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Last updated 6:01PM ET
December 14, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Animas Museum Wins Top State Award
(2008-02-07)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: The LaPlata County Historical Society has captured the top state award for historic preservation.
The honor was presented last night in Denver, by Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

MCDANIEL: ELATED
VICTOR: That's how Animas Museum Director Robert McDaniel says he felt, when he learned they've been named winner of the 2008 Governor's Award for Historic Preservation.
MCDANIEL: YOU KNOW WE JUST NEVER THOUGHT IN OUR WILDEST DREAMS THAT WE WOULD GET THE TOP HONOR FOR A HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECT IN THE STATE OF COLORADO, SO YOU COULD HAVE KNOCKED ME OVER WITH A FEATURE.
The award recognizes the historical society for 30-years of effort to save the old Animas City School and convert it into the present day Animas Museum.
McDaniel, himself an Animas City School Alum, has been there since day one with the restoration project.
MCDANIEL: YOU KNOW, IN 1978 THE BUILDING WAS TRASHED. IT HAD BEEN USED, BUT CERTAINLY NOT IN A REAL PRODUCTIVE WAY IN A FEW YEARS, AND THE BUILDING WAS TRASHED. THE WINDOWS WERE BROKEN, THE DOORS WERE BROKEN IN, IT WAS TRASHED, AND SO IT WAS A BIG EFFORT TO DO THIS RESTORATION WORK.
THE RESTORATION OF THE BUILDING IS ESSENTIALLY COMPLETE NOW.
The biggest part of that effort was restoring the roof of the building.
It had been replaced after a fire in 1919 with a flat roof.
It's now back to its original hipped roof design, complete with doermers, gables and a bell cupola.
Overall, 450-thousand dollars was spent to restore the building.
McDaniel says its an opportune time for the award.
In addition to increased tourism the award may bring, McDaniel hopes it translates into more funding, for the next phase of the museum improvement.
Their "Home for History" project involves utilizing the new space beneath the hipped roof as a new home for the museum's permanent collections.
MCDANIEL: PERMANENT COLLECTIONS ARE THE ARTIFACTS AND PHOTOS AND MAPS, AND EVERYTHING THAT WE HAVE BASICALLY IN OUR PERMANENT COLLECTION SO, IT'S GOING TO BE A BIG PROJECT TO PULL THAT OFF. WE HAVE TO REHOUSE ALL OF OUR ARTIFACTS IN CONSERVATION SAFE MATERIALS, WE HAVE TO INSTALL FLOORING UP THERE, WE HAVE TO GET CONSERVATION SAFE CABINETS TO STORE THINGS IN, AND THEN WE'LL HAVE TO ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY MOVE 35-THOUSAND OBJECTS THAT WE HAVE IN OUR PERMANENT COLLECTIONS UP TO THIS NEW SPACE.
Fundraising for the two year, 300-thousand dollar effort has just begun.
MCDANIEL: WE HOPE OF COURSE THAT THE GOVERNORS AWARD WILL SHOW THE GRANTING INSTITUTIONS AND THE COMMUNITY AS WELL THAT WHEN WE TACKLE BIG PROJECTS, WE DO THEM WELL, WE DO WHAT WE'RE GOING TO SAY AND THAT WE CAN BRING THEM THROUGH TO COMPLETION.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.

NOTE: The San Juan Mountains Association also received a 21st Annual Stephen H. Hart Award during the ceremonies last night.
The organization was cited for Site Stewardship and Other Preservation Education Programs.
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