Museum Expands!

Museum Expands into New Space!

Museum Changes
by Mark Benton, Trustee

When we moved to the Museum mid-year 2000, we did so because we were faced with either closing the Museum (because the old space was packed so tightly with stuff that you could hardly walk in the place), or moving into a larger place. My friend and Trustee Mike Barlow learned of an office in Sandy, Utah, and after leasing the space, we spent a few months renovating it for Museum use. Over nearly a week in that very hot Salt Lake Summer, we moved the contents of the Museum from Salt Lake City to its new home. We were almost lost in our new space then, but when we unpacked everything and moved in (benefitting from furniture that Trustee Alan Raab had built for us), even those of us who knew the collection well were surprised with how many items were actually had.

We worked for about 9 months getting everything situated, and then welcomed the crowds at GSL-XVIII in April of 2001. Everyone was impressed and we were pleased.

But the collection continued to grow. We benefitted from the Budd Andersen display, the Don Emmons collection, a large Revell-Pactra/Testors display and on and on. Earlier this year, as we prepped the Museum for GSL-XX, it was clear to us again that we had now outgrown this space. Stuff was getting packed in boxes (or not unpacked), and models needing restoration or display were stored on the restoration table in the back room. As in early 2000, something had to give in the early Fall of 2005.

Serendipitously, in early October of this year, the office space next to the Museum became vacant and we struck a deal to take over that space. As in the current facility, the new area has required renovation and upgrading, some construction, and lots of cleaning. Trustee Alan Raab is putting together a consortium of individuals to pay the extra rent for this new space (not all of the space in the adjacent office will be used by the Museum – Trustee Mark S. Gustavson will rent about a third of the space – in the back and behind a dividing wall – to store old legal records). With the construction help of builder Steve Butcher, and overseen by Trustee Brian Dees, we'll have occupied the space by mid-December. We've turned to new Trustee Bob Wick for decorating and layout help. We want to specifically express our appreciation to the following members of the Utah Miniature Automotive Guild for their great help during the construction and moving process: Brian Dees, Dave and Steve King, Mark Brown, Phil Gladstone, Mark S. Gustavson, George Layton, Dick Engar, as well as the members of the Utah Model Car Association and that club's president, Dennis Barker.

This office has been used by a succession of business over the last 30 years, and the space is pretty beat up. The color is awful, the tile floor is dirty, and the whole place needs to be painted. Still, our current space was worse when we started, and it's a jewel now.

We will move the library into the new space and finally be able to present that collection for viewing through our Scan the Past program. I'll be putting together a computer system that will permit visitors to enjoy scanned magazines (we no longer permit visitors to thumb through the fragile historic magazines). Also, we'll move the three four-drawer filing cabinets into the new space so that model car researchers can make arrangements to examine the thousands of items in those cabinets. We'll also be able to fully deploy our Museum/GSL Store so that visitors can purchase T-Shirts, mugs, tour DVDs, and the like. In the back room, we'll place our large conference table for meetings, and start on the long -delayed slot car layout (see the accompanying article, "Motorized Modeling" in this newsletter). The current library space will be reconfigured for a major display on the contests up to and including the legendary Revell-Pactra/Revell -Testor contests – as a part of Mark S. Gustavson's work on a book on those events, we've gathered a considerable amount of items (models, trophies, documents, and other memorabilia).

In short, we'll be working hard here to get this adjacent space readied for our Museum. If you can, please make an extra donation to help us pay for the updates for our Museum. Our goal of preserving, for the future, the history of our hobby as well as advocating the future of the hobby can only occur with your generous help.

This was the back room when we first took possession. Once a custom motorcycle painting business and a wood shop, this room will take a lot of work to clean it up and convert it to our use.

We've erected a wall in the back room to define the space. Here, Trustee and Project Manager Brian Dees is inspecting the construction work of Steve Butcher (who did the construction work in our other Museum space).

More photos...


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