Almont's museum project under way
Project scheduled to be finished in time for 'Homecoming,' Aug. 13-15
July 14, 2010ALMONT — Work is currently under way on much-needed physical repairs and improvements to the Almont Historical Society Museum, located at 149 S. Main St. downtown.
The building's rehabilitation is being spearheaded by historical society members, with financial assistance from the Almont Downtown Development Authority.
Constructed in the mid-1850s, the venerable wood-structure building has served multiple purposes over the decades; serving as a post office, law office, antique shop, children's clothing store and the former home of Mr. and Mrs. Rueben Braidwood.
Several years ago, the building was slated to be moved to Crossroads Village in Flint. However, a community wide effort led by Richard and Debbie Muir helped keep the building at its original location.
|The village’s current historical society museum was once home to the Almont Post Office.|
DDA Director Nancy Boxey said the $65,000 preservation project features replica front doors, moldings and brackets, and the refurbishing of the existing transom.
She noted that much of the building's original facade remains intact, though portions of the upper cornice and decorative features are missing.
"This is more than just prettying up a building," said Boxey. "By preserving this structure we are helping to maintain our town's rich history and character.
"We are leading by example," she continued. "No one wants to invest in a community whose buildings are crumbling. This building was deteriorating at a rate that required immediate attention."
Working along with RLA Associates architectural firm of Washington Twp., the DDA used a formal process to select the project's contractor.
Boxey noted that the DDA was able to utilize the professional services of the Almont- and DDA-based Grabill Windows and Doors for the materials.
"Grabills is a nationally recognized leader in high-end custom windows and doors and has experience in historic reproductions," said Boxey. "We're happy to have benefitted from their knowledge and expertise."
The DDA awarded the construction contract to Advantage Carpentry of Roseville, whose experience with historic preservation is significant and meets the rehabilitation standards required by the Department of Interior.
"This is a great project for the community," said Boxey, "and the DDA is proud of its role in helping preserve an important piece of Almont's history."
She said the project is expected to be completed by the 2010 Almont Homecoming Festival, scheduled for August 13-15.
While the DDA is picking up the tab for the project, Boxey hopes community members will kick in for several interior projects at the museum, including new insulation, carpeting and landscaping for the rear of the building.
"We're always hopeful for donations of money, time and materials," she said. "We will need some help to complete those projects."
For more information about the museum preservation project, call the DDA office at 810-798-8125. Or visit www.almontdda.com.
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.