2017-05-18 / News

Historical Society Solicits Comments for Design of Downtown Museum


This is an artist’s rendering of the preliminary design for revamping of the former Walker Furniture Store in St. Ignace, purchased by the Michilimackinac Historical Society as new headquarters for its Fort de Buade Museum. The historical society is inviting the public to comment on the proposed new look for the building at two June 5 sessions at the St. Ignace Public Library. Architect Rick Perry of St. Ignace, the designer, will be on hand to hear what residents have to say and discuss his concept with them. This is an artist’s rendering of the preliminary design for revamping of the former Walker Furniture Store in St. Ignace, purchased by the Michilimackinac Historical Society as new headquarters for its Fort de Buade Museum. The historical society is inviting the public to comment on the proposed new look for the building at two June 5 sessions at the St. Ignace Public Library. Architect Rick Perry of St. Ignace, the designer, will be on hand to hear what residents have to say and discuss his concept with them. The Michilimackinac Historical Society is seeking public comments on a preliminary design for its proposed new museum quarters in the building that formerly housed the Walker Furniture store at 20 South State Street, at the south end of the main business district.

Rachel Kiurski, project manager for the potential move of the historical society’s Fort de Buade Museum to the former Walker store, said the group has received word that some area residents feel the proposed look for the new quarters is a bit too modern.

The group invites anyone who wishes to comment on the design to come to one of two public sessions, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, June 5, in the community room of the St. Ignace Public Library,

110 West Spruce Street. Architect Rick Perry of St. Ignace will be on hand to hear what attendees have to say about his design, Ms. Kiurski said.

“We want feedback,” said Ms. Kiurski. “Based on the feedback we receive, we will redo the (designer’s) renderings.”

The non-profit historical society, which is dedicated to preservation of the natural history of the Mackinac Straits area, purchased the old Walker Furniture building as a future site for the nearly 2,500 artifacts displayed at the museum, which specializes in Native American objects from the period prior to contact between America’s original inhabitants and European adventurers through three centuries of French and British exploration and settlement in the area surrounding the Straits of Mackinac.

Fort de Buade, built in 1683, was named for the French governor of what at the time was known as New France.

The historical society wants to move the collection to the 7,000- square-foot Walker building because it offers more and display space and better climate control to protect the artifacts from deterioration, Ms. Kiurski said. The ex- Lansing resident, who has an undergraduate degree in history from Eastern Michigan University and has worked in marketing and community involvement, recently was hired to oversee the relocation.

Ms..Kiurski said members of the organization hope to settle on final designs and start renovations of the new museum quarters in the fall of 2018. For now, she said, the collection will remain on display at 334 North State Street. It opens for the season May 26. Hours will be noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, according to its web site. Phone 906-643-6627 or e-mail at fortdebuademuseum@gmail.com.

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