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.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Celebrating Success

By Hillary Dickerson, Editor
Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–The Galena Foundation celebrated at its annual meeting on Wednesday, March 29 at the DeSoto House Hotel. Attendees celebrated a year of projects; honored Charlie Marsden, outgoing board president; presented the Frank L. Einsweiler Award for historic preservation to Terry Cole; and elected board officers.

The Einsweiler award is given each year to an individual who has “contributed significantly” to historic preservation efforts in the Galena area, according to Beth Baranski, Foundation vice president, who introduced Cole.

Einsweiler served as Galena mayor for four terms as well as served on the community’s planning commission for 25 years.

Baranski noted, “This year’s recipient has been involved in historic preservation in our area for many years, in many ways and many levels. His personal and professional commitment has played an important role in establishing Galena as a respected model for historic preservation.”

Baranski also cited Cole’s service as mayor and his involvement in the rebuilding of the Meeker Street pedestrian bridge, the creation of the “Galena Historic Preservation Guidebook,” designed to help residents to better understand preservation ordinances, and the installation of the Main Street light posts.

Also cited was Cole’s business, Renaissance Restoration, that was featured in a 2007 edition of Remodeling Magazine as one of the 50 companies that “exemplify best practices in business systems, customer service, workmanship and support of their employees, communities and the profession as a whole.”
Baranski noted, “Terry’s business has developed experience throughout the Midwest in downtown revitalization, orphanage complexes, museums, jails, educational institutions, ag buildings, churches, railroad depots and residential programs.”

Included on that list are a number of Galena properties his firm has restored as well as his relationship with the Campbell Center. He also served on The Galena Foundation board.

For Cole, receiving this award is especially meaningful due to the role Einsweiler played in his life. Cole told the crowd, “Frank was my mentor. I started my business with no experience. When I’d go to city hall, I’d go into his office and we’d talk for an hour.

“What I didn’t know was that he was priming me for his job.”

He noted that one of the interesting things with his company “is that when the phone rings, you never know if it’s about a log cabin or a governor’s mansion.”

The Foundation also honored Marsden, who is leaving after nine years of service on the board, including the last five years as president.

Ken Robb, incoming Foundation president, noted that the Foundation has achieved many things during Marsden’s tenure on the board. Legacy membership increased from 60 to 150 members; annual meeting attendance has increased and the Foundation’s assets have increased from $753,000 to $896,000.

And, during that time, the Foundation has provided funding of $519,000 for more than 30 projects including restorations of the Grant Park gazebo, train station, Turner Hall and Grant Park.

Robb stated, “Charlie, your contributions have been many and your efforts have been much appreciated.” Robb also quoted one of Marsden’s frequent comments, “No one retires from the Galena Foundation Board,” meaning that Marsden still had work as chair of the Turner Hall and Grant Park committees.

For his part, Marsden gave credit to all the people who have served on the Foundation board before and during his involvement and that having the opportunity to contribute something to the community “is a great part of my life. It’s been a really great ride.”

At the meeting’s start, Marsden reviewed some of the Foundation’s successes.

He stressed the importance of the Joe Miller Trust, which is administered through Illinois Bank & Trust Co., and said it was the greatest public/private partnership program in the community’s history.

When established in 2009, the trust had assets of $450,146 and today has assets of $550,000. In that time, Marsden said, the Foundation, through the trust has supported projects totaling $231,000, including $33,000 for Turner Hall restoration this year. Another $30,000 is dedicated from the trust for Turner Hall in 2017, part of a $200,000 multiyear commitment.

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.

Other action taken at the annual meeting involved election of officers: Robb, president; Baranski, vice president; Jamie Loso, secretary; and David Wilmarth, treasurer.

Upcoming Foundation activities include:

•Galena Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, Tuesday, April 18 at Turner Hall. Includes a combined presentation of the city of Galena and The Galena Foundation.

•Hunter Fuerste Concert, Saturday, June 17 at Turner Hall.

•Legacy Luncheon, Sept. 15 at the Old City Cemetery.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Grant Park work is underway

By Hillary Dickerson, Editor
Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–Grant Park is getting a make over, thanks to the Galena Foundation and the city of Galena.

During the Monday, Feb. 27 Galena City Council meeting, the council approved four recommendations from the newly-formed Grant Park committee.

For a total cost of $13,500, paid by the Galena Foundation, the park’s fountain will be completely restored.

The contract with White Construction includes repairing the center figurine, walnut blasting all figurines and repainting, sandblasting all surfaces of the fountain to remove paint, repairing all cracks, painting the fountain, replacing plumbing to the figurines to restore the original fan spray pattern and installing a filter on the pump.

The four benches around the fountain will be sandblasted and repainted for $500. Full funding will be provided by the Galena Foundation.

The third Galena Foundation project, at a cost of $11,500, will be to reconstruct and plant the landscape beds surrounding the fountain, remove all urns from the fountain (they were not original) and use one of the urns in each of the four landscaped beds around the fountain.

The city crew, for an estimated cost of $200, will remove the plantings in landscape beds that form a diamond shape to the west of the fountain, remove narrow concrete edging and return the landscape beds to grass.

Other work

In addition to the fountain restoration and the gardens around the fountain, the committee, meeting Feb. 17, also talked about other projects that are in the works.

Dan Cole and his crew have been working throughout the winter on tree removal and pruning at the park.

Ken Robb, a committee member, reported that Cole has made considerable progress. There were originally 90 trees in the park, with 21 of those trees recommended for removal. Seventeen of the trees have been removed, and there are 35 trees designated for trimming.

As with any project, there are funding needs. The committee briefly touched upon future plans to raise a minimum of $200,000 to help fund the improvements to the park.

There was discussion about a campaign that would allow donors to honor or memorialize loved ones by donating to specific projects. Plaques would be placed at the site and the donors would be publicly recognized as well.

Plans are also underway to assess the current conditions of the stone Civil War monument and the Grant statue.

The White Construction lift will be used to better assess the condition when the fountain restoration work is taking place.

The next Grant Park committee meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 17 at 10:30 a.m. at city hall.