Guest Editorial: Progress — one step at a time

By Greg Kowalski
When you build a museum like this one you do it one step at a time.
Some of those steps are big while others are small. The growth of the Hamtramck Historical Museum over the past 10 years has been a mix of major and minor steps.
These have ranged from painting the walls to installing new carpeting, to replacing the furnaces to stripping off the old, decayed metal sign that once spanned the front of the building. But whatever was done, in each case the result was an improvement
None of those steps have been easy.
I won’t even attempt to describe the planning, preparation, pushing and pulling efforts that went into the process. Nor will I attempt to thank all the people and companies that came to our aid, often working at no cost to help us.
We just don’t have enough room in this spot to do all of that, but we have done everything we can do to promote and thank them all deeply.
Work continues. Recently we had the window frames and metal panels on the front of the building painted. And step by step the museum building is looking better. But there is more to this than just good looks. The renovations make a statement about the museum. In fact they make several statements.
First: Progress is being made. The museum is improving.
Second: The improvements enhance our standing as a professional organization. I know, I tend to harp on this point but in order for us to succeed we must be recognized as a serious, professional operation.
It’s hard to project that image from a former vacant storefront. Third: The renovations are a physical demonstration of where the money from donors is going.
It doesn’t just fade into a bank account, it’s literally right in the open in the form of paint, carpeting, new light fixtures, a bright bathroom and much more.
Of course, the money also goes to pay the utility bills, semi-astronomical insurance costs and numerous miscellaneous expenses that go with operating a museum.
The brings me to my last point: money.
Construction costs are phenomenal. Any job we can’t do ourselves is almost certainly going to cost thousands of dollar. And there are several major projects that have to be done. It’s our intention to have the museum stand as a jewel on the Jos. Campau strip. We can do that but it will mean asking you all for more support.
I despise asking for money. But our costs are rising and we have so much more to do. And there is so much more that we can do. With your help we can reach our goals. Donations can be sent directly to the museum or through our website,
And please be sure to come and visit the museum. See the changes for yourself.

(Greg Kowalski is the executive director at the Hamtramck historical Museum, located at 9525 Jos. Campau.)
Posted July 3, 2024

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