History Museums receive grant from 4Culture

September 17, 2013

By Staff

4Culture’s Heritage Collections Care program recently awarded $4,850 to the Issaquah History Museums for its Move Ready project.

The award was part of 4Culture’s sixth annual Heritage Collections Care Funding Program.

In total, 4Culture donated $63,655 to 23 King County nonprofit organizations to support the conservation of their historic collections. The awards ranged from $977 to $5,000, with the Issaquah History Museums receiving the second-largest grant.

The Move Ready project focuses on sorting the contents of the Auto Freight Building (located at Bush Street and First Avenue, next door to the food bank) and preparing artifacts and necessary tools for a future move, while finding new homes for tools, machinery and other items that don’t pertain to Issaquah’s past.

The Auto Freight Building, a 1938 freight warehouse, is the only piece of property the Issaquah History Museums owns outright. The building was donated to the organization in the 1980s and its roughly 4,000 square feet quickly filled with a variety of tools, machines and artifact collections. The building has been used for collections storage by default, not because it is suited to collections storage. It lacks heating, cooling and insulation, and the roof leaks.

Issaquah History Museums staff members estimate that within five to 10 years the building will have deteriorated beyond usefulness. The building will need to be either demolished or renovated extensively in order for it to be functional for most uses.

Staff members hope to relocate the collection to short-term storage space in the next two to four years, followed by efforts to secure new permanent space or renovated space on the same property, and prepare the contents of the building for relocation to a new collections storage space.

Funding from 4Culture will pay for the staff time it will require to identify resources for which there are no records, remove unnecessary items that had been taking up space, and help organize and label collection items for a future move.

The Move Ready project will document existing collections and determine space needs, helping obtain suitable collections storage space in which to preserve and store Issaquah’s heritage.

 

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