The people behind Centerville’s Whitaker Museum have been keeping that fact in mind during the building’s restoration process, which has recently gotten considerably longer due to several necessary major repairs identified by Centerville City Engineer Fred Campbell.
This will also extend the fund-raising program that the city’s museum board members have recently had some success with, but board chairman Paul Thomas Smith is confident that restoring the building properly will be for the best in the long run.
“While it sets us back in one sense because we won’t be able to be open as soon as we wanted, in another sense it’s a good thing,” he said. “If this hadn’t happened now, we would have had problems later.”
The repairs, identified during a city inspection, include replacing the wiring in a good portion of the house, doing the same thing to part of the roof, and working on some of the floors.
The original stone portion of the house will end up needing the least amount of work, said Smith, both because it is old enough not to be held to certain rules and because it seemed to generally be in better shape than the newer portion.
A restoration specialist from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has already been out to offer advice on the home-turned-museum and is on standby for the moment. Board members are currently feeling out bids with contractors, HVAC people, and others who could handle the work.
“In the end, it will be a beautiful, historically accurate, sound and useful building,” said Smith.
This is a continuation of restoration and repair work on the building that has been going on for more than a year now.
The south-end addition to the building was demolished this past summer, and other outer buildings have been taken down as well. The goal is to return the building to its 1920s state, the last time it was owned by a member of the Whitaker family.
To make that happen, however, money is needed. Though Smith said that volunteer efforts have been vitally important to keeping the remodel going, the museum board also initiated a fund-raising effort this past fall.
The Whitaker family recently donated $4,300 to the cause, but the new repairs being required will extend the need for fund raising out even further.
Contributions may be made to: Whitaker Museum Fund, 250 North Main, Centerville 84014. Those who are interested may also call Smith at 801-292-8003 to make other arrangements or receive more information on the project.
“I feel confident we’ll get the money we need,” said Smith. “And in the end, Centerville will have a museum they can be proud of.”