May 3, 2023: Media Release: Historic Saranac Lake Awarded Major Grant, Construction Begins
About the Project
Historic Saranac Lake will restore the former home and medical office of Dr. E. L. Trudeau and open the building as a museum that explores the rich history of the Saranac Lake region and Trudeau’s pioneering work in tuberculosis treatment. This 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. We want to hear from you! Please fill out our short survey to let us know your ideas for the new museum!
Help us meet our goal!
To date, we have raised $4,894,000 in grants, donations and pledges of support. We are well on our way toward our $5,200,000 goal to support acquisition, building rehabilitation, and museum exhibits. We are speaking with lead donors about naming opportunities. Many thanks to our growing list of donors.
We are pleased to announce that we have secured an investor to be able to make use of historic preservation tax credits for the project. Our thanks to the generous friend of Historic Saranac Lake who is making this possible! Contact us to find out how historic preservation tax credits can help advance preservation in your community!
Soon we will unveil the new name and logo for the expanded museum campus! Stay tuned! We are grateful for grant support for this project from the Franklin County Destination Development & Marketing Program.
ARCHITECTURAL PLANS AND STUDIES
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. As with the Saranac Laboratory Museum next door, the most important artifact at the Trudeau Building is the space itself. 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. We will design engaging museum exhibits that complement redesigned interpretation at the Saranac Laboratory. Plans include:
- An exhibit and film that introduces visitors to Indigenous history in the region. See the March 2022 plan for presenting Indigenous history in the new museum, created in consultation with John Fadden of the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center.
- 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 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 and organizations.
- 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.
- 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
- April 2019: Acquisition — Historic Saranac Lake purchased the Trudeau Building from Medical Associates.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- June 2022: Hazardous Materials Abatement -- The abatement of hazardous materials at the Trudeau Building was completed in June 2022.
- Summer 2019 to present: 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., d The exhibit design team consists of Exhibit Developer Kate Cravens, Exhibit Designer Travis Wood, and Graphic Designer Charlotte Ricker. We will complete the schematic design for new exhibits by the spring of 2023.
- 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. This project is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.