Historic Saranac Lake has announced that it has successfully secured a series of grants to support the project to expand the museum into the Trudeau building.
The organization has received thirteen government grants totaling over $1.8 million to support various aspects of the project, including architectural design, staffing, museum planning, and rehabilitation of both museum buildings.
The most recent grant, received last month, is a $350,000 grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). The grant will require some additional approvals, and then Historic Saranac Lake expects to go out to bid in January of next year for all phases of the rehabilitation of the building.
Built in 1894 and utilized for over 100 years as medical offices, the Trudeau Building needs a lot of work to bring the structure back to the time when it was the home and medical office of Dr. E. L. Trudeau. Plans for the building include an elevator, structural repairs, a research room, collections storage, and a fire suppression system. The building will house exhibits interpreting the history of the Saranac Lake region, beyond the story of tuberculosis. Site planning will integrate the Trudeau building with the neighboring Saranac Laboratory Museum, creating a coherent museum campus experience.
While the rehabilitation of the Trudeau building gets underway, Historic Saranac Lake is planning for the new exhibits. A federal grant of $50,000 from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is supporting exhibit planning this fall. HSL will work with a team of exhibit design professionals to create the schematic design for new exhibits in both museum buildings. Humanities Scholars Melissa Otis, Phil Terrie, and Mary Hotaling will consult on the exhibits, supported by a grant from Humanities NY.
Last week, HSL staff added to the fundraising thermometer sign outside the Trudeau Building. With the latest NBRC grant, almost $4.5 million has been raised toward the total goal of $5.2 million.
Illustration: Architectural rendering of the Trudeau Building after restoration provided.