12/6/2005 4:26:00 PM Editorial New life for a 'treasure'
It’s fitting that Crawford County’s historical treasures will now be housed in a building that’s also a historical treasure.
Of all the things to celebrate this holiday season, the news that Crawford County Historical Society will be moving its museum into the former Schmidt Clinic building on South Cross Street is high on the list.
For more than 30 years, the museum has been housed in a nondescript building on the “back 40” of the Lincoln Trail College campus. The poor location ensured that many people would not find it, or would not take the time to see what it had to offer.
Now, its new, near-downtown location, with plenty of parking, will put Crawford County’s heritage “front and center” where everyone can easily enjoy and appreciate it.
And it’s not only the location that’s great. The Schmidt Clinic itself was an important part of Crawford County’s history. It was built in 1938 to house a growing family practice that started in the oil-boom years of the county, and that laid the foundation for Crawford Memorial Hospital.
The building is basically in great shape, with its Art Deco styling evident in the facade and wood-paneled lobby. And unlike some tenants that might have occupied the building, the historical society is likely to preserve the features that make it historically and architecturally significant.
But like many aging structures, it needs some roof work, minor remodeling and some cleanup, and the society has mounted a fund-raising campaign to get it ready to move into.
If you’ve not been a supporter of the historical society up to now, it’s the perfect opportunity to show your appreciation for a move that, as LTC Foundation Director Rod Harmon said, is a “win-win-win” for Crawford County.