We cleaned, removed the protective plastic from the artifacts (the sheeting will now serve as our emergency tarps), moved a group of artifacts from the Community Room back into the balcony, and reorganized. Nearly two months before, Pat Cady, Linda Golash and I cleaned and covered the artifacts and moved the oversized artifacts out.
Countless earlier work parties ID-ed, boxed and moved artifacts and supplies from the Historical Museum to the balcony – without the benefit of an elevator. And prior to that, we cleaned metal shelving units and old lab tables donated by Smith Academy – all of them quite heavy – generously carried upstairs by DPW crew members. Prior to that, the town added locking doors to what had been an open space.
But last week when we finished our work and surveyed the space, it looked like a real museum storage room, instead of a gymnasium balcony (just don’t trip on the risers). Now there is a wall where there used to be the balcony knee wall. Now there are attractive energy-efficient Palladian-style windows, tightly sealed so the humid vapors from the first floor air conditioners don’t vent into the space. The vent in the floor has been covered. The old bits of this and that have been removed. It is not everything that we need (for one thing, we need lights…), but it goes a long way toward providing protection and climate control for the town’s artifacts that will no longer fit into the Historical Museum. Equally important, it has allowed us to make the Museum visitor friendly, without boxes stacked up everywhere.
This will be an ongoing process, with many more work parties to come before we’re standing in the newly re-opened Hatfield Historical Museum on the 2nd floor of the Town Hall. We’d love to have your help, or your donations, or your kind words of support, reminding us that each step gets us closer to the goal. And boy, that ribbon-cutting is going to be sweet!
Check out some snapshots from along the way as the Town Hall balcony became the Historical Museum Storage.