Union Building Exhibit Public Meeting -July 2009
Contact: Dan Johnson, Interpretive Specialist, (906) 337-1104, ext 132
Keweenaw National Historical Park and the Office of Krister Olmon, Inc. will host a public meeting on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, to present the status of the exhibit design for the historic Union Building in Calumet. At this point in the exhibit planning process, people will be able to look at detailed floor plans, view a three-dimensional model of the exhibit area, see some elevation drawings of exhibit features and read descriptions of exhibits that will include proposed objects for display and the topics the exhibit text will cover. Attendees to the meeting will have the opportunity to provide feedback to park staff and the exhibit designer. The meeting will be held at park headquarters, located at 25970 Red Jacket Road, Calumet, Michigan beginning at 7:00 p.m.
The National Park Service purchased the historic Union Building in Calumet in 1999 with the long-range goal of making it a visitor interpretive facility. Keweenaw National Historical Park completed the first phase of the building’s rehabilitation by stabilizing its exterior in 2005. In 2008, the park received funding to begin planning the interior portion of the project.
In July 2008, the Office of Krister Olmon, Inc. (OKO) was selected as the project’s exhibit planning and design contractor from the National Park Service indefinite quantities contract. A preliminary exhibit planning meeting was held in August 2008 involving staff from the National Park Service, the exhibit contractor and several of the park’s partners. Taking the information gathered from the preliminary meeting, Krister Olmon developed and presented three preliminary exhibit schemes in October 2008. After receiving input from the public through public meetings and focus groups, park staff selected one scheme for refinement and further development.
In January 2009, the National Park Service and Krister Olmon hosted a roundtable of prominent historians with expertise in the different areas of immigration, mining communities, labor history, fraternal organizations and local history to review the selected exhibit scheme and concepts. The Office of Krister Olmon has taken the wide variety of input received and used it to further develop the exhibit plan. While an overall approach to the exhibit has been selected, the content of the exhibit, including objects displayed and text, will continue to evolve through the planning process.
If the park receives funding for the implementation phase of the project, the actual interior construction and exhibit fabrication work can begin. This historic building will then be able to open its doors to the public. Both visitors to the area and local residents will have a place to reflect on the connection between Keweenaw mining companies, communities and people, and their role in our nation’s history.
For more information, including directions to the public meeting, please call Keweenaw National Historical Park at (906) 337-3168.
Did You Know?
Woody Guthrie's song "1913 Massacre" brought attention to a tragedy that occurred in Calumet, Michigan on December 24, 1913 during a bitter copper miner's strike. Reports claim that a shout of fire caused panic at a party at the Italian Hall. 73 people died in the stampede down the steep stairway.