Parking Lot Closure

Due to the Museum renovation work, the Museum’s North Parking Lot off Alabama St. will be closed beginning tomorrow, Thursday, August 31, 2006, to all traffic and parking (with the exception of contractors). Please do not park in front of the cones and flagging tape cordoning off the parking lot entrance as it will be used for egress by contractors.  The parking lot will remain closed during the duration of the renovation project.


We also request that vehicles remain clear of the Museum’s handicapped parking pad on the North Side (end of Alabama St.). Please do not park to the side, on, or in front of the pad.  The handicapped area is periodically used to unload construction equipment and materials.


Construction Fun Facts

We seem to bump into something interesting with quite a bit of history every day!


1926 Classroom—The original plaster ceiling of the classroom was severely comprised and was scheduled for demolition during the Revitalizing History Project.  During demolition of the ceiling, 2 ½ tons, yes tons, of plaster were removed!  The plaster contains sand, cotton seed husks, and horse hair as additives.  During the removal the contractors found a thick layer of wood shavings between the ceiling and the 3rd floor subfloor, which resulted from the original 1916-1917 contractors using a wood plane to evenly level the hardwood maple floor of the gymnasium (main floor) when the building was under construction!  The original hardwood maple floors of the Museum’s main floor have been covered by a layer of masonite for over 20 years.  During Phase II of the Revitalizing History Project we hope to remove the masonite and expose and renovate the original maple floor.


1st Floor