Fort Worden State Park Conference Center is located in Port Townsend, WA on the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, where the Strait of Juan De Fuca meets Puget Sound. Its site was of strategic importance as one of three forts established to guard the entrance of Puget Sound during the early years of the last century. As methods of warfare changed over the years, Fort Worden morphed from a coast artillery post to a training base At the end of the Korean War, the army closed the fort, leaving only a few Naval and Air Force personnel to monitor radar and communications. After lying fallow for several years, the property was acquired by the State of Washington to serve as a correctional center for juvenile offenders. In the 1970’s, the state closed the facility, once again the property was vacant. Civic leaders in Port Townsend spearheaded a successful effort to save the fort for public enjoyment as a state park. Over the past 40 years, Fort Worden has become one of the most visited parks in the Washington State Parks system. As a perfect spot for conferences, vacations and brief getaways, the park offers camping; housing in the Victorians along Officers Row and Non-Commissioned Officers Row, and unique spots like Bliss Vista and Alexander’s Castle; as well as dormitory accommodations in the former Army barracks for large groups.
Fort Worden is home to several organizations offering cultural, artistic and educational experiences: the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, Centrum, Madrona MindBody Institute, the Commanding Officers Quarters Museum, the Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Historic Preservation, Copper Canyon Press, Corvidae Press, the Jefferson County site of Peninsula College, the Port Townsend Goddard College site, and the Fort Worden Conservancy, of which the Fort Worden Oral History Program is a project. Plans are being developed to establish Fort Worden as a Life Long Learning Center.