REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s History Museum is packing up its collection and moving out of its current home. But, where the nonprofit is moving to is still up in the air. The museum's collection is currently housed in the basement of a building near 7th and Evergreen, behind what used to be City Hall.
Judy Fessler, President of the Greater Redmond Historical Society, says they don’t pay rent, thanks to an agreement with the city. "With the moving out of that particular whole block, the city would like to redevelop the entire block; they own about ¾ of the block. So, we are kind of the last one in the whole block that’s still there, as far as presence. We’re packing up."
She'd like the city to allow them to move around the corner, into the former site of City Hall, "We’ve made a proposal to the Council – not formally, but in some emails – that, ‘why not?’ Why can’t we move into that building? It would still give ¾ of the block available to the city of Redmond to redevelop. And, at this point, there is not really any solid planning or implementing of the planning in place to redevelop that; they’re working on it." However, Redmond Urban Renewal Manager Chuck Arnold says it would be too expensive for the city to maintain water and heat in a building without any paying tenants. He says he's working with the museum board to create a business plan that shows how it can be sustainable and justify the use of public money to help the nonprofit. Arnold tells KBND News the city owns much of the museum’s collection and there is interest in preserving and eventually displaying the artifacts, possibly at several different sites.
Fessler says it's up to the city to decide where they go next. She hopes the community will help find a way to keep the museum going. "Is this something that the greater Redmond community would like to have? Do they want to have a history museum? Because, right now, we’re making plans to move the most sensitive items to a secure climate-controlled location, within the next few weeks. We’re boxing those up and getting those out of the facility that we’re in now." Those sensitive items include photos and keepsakes that Fessler says are irreplaceable.