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Actual work will not begin in the Fall of 2006 on the newly acquired building shown here. Shown also is the architect's rendering of the new facade. Presently, the building is unacceptable as a museum and suffers from serious old age. The north wall will have to be rebuilt since it is pulling away from the building. Other interior modifications are also planned. The building will be used for monthly meetings, but not for displays. The FHM group has held its meetings at the Fairport Public Library, the Morley Library in Painesville, and executive meetings at member's houses. "We look forward to hard work and the rewards it will bring," said Heikki Penttila, FHM President. Follow our progress with updates.

Update: As reported in the Finlandia Weekly July 6, 2006


Work continues on the FHM museum building at 301 High Street, Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The former combination Village Hall, Police Department, and Fire Department built circa 1900, has some serious structural deficiencies, which must be corrected before full FHM activities can begin.


The building as it stands is safe to occupy but the north wall has to be rebuilt because water damage over the years has caused separation of bricks from the structure. That requires removal of the bricks and then replacement to insure structural integrity. The building also is not insulated.Engineering surveys have been completed and will facilitate changes to the inside of the building to better suite the museum’s needs. Heikki Penttila, our FHM President, and professional architect has creatively drawn complete architectural renderings with an eye towards structural integrity, museum use, and of course “Finnish essence.”


The building will have a dramatic new look featuring huge windows opening to High Street (but only if approved by the architectural review committee). Also planned are landscaping revisions to make the building linviting and less like a concrete square or cube sitting on more concrete.

Heikki Penttila reported that the news from the Ohio Historical Society was good. The letter received from Justin M. Cook, the History Reviews manager reported “the project involves the rehabilitation of the building at 301 High Street in Fairport Harbor, Ohio using Economic Development Initiative funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A check of our records reveals that this property is not listed in the National Register of Historic Places or included in the Ohio Historic Inventory. I (Mr. Cook) have carefully reviewed the information submitted, which was very thorough and well presented. Based on this information, it is my opinion that the building at 301 High Street is not eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Therefore the proposed work will not affect historic properties. No further coordination with this office is necessary unless there is a change in the project.”


This combined with Heikki’s letter to Mr. Tom Hilston, the Fairport Harbor Village manager, detailing the above information and asking for agenda time to present the final design from Pentilla Architects, and the subsequent approval by the Fairport Harbor Village Council, means that renovation to 301 can finally begin.

Heikki reports that the engineering studies (electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC) can proceed. That cost, approximately eight to ten thousand dollars will come out of the original grant, and not the FHM treasury. Heikki will proceed with the engineering studies.


Major work was done this November and December with The Main Exhibit Room being completely gutted down to the bare walls and the window trims removed. This is in preparation for the major work to be done this Spring, which of course is the repair of the north wall. The blocks must be removed to a point where they (the masonry) is stable enough to have new blocks laid upon them to renew the wall. How extensive the removal is, depends on the water damage already done.


An official Hazardous Material survey was completed and it shows that measures must be employed to insure safety of the workers, but no major asbestos hazard exists.


The most important obstacle hurdled of late is that the Museum's coffee and gift shop is now operational after extensive repair and hard work by members. November work parties knocked down a wall, patched holes, moved furniture, rebuilt casings, cleaned carpets, installed new lights, installed new TV monitor, painted walls & woodwork, had new entry system installed, hung new sign, and "OPENED" the gift and coffee shop.


More work will follow in the ensuing months.

 

Renovation/building news updates

The Committee’s report is due July 5, 2006.  Work can proceed after that approval.  Penttila said: “We’ve been getting wonderful support from the local Finnish community about their museum, and now we are reaching out for more support from Finns who are living outside the area.  After all, this museum is about Finns and their lives and that needs to be celebrated.  That’s what our museum is all about.”

The Ohio Historical Review Committee in Columbus, Ohio presently reviewing those plans to determine if the façade can be “altered.” That committee’s mission is to preserve architecturally significant historical buildings in their original form.

FHM members cleaned up the rooms in a “work party” to provide space and a nice atmosphere to hold monthly meetings.  Our June meeting and subsequent meetings will be held there instead of the Fairport Harbor Public Library.  The next meeting is June 12, at 7:00 PM.The FHM group also had a huge flea market sale in conjunction with Fairport Harbor Village’s similar activities. Using the park area adjacent to the museum building at 301High Street on June 10th from 9am-4pm, the group also sold
refreshments and had for the first time its own private label “brands” of coffee.  Those new Finnish Heritage Coffee brands were also available for purchase.  Our President, Heikki Penttila proudly shows the new coffee brands below.
HeikkiCoffeeThe Finnish Heritage Museum needs to generate funds as we begin the restoration of the building.  We are planning a Flea Market during the Fairport Community Garage Sale and we need your help.  Donations of items are needed as well as volunteers to help to make the event a success.  Donations are tax deductible.  The Executive Committee is asking members to collect saleable items so we can have a successful sale.  Please ask family and friends if they would like to donate to our cause.) 

The Finlandia Foundation recently awarded the FHM a $2,200 dollar grant that will be used for electronic media enhancements, such as video displays to promote and display various museum objects.

FHM continues to work on building its membership and recently completed a mailing to prospective new members.

Working hard to keep membership rolls accurate is Pat Spivak, FHM Vice President and membership chairman who said:   "For the March meeting members were encouraged to invite relatives and friends to a Cabbage Roll Dinner prepared by Niles and Cathy Oinonen.  The event was well attended and guests were encouraged to join the museum and become a part of the excitement of the museum becoming a reality.  To date approximately 10% of the guests have become members."

In official action last month, the executive committee reduced the membership fees to $20 for individuals and $25 for a family.  Other membership tiers, such as corporate sponsors will remain the same.  Dues paid in January of 2006 will stand for this year and the actual change will take place January of 2007.  Dues changes were requested by a number of FHM members.

Another fundraising  endeavor features “Steller’s Elder,” the 2006 Iittala Annual Bird designed and signed by Oiva Toika, and donated by FHM member Laura Malkamaki.  FHM members will raffle off the bird, retail valued at $175.00.     Contact Malkamaki by phone (440-478-5485) for details.  Interested buyers can also email requests for tickets to info@Finnishheritagemuseum.org)

October 30, 2006 

Heikki Penttila reported that the news from the Ohio Historical Society was good.  The letter received from Justin M. Cook, the History Reviews manager reported  “the project involves the rehabilitation of the building at 301 High Street in Fairport Harbor, Ohio using Economic Development Initiative funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  A check of our records reveals that this property is not listed in the National Register of Historic Places or included in the Ohio Historic Inventory.  I (Mr. Cook) have carefully reviewed the information submitted, which was very thorough and well presented.  Based on this information, it is my opinion that the building at 301 High Street  is not eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  Therefore the proposed work will not affect historic properties.  No further coordination with this office is necessary unless there is a change in the project.”


This combined with Heikki’s letter to Mr. Tom Hilston, the Fairport Harbor Village manager, detailing the above information and asking for agenda time to present the final design from Pentilla Architects, and the subsequent approval by the Fairport Harbor Village Council, means that renovation to 301 can finally begin. 

Heikki reports that the engineering studies (electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC) can proceed. That cost, approximately eight to ten thousand dollars will come out of the original grant, and not the FHM treasury.  Heikki will proceed with the engineering studies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

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