MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Marquette Maritime Museum is looking for some help from the community to repair damages to its roof. Most of the museum’s current roof was installed in the 1940s, and its worsening state is concerning to its curators.
Due to the asbestos used, proper abatement will cost the museum $155,000 to start the replacement. The process is also estimated to shut down the museum for 6 weeks in the spring of 2024, which curators say could cause a further loss of revenue. The museum’s Director, Hilary Billman, said it’s important to the boards that they keep the building protected.
The museum has started a go fund me page to collect donations for the roof repair, you can visit that page here.
The Museum building has a history in Marquette that dates back more than a hundred years. Before The Museums Association leased the building from the city, it housed water utilities for the city. Fred Stonehouse is the President of The Museums Board of Directors, and a Lake Superior maritime historian.
“it’s one of the oldest buildings in Marquette,” Stonehouse explains. “And certainly at the time represented really the cutting edge of water treatment technology”
The red sandstone of the building might look familiar, architect D. Frederick Charlton is responsible for the designs of buildings across The UP, including the Marquette courthouse.
“The architect that designed this building also designed a number of them in The City of Marquette,” Stonehouse said. “And is really quite well known in The Upper Peninsula for his imaginative work, especially with the Red Jacobsville Sandstone.”
Since taking over the building 43 years ago, the museum association has renovated, upkept, and added on to the original building.
“It’s been since before the museum started, which was in 1980, the museum association started. We haven’t had a (new) roof since then,” Billman said. “We’ve kind of been putting it off and now we’re at a point where it might start leaking so we want to get a new roof before that starts “
Billman says it’s been fantastic to see so many people giving what they can to help them reach their goal and continue to preserve Upper Peninsula maritime history.