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Crow Wing County awarded over $224,000 to update historical museum

The Crow Wing County Museum housed in the former Crow Wing County Jail and sheriff's residence building turned 100 years old in 2017. (File photo by Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)

The Minnesota Historical Society has awarded a $224,557 grant to Crow Wing County to restore and update the Historical Museum in Brainerd. A Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grant was given to Crow Wing County for its "Preserving History: Crow Wing County Historical Museum and Research Library" project.

The renovation will restore and update the more than 100-year-old Historical Museum. The Crow Wing County Historical Society Museum and Research Library are housed in the former Crow Wing County Jail and sheriff's residence built in 1916. The building, located at 320 Laurel St., in Brainerd, is owned and maintained by Crow Wing County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"This work will ensure the protection and preservation of the historical artifacts displayed in the building. It will also allow for a solid and comfortable building that will be visited and enjoyed by residents for years to come," said Rachel Breun, Crow Wing County facilities coordinator.

Exterior work will include repairs to the roof, concrete and mortar repairs to the steps and brick as well as fixing the drainage system. Windows will be replaced with double hung windows to bring back the original look of the building.

Interior work will consist of updating building code compliance and ADA accessibility, renovating three bathrooms and an attic walkway. The largest part of work inside will be upgrading the existing HVAC system to improve the conditions of the environment within the building envelope.

Total cost of the project is estimated at $419,856. The remaining cost will be matched from a Crow Wing County Capital Improvement Fund, which is funded by levy, county program aid, lease payments and tax forfeited settlement dollars.

The grant for the project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

Renovations are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018.