About the Project
Historic Saranac Lake will restore the former home and medical office of Dr. E. L. Trudeau to open an expanded museum that explores the history of the Saranac Lake region and Trudeau’s pioneering work in tuberculosis treatment and scientific research. The project will create a museum campus that will drive arts and culture tourism to the North Country region. Garry B. Trudeau is Honorary Chair of the Campaign for the Trudeau Building.
January 2024 UPDATE
Construction is in full swing and 25% complete. We anticipate construction to be complete by the end of October 2024. We have raised $5,449,000 in private support, grants, and historic preservation tax credits to support the acquisition of the building, design, planning, and construction. We are raising the last funds needed to reconstruct the front portico and complete construction. In December, we were awarded an Adirondack Architectural Heritage Adirondack Rural Revitalization Program grant of $22,500 for the portico. We also were awarded a $10,000 Action Grant from Humanities NY to support consultation with Dave Fadden of the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center on Indigenous Exhibits in the new museum. See the timeline at the bottom of this page for a complete progress summary. Fundraising continues to support phase two of the campaign: to install museum exhibits, a handicap lift at the Saranac Laboratory, and build the endowment. Many thanks to our growing list of donors.
Historic Saranac Lake will restore the historic home and medical office of Dr. E. L. Trudeau. We will open the building as a museum exploring the story of the Saranac Lake region and Trudeau’s pioneering work in tuberculosis treatment and scientific research. Visitors to the museum campus will enter through the Main Street entrance of the Trudeau Building. Here they will explore exhibits interpreting the history of the Saranac Lake region and the life and work of Dr. E. L. Trudeau. Visitors will then move on to Trudeau's neighboring laboratory, where exhibits will focus on the history of science in Saranac Lake. Plans include:
- An exhibit and film that introduces visitors to Indigenous history in the region.
- Improved museum collections storage space, defined as a priority in our ongoing Preservation Planning Project funded by an IMLS grant in 2018. This will allow us to grow our collection and make it available to the general public and humanities scholars.
- Creation of a research room that will facilitate public access to our collection.
- Installation of interactive children’s exhibits in both buildings.
- Rotating exhibits in collaboration with other area museums, organizations, and private collectors.
- Implementation of hands-on science activities in the laboratory space.
- Expanded interpretation at the Saranac Laboratory Museum exploring important present day issues in public health and tuberculosis control and treatment.
- December 20, 2023: Adirondack Daily Enterprise Article: Preserving History: Grants for Harrietstown Town Hall roof and Trudeau Building Entrance
- August 3, 2023: Adirondack Daily Enterprise Article: Saranac Lake History in the Making
- June 27, 2023 Press Release: Historic Saranac Lake Announces Groundbreaking Ceremony
- May 3, 2023 Press Release: Historic Saranac Lake Awarded Major Grant, Construction Begins
- February, 2022: Trudeau Building in the News! -- See recent coverage on North Country Public Radio, NBC News Channel 5, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the Plattsburgh Press Republican, and the Sun Community News.
- January 13, 2019: Adirondack Daily Enterprise Article
- December 27, 2018: WCAX Channel 3 News Story
- May 22, 2018: Adirondack Daily Enterprise Article
- May 16, 2018: Sun Community News Article
- May 1: WCAX Channel 3 News Story
- April 29, 2018: Plattsburgh Press Republican Article
- April 26, 2018 Adirondack Daily Enterprise Article
- April 25, 2018 Press Release
PROGRESS SUMMARY TIMELINE (most recent events listed first)
- February 2024: Construction is in full swing. Construction is over 30% complete, and we are on track to complete the rehabilitation of the building in late fall of this year.
- December 2023: We have been awarded an Adirondack Architectural Heritage Adirondack Rural Revitalization Program grant of $22,500 for the portico. We also were awarded a $10,000 Action Grant from Humanities NY to support consultation with Dave Fadden of the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center on Indigenous Exhibits in the new museum. A $115,000 grant from the NY State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation will support major roof repairs to the laboratory roof in 2024.
- August 1, 2023: We broke ground for construction! As of November, 2023, construction is 20% complete, including masonry repairs, removals, some site work, and preliminary work to install the elevator. Activity will ramp up on the interior through the winter. Stay tuned to this page and our social media channels for progress updates!
- Summer, 2023: We unveiled our new introductory film for the new museum, supported by a Rescue Act Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Schematic design of museum exhibits is now complete. See the Schematic Design booklet.
- July 2023: We have a new logo! As we grow to become a two-building museum campus, our logo needed an update! The new logo, designed by Adam Rozum Design, exists in a variety of complementary versions. Our thanks to Franklin County Destination Development & Marketing Program for supporting this project.
- Spring 2023: Construction Advances -- In the spring of 2023, we signed a pre-construction contract with Bishop Beaudry Construction. Construction got underway with window restoration by Richardson Windows. The master contract will be signed in July.
- Summer 2022: Film Production -- We are working with filmmaker Jordan Craig to produce a new short introductory film that will introduce visitors to the broader scope of the new museum.
- Summer 2019 to 2022: Museum Planning -- Museum Planning consultant Kate Cravens contracted with HSL in the summer of 2019 to develop an overarching interpretive plan for both museum buildings. In 2020, We contracted with exhibit consultant, Bob Davidson of Exhibits and More to create an Exhibit and Lighting plan. In August 2023, we learned that we have been successful with an IMLS Inspire! Grant of $50,000 to support the next phase of museum planning. A Humanities NY Vision Grant will support consultation with Humanities Scholars. This next phase of exhibit planning began in the fall of 2022. The exhibit design team consists of Exhibit Developer Kate Cravens, Exhibit Designer Travis Wood, and Graphic Designer Charlotte Ricker.
- June 2022: Hazardous Materials Abatement -- The abatement of hazardous materials at the Trudeau Building was completed in June 2022.
- Spring 2022 to present: Tax Credits — HSL secured an agreement with an investor in the project's historic preservation tax credits. We contracted with consultants Wishneff and Associates to prepare the legal and accounting work. Part two of the tax credit application was submitted to National Park Service in July 2022.
- March 2020 to present: Architectural Design -- Preliminary schematic design was completed in March of 2020. We went out to bid in the spring of 2021 for phase one construction, but we received only one bidder. Thanks to successful fundraising, we are planning to bid the entire construction project all at once in early 2023. As of August 2023
- January 2019: Survey and Site Plan -- Surveys were completed of both museum properties. HSL's site plan was approved by the Village Development Board in January, 2019. A revised site plan was approved in spring of 2021.
- Summer 2019: Environmental Review — A Phase One Environmental Assessment was conducted. Asbestos remediation was performed in the basement crawl space in order to proceed safely with architectural design.
- April 2019: Acquisition — Historic Saranac Lake purchased the Trudeau Building from Medical Associates.