Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Advance Leader and Indy Star

Jerry Nesbitt and Jed Mast at the Ligonier Public Library sent me this clipping from I thought I'd post it here along with my response to Bob Buttgen at the Advance Leader in Ligonier who asked me to respond to some questions about how the proposed project would affect the Ligonier Historical Society, the Library, and the archival collections. I've summarized my comments to Bob below:

Right now we have been awarded an Indiana Landmarks Endangered Places Grant in the amount of $1750. These initial funds will help provide honoraria to architects for their help in recommending a scope of work and budget to stabilize the building structure. I don't have specifics yet, but the architects were very impressed by the way the Ligonier community has taken care of the building. It is in incredible condition and is a physical testament to the community's commitment to historic preservation of a sacred space. But, being built in 1889, there are some regular maintenance issues that need to be addressed. The architects acknowledged that the building needs a new roof (which might have originally been slate), some plaster on the interior needs to be repaired due to water damage, and some masonry needs restorative tuck-pointing. The stained glass windows currently have protective glass covering them. However, with recent archival techniques, we can replace this glass with glass including UV protection to prevent the windows from fading due to the sun's rays. Several of the windows are bowing around the bottom panes which will need to be stabilized by a professional. In addition, the front doors to the building do not have an appropriate seal, allowing bugs and the elements to freely come into the building. 
The Ligonier History Museum will most definitely benefit from any renovations of the Ahavas Sholom building. The Library owns the building, so the Library too will benefit from the renovations. Included in a grant proposal will be a line item to organize and provide adequate storage and display of the Historical Society collections. Whether or not the Ligonier Historical Society collections will stay in the Ahavas Sholom building, or being relocated, has not been determined. At the end of the day, that's putting the cart before the horse! If we are awarded the monies- the building must first be stabilized and the collections of the Ligonier History Museum will ONLY be enhanced and showcased for the community education and enjoyment.  

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