I publish the APA Journal for the Amalgamated Printers’ Assoc. and recently asked Jim Moran of Hamilton Wood Type for an update on their move. Below is his reply and am publishing it here as I thought the greater letterpress community would be interested.
Wednesday, January 16th at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. The doors have been locked since the start of the year. We have 73 days left to pack and leave the building. Some of the displays have come down and type is being boxed and packed into cartons. This weekend is the first official moving party with a crew of 12 coming in to help with the massive task of boxing up 1.5 million pieces of type. The rest of the factory has been empty for weeks, with only cleaning crews clearing out debris. We’ll begin moving larger equipment to the south end of the building in a staging area before it’s loaded onto semis for the move.
Fund raising has gone incredibly well. To date, we have received pledges of over $178,000 toward the move. Over 40 states and 20 countries have made donations. In-kind donations of shipping materials, to coffee for helpers have been offered. We have met a couple of matching grants but we’ll need to keep going to pay for the entire move.
We have identified the space we want for the new museum. It is the former Formrite building, across from Lake Michigan about 3/4 mile from the current site. Initially, we were committed to staying in the Hamilton building. When that became unrealistic, we looked at a number of sites around the city. Knowing the the history of Hamilton should ideally stay in the city of its birth, we hoped to find a spot as close to the original museum site. Formrite is a great site and would allow the museum to nearly double its footprint. One of the challenges is simply to pay for a building and the overhead costs that our current space didn’t have. While Thermo Fisher has asked us to leave, it’s worth noting that we have had essentially free rent and utilities since the early days in the late 90s.
We have yet to completely secure the new space. While the owner is being most accommodating in our attempt to purchase, we have to raise a good portion of the cost ahead of time. While we are confident of our efforts to fund raise, we have a long way to go. We will not truly know if we are free to move in until after city council meets on March 18th because of zoning codes. This is frighteningly close to our April 1st moving date. Formrite may be kind enough to allow us to begin moving in prior to that date. If all goes well with the city council, we hope to be moved in by April and begin setting up the new space and attempt to open by mid summer. We also plan to hold our 5th Annual Wayzgoose on schedule in early November. Stay tuned.
Those who want to help with the move may join work parties by signing up on our web site. Should anyone wish to write letters to the local paper, The Herald Times, we ask that they stay most positive and focus on our need to preserve both the Hamilton and area heritage.
Finally, we like to express our humble thanks to all who are supporting us with donations of support. We will emerge a stronger museum with a secure future.
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