Museum secures $ 500,000 grant for roof repair | The star
AUBURN – A $ 500,000 grant from the Save America’s Treasures grant program will help repair the roof of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.
“This federal grant is incredibly huge news, because it is so large, the sites must be national historic monuments, and successful grant funding is typically given to 20% of all applications,” said Brandon J. Anderson , executive director and CEO of the museum.
“We have been waiting for news on this grant since January and are delighted to share it with the public,” Anderson said Wednesday.
The museum will match the grant with private donations to pay for the estimated $ 1.1 million cost of the project. It will replace the 12,000 square foot roof and install a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system with controls.
The roof was last replaced in 1974, the year the museum opened, Anderson said.
“We’ve brought in all the roofers you can think of here. It is beyond the lifespan. It can no longer be corrected, ”he said.
Museum staff members use more than 80 buckets to catch leaks on the third floor of the building.
“We actually need to organize the cars and artifacts around the leaks. It’s not a problem that a museum should have, so it’s very important for us to take care of it, ”said Anderson. Water leaks damage the building by pushing the bricks outwards and the plaster inwards.
The air handling units on the roof of the building, installed in 1988, have become obsolete and are controlled by obsolete computer software.
“We take care of it so well that we’ve made things last beyond their useful life,” Anderson said of the building.
Plans call for the project to start in March and end by September 2022.
The museum will remain open throughout construction, although some exhibits may be moved temporarily.
“We are now in a place where we can actively start working – that exciting part where people can actually see that a difference is being made and that their generous donations are being used exactly for the purposes they have given them,” said Anderson.
The grant brings the museum halfway through its $ 5 million Framing Our Future fundraising campaign to preserve the building.
A technical study of the building’s needs identified stopping water infiltration as the first priority. After the roof is replaced, the museum will focus on restoring the plaster, repointing the masonry, and repairing its original metal framed windows.
“We’ve always worked to keep our building in the best condition possible, but this roofing project is beyond the scope of our cyclical maintenance budget,” Anderson said.
The Save America’s Treasures grant program is provided by the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. It uses the income from oil leases on the outer continental shelf.
Grants are available for places of national significance that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places or as national historic monuments. The museum qualifies on both counts.
Grant applications are judged on the basis of national importance, threat severity and feasibility.
The museum becomes the 12th Indiana project to be funded by the grants program, which began in 1999. This year, the National Park Service awarded $ 15.5 million in Save America’s Treasures grants to help fund 49 projects in 29 states, including the preservation of the Rose Bowl football stadium in California.
“The fact that we received this $ 500,000 cap grant… means that this project is obviously so important that it has received more national attention,” Anderson said.
The museum is located in the art deco-style administrative building of Auburn Automobile Co., which opened in 1930. A community effort purchased and restored the building as a museum which opened in July 1974, featuring classic cars built by the automaker. An addition was made in 2001.
Anderson said the museum’s mission is “to take care of this national historic building for the next 100 years, so it’s here for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.”