Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New entry tile for Turner Hall

Courtesy of Galena Gazette
Hillary Dickerson, Editor

GALENA–It looks like the entry way at historic Turner Hall will be getting a bit of a makeover.

New tile–projected to cost around $6,000 for 280 square feet–will likely be finalized and approved at the October meeting of the city’s Turner Hall committee.

The committee, meeting Thursday, Sept. 7, heard a brief presentation by Todd Lincoln of Knautz Flooring. Lincoln recommended a white tile with black accent but said he is open to ideas and suggestions from the committee as well.

Funding for the tile project will come from the Joe Miller Trust through the Galena Foundation. The city owns the Bench Street property and has been working with the foundation to restore the building.

The committee also discussed the budgeted amount for the flyloft project and the work still to be done.

There is about $46,000 in funding available, said Janelle Keeffer, city facilities manager, and the flyloft work is expected to cost around $28,000 for insulation, a thermal barrier paint, ceiling fan and some tuckpointing and sealing.

City staff will solicit revised dollar amounts for the work, so that the project will be under contract by the end of the year with the work likely to be completed next spring.

In other business, the committee reviewed the rate structure for the hall and briefly discussed a recent drawing by architect Adam Johnson of the proposed addition which will include a kitchen and storage space.

The next Turner Hall meeting is Thursday, Oct. 5 at 8:30 a.m. at Turner Hall.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

City commits $50,000 to Grant Park project

Courtest of Galena Gazette
Hillary Dickerson, Editor

GALENA–The city of Galena will commit $50,000–$25,000 for two years–to the Grant Park restoration project.

The city council, during its meeting Monday, Aug. 28, unanimously approved the contribution level, a request from the Galena Foundation, which is set to kick off its fundraising campaign for the project.

This multi-year project is estimated to cost $250,000. In addition to the city, the Galena Foundation has pledged $50,000.

The goal is to raise another $150,000.

The Galena Foundation has already contributed over $70,000 to the project, according to City Administrator Mark Moran.

Considerable progress has been made on the short and long-term projects planned for the historic part, including: new main entrance and upgraded secondary entrances, designated accessible entrance point with defined accessible parking area, pergola and pavilion restoration, reconstruction of elliptical garden and planting beds, erosion management, repair and replacement of concrete sidewalks and concrete surroundings, new playground equipment and improved basketball courts and preservation of Johnson Street, Galena’s last brick street.

“It’s a beautiful park and it’s a city park,” said council member Robert Hahn, giving his support to the city’s contribution.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Acoustical Curtain for Turner Hall

Courtesy of Galena Gazette

Turner Hall has a new acoustical curtain, thanks to the cooperative efforts of three local organizations. The Galena Festival of the Performing Arts secured the $3,000 in funding necessary for the purchase with a $1,500 grant from Jo Daviess County Country Fair Charities, Inc., and a $1,500 donation from the Galena Foundation from the 2016 Hunter Fuerste concert. The curtain was donated to the city and will be available for various groups to use in the performance space.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Grant Park fountain work shows the art of restoration

By Hillary Dickerson, Editor
Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–The fountain at Grant Park is taking center stage after months of restoration work. On Wednesday, June 28, Jeremy and Cory White, contractors for the project, turned on the water, stood back and marveled at the fountain’s beauty.

Added to the park in 1891, the fountain was last restored in 2004. As part of the ongoing Grant Park project, a partnership between the city and Galena Foundation, the fountain restoration–including caulking, painting, a new pump to improve the spray and miscellaneous work–is the latest improvement. The project budget was $15,000, with all expenses paid by the foundation. The bid from White Construction was for $14,000.

It’s been quite a project.

During the winter, the Whites removed the center sculpture and four cherubs, as well as the benches on the sidewalks surrounding the fountain. While the center sculpture is original, Jeremy said, the cherubs are all aluminum. No one is certain of the date they were replaced, but they appear very similar to the originals.

After inspecting the center sculpture, Jeremy found major issues that no one was aware of up to that point. He sought the assistance of Galena artist Charles Fach to make the repairs.

Fach, who knew full well what he was getting himself into, agreed. All together he spent 40-and-a-half-hours making a replacement foot and fingers and then ensuring the head was securely attached to the zinc casting sculpture that was soldered and pieced together.

Galena artist Charles Fach spent 41 hours repairing the sculpture.
In the end, Fach charged only $100 for his work, an amount included in the original bid; Fach was only interested in covering the cost of the materials he used in the process.

Fach said he found the head of the sculpture held on by a rotten piece of wood. He went to work, logging time each day. He created molds to make the melting lead pieces necessary, a multi-step process. All the pieces were attached with stainless steel screws.

When Fach was finished, the Whites painted the sculpture and put it in place.

