992 and still serves as the current location.

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