2009-02-14 / Top News

Plans Are Underway for Indian Dormitory Art Center

Demolition of the interior of the historic Indian Dormitory in Marquette Park on Mackinac Island is underway and engineering to redesign the building as an art center have begun.

With an $800,000 donation from the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation, the largest donation the Mackinac Island State Park Commission has ever received, it is hoped the Indian Dormitory can be reopened and be a center for local historic and modern art. The dormitory has been closed since 2002, owing to budget cuts.

Workers are cleaning out the interior of the 1838 building, removing old exhibits, and clearing walls on all three floors to create new galleries for the art center, said Phil Porter, Mackinac State Historic Parks director.

Architect Forum of Mackinaw City is creating construction drawings.

The park is developing bid specifications for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, fire protection, roofing, and painting, Mr. Porter said.

An elevator shaft will be added to the back side of the building.

"Our collections and museums staff is working at selecting artifacts and developing exhibits to be displayed in the art center," said Mr. Porter. "They're coming up with creative ways to display the artifacts and art we intend to have in there."

The building is expected to be ready for the summer of 2010.

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