“It ought to last a couple hundred years,” said Fach of the restored sculpture.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have (Fach),” said Jeremy, noting that the sculpture probably would have been taken to Chicago for the repair work if Fach hadn’t been able to take on the project. Jeremy estimates Fach’s work was worth at least $5,000.

The work has been significant for Jeremy as well. He remembers falling in the fountain as a child as he tried to grab the coins that had sunk to the bottom.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Galena Foundation to host Hunter Fuerste June 16

Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–The Galena Foundation announces its annual concert featuring Hunter Fuerste and his American Vintage Orchestra. This authentic re-creation of popular music from the big band era will take place at Turner Hall on Saturday, June 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Although donations are welcome at the door, admission to the concert is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Balcony and handicap-accessible seating on the lower level will be available. Attendees are also encouraged to hit the dance floor on the main level or just relax and listen to the sounds of the orchestra and featured singers.

All donations received will be used to support the work of the Galena Foundation. Recent foundation projects have included work at the Galena Train Depot, the Old Market House State Historical Site, Turner Hall and Grant Park.

Sponsors include Vincent, Roth, Toepfer & Leinen, P.C.; Ellen Steinbrecher; Prairie Ridge of Galena; Nack, Richardson & Nack, P.C.; Log Cabin Steakhouse and Gobbie’s Sports Pub and Eatery; La Vie en Rose; Illinois Bank & Trust; The Galena Gazette; Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery; Fried Green Tomatoes; First Community Bank of Galena and Apple River State Bank; DeSoto House Hotel; John and Bonnie Cox; Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers; Baranski Hammer Moretta & Sheehy Architects; and in memory of Annemarie E. Bluhm.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Foundation, city celebrate a public-private partnership that benefits the community

Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–The city of Galena joined with the Galena Foundation on Tuesday, April 18 for a Galena Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours. The aim of the event was simple: to celebrate public and private partnerships for the benefit of the community.

And Turner Hall–the site of the event–has certainly seen benefits from those partnerships.

On hand to celebrate were Charlie Marsden, chairman of the Turner Hall Project Committee, and Ken Robb, president of the Galena Foundation.

Ken Robb, president of the Galena Foundation speaks as Charlie Marsden,
chairman of the Turner Hall Project Committee looks on.
Marsden summarized the work done at Turner Hall, thanks to the contribution from the Galena Foundation. Some of the work included lighting control upgrade, interior lighting fixture restoration, rear stage wall reconstruction, exterior balcony painting, exterior cleaning, restroom updates, kitchen rewiring, tuckpointing and sealing, interior painting, new stage floor, complete refinishing and painting of interior and several more.

“This is the 35th anniversary of the Galena Foundation, founded in 1982. At one of our earliest meetings a small group of dedicated community members had a vision, to build an endowment to preserve, enhance, and protect Galena’s history, heritage and culture,” said Robb.

As the years passed, the Galena Foundation’s assets grew, now reaching over $895,000. “Thanks to the city of Galena for your partnership and for the generous support of many individuals in our community,” said Robb. “Beginning with our first project to restore the Old City Cemetery, this endowment has made it possible to fund more than 50 projects for a total investment in excess of $650,000 in our community since 1982.”

The next big Foundation project is the multi-year Grant Park restoration project. The Foundation intends to raise $200,000 to support this effort and has recently expanded the planning committee to partner with the city of Galena.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Grant Park work progresses

By Hillary Dickerson, Editor
Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–With work progressing on the joint Galena Foundation and city of Galena work at Grant Park, the city’s Grant Park committee turned its attention to an approaching fund-raising push.

Meeting Friday, April 21, committee members Paul Jackson, Ken Robb, Pat Smith, Joel Holland and committee chair Charles Marsden discussed a six-month push that will likely run from July 1 to the first of the year.

Committee members will start brainstorming potential donors.

The preliminary suggestion for the fund-raising goal is $250,000, with at least $50,000 coming from the Galena Foundation, Marsden said.

The campaign will be finalized by July 1, Marsden noted, and must be approved by Grant Park Committee and Galena Foundation board since the foundation will handle the campaign.

The committee also reviewed work on tree removal and pruning, seeding, the pavilion and fountain.

Additionally, the pergola will be cleaned and painted, and the granite on the Civil War monument and U.S. Grant statue will be pressure washed.

In terms of the work planned to refurbish the pavilion, City Administrator Mark Moran presented the committee with the request for quotes that will be distributed and available at The pavilion will be pressure washed, the open joints repaired, ceiling lights removed, loose stucco removed and replaced with mortar, cracks and joints sealed and the entire structure repainted, among other improvements. The work will be completed between July 2 and 28.

Grant Park committee’s next meeting will be Friday, May 19 at 10:30 a.m. at Galena City Hall.