By Charles Sercombe
Signed, sealed and delivered.
That’s the latest development for the city’s newly acquired Historical Museum. At the most recent City Council meeting, the council agreed to lease the former PLAV Post 1 hall on Holbrook to the Friends of the Hamtramck Historical Society.
It’s a three year lease that charges the group $1 per year. The group can opt to purchase the two-story building at any time.
The purchase will likely happen sooner rather than later, said Greg Kowalski, the Chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Commission.
The reasoning behind leasing at first is the outside chance that there may be certain grants that only the city could qualify for and use to renovate the building.
However, Kowalski said that such grants don’t appear to exist, and there is a concern that because the city may fall into state receivership, it’s best to take the building off the city’s hands. Otherwise, Kowalski said, a state-appointed financial manager may decide to sell the building.
The building’s purchase price was $92,000. A state grant worth $75,000 helped pay for the bulk of the cost.
Plans now call for remodeling the building. But before major work can be done, fundraisers will have to be held. Kowalski said the first fundraiser will be coming up sometime in the next several weeks, with quite possibly a major politico being the guest of honor.
Kowalski couldn’t divulge who that person is until schedules are nailed down.
That fundraiser will be held in the hall.
The museum will be what Kowalski describes as a “living institution where programs like slide shows, lectures, book signing and even dance recitals and craft classes will be held.”
Also, the building’s hall will be available for rent.
As for Hamtramck artifacts, Kowalski has been collecting historical items for years and has been storing them in City Hall, local garages and even his own house.
Those items will now have a place to call home.