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Historic Saranac Lake staff installed new temporary signage at the site of the future expanded history museum at the Trudeau Building in Downtown Saranac Lake. Historic Saranac Lake purchased the historic building in 2018 for expansion of the Saranac Laboratory Museum next door.

Saranac Lake — New temporary signage has gone up at the Trudeau Building on the corner of Church and Main in downtown Saranac Lake.

“It’s a big, bright, sign, showing our big plans,” said Historic Saranac Lake’s Executive Director Amy Catania.

Historic Saranac Lake purchased the historic building in 2018 for expansion of the Saranac Laboratory Museum next door.

“The two buildings were both built in 1894 by Dr. Trudeau, and for many years they were on the same deed. It just made sense to bring them together again,” Catania said.

WILL HOUSE EXHIBITS

The Trudeau Building, once restored, will house expanded exhibits presenting the history of Trudeau and tuberculosis in Saranac Lake, as well as the broader history of the Saranac Lake region.

“The community has long expressed an interest in seeing us do more to present the broader history of the area,” said Public Programs Coordinator Mahala Nyberg.

“The additional space will allow us to explore the rich history of the hamlets and lake communities of our region, as well as to more fully present the history of Trudeau and tuberculosis.”

The Trudeau Building will also provide secure storage space for HSL’s growing museum collection, as well as a dedicated research room open to the public.

Archivist/Curator Chessie Monks-Kelly said that “we are excited to continue to increase public use of our collections, and are thankful for the support of the Pecora family in memory of Dr. David Pecora to finish the space.”

NO PANDEMIC PAUSE

Historic Saranac Lake has been working on the project for some time now, Catania said.

“The pandemic hit just as we were kicking off the capital campaign, but that didn’t stop us,” she said.

Historic Saranac Lake has raised over $3.7 million towards their total goal of $5.2 million to support purchase of the building, architectural design, construction, and museum exhibits.

GRANTS, DONORS

Recognizing the importance of the project for downtown revitalization and historic preservation, the State of New York has supported the project with over $1.5 million in grant funding.

Most recently, the project was awarded a $500,000 grant from the New York Main Street Downtown Anchor program to support a new handicap lift and mechanical systems. Private donors and foundation grants have stepped forward with more than $1.2 million to-date.

“The community has been incredibly generous,” Catania said. “We are confident we will get the rest of the way to our goal.”

In preparation for construction, Historic Saranac Lake and their office tenants moved out of the Trudeau Building in December.

Asbestos abatement is underway, and construction is expected to begin later in the year.

TOURS, EXHIBITS

In the meantime, Historic Saranac Lake continues to offer a busy slate of tours and other programs for people of all ages.

Visitors are welcome at the Saranac laboratory Museum year-round, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

During the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival in February, the museum will be open with special hours and special activities.

Historic Saranac Lake will also be hosting a pop-up exhibit on its mobile exhibit space, the Cure Porch on Wheels, at the Saranac Lake Ice Palace.

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