Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Huronia Museum Roof Trouble - Winter Damage

Huronia Museum Roof Collapse
Late in March of 2014, the Huronia Museum experienced the collapse of a section of its flat roof.  The Art Gallery of Huronia room was affected.  The enormous snowfall of this winter along with the thaw and freeze cycles created the conditions for the problem. The gallery contains work by the Group of Seven, early watercolours and the art of Midland artist W.J. Woods among others.  It is an important jewel in the museum’s crown.  The Huronia Museum opened in its first building, the old Playfair Mansion down near the harbour, in 1947. The current museum building in Little Lake Park was opened in 1967 and extended in 1975.
No art was damaged.  One display case and the carpeting was damaged.  The case can be restored. For the time being the art gallery room will be closed. 
For a number of years, the museum has been studying expansion construction plans looking for an appropriate plan of action to be followed by an intensive fundraising campaign.  One approach has progressed to the point of architectural drawings.  Another idea was to mimic the architectural style of local barn designs and add a second floor on the existing footprint structure.  
There are a number of issues that complicate the project of expansion.  Along the way the protracted settlement of the insurance claim following the fire that damaged part of the Huron village took up a lot of the time of the museum board and administrators. Another factor is the desire to include the boats of the maritime collection which are now in storage and unavailable for viewing. It cannot be denied that the Huronia Museum has a rich and varied collection: archaeology, pioneer, First Nations, maritime, and art collections.  The puzzling problem is how to fit all this worthy material and the museum’s wallet in the creation of a new, exciting home.  The museum has over one million artifacts in its collections.

Over the years our chapter has had outstanding cooperation from the museum.  You might consider the idea of a financial contribution to the Huronia Museum this year.

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