3M museum gets a faceliftThe Waterfront Drive museum that commemorates the 1902 birth of the 3M Company is getting a facelift as its opening day approaches.
The Waterfront Drive museum that commemorates the 1902 birth of the 3M Company is getting a facelift as its opening day approaches.
The former Dwan Building, now owned by the Lake County Historical Society, is getting new siding, insulating material and landscaping.
“I’m trying to lead by example and reinvest in the historic Waterfront District,” said Lake County Historical Society director Mel Sando. “Our goal, even if we don’t get a marina, is to try and maximize what we have right now.”
The Two Harbors City Council and the Lake County Board share that goal, Sando said. “We want to try and make Two Harbors more hospitable to guests,” he said.
The 3M Museum is a partnership between the 3M Company and the Lake County Historical Society. The 3M Company owns the museum and pays the Historical Society to run it.
“The repairs will help strengthen our relationship with 3M,” Sando said.
The repairs will cost about $20,000. The Historical Society has taken out a $15,000 city of Two Harbors Business Improvement Loan and is taking the other $5,000 out of its savings. The Louisiana-Pacific Corporation is donating the siding materials to re-face the building, which in 1992 was named to the National Register of Historic Places and opened as a museum depicting 3M’s early years.
Sando said he’s aware some people might not be pleased about the choice of siding materials.
“We’ve had a few people complain about us using LP siding,” he said. “It’s not historically accurate.”
But Sando said he’s grateful to Louisiana-Pacific for its donation, and that the repairs were needed. “The people who like to express their discontent do it from the sidelines,” he said. “They are seldom the ones who are members of the LCHS or would make donations to the LCHS.”
The siding work is expected to be done at the end of this week. Jim Williams Construction of Silver Creek is handling the project.
Sando also plans to reinsulate the windows, put vapor barriers on the walls, build a new insulated skirt around the building and do some landscaping on the north side.
The 3M Museum’s roof was replaced in 2009 with a grant of $10,000 from the 3M Company. But the water leaking through the old roof damaged the siding.
Sando said he hopes the museum’s main visitors — 3M employees — will enjoy the changes made to the museum.
“That is a global community,” he said. “Visitors from Southeast Asia and western Europe come in to St. Paul and make a trip to Two Harbors to see where the articles of incorporation [for 3M] were signed.”
The 3M Museum will officially open on Friday, May 4.
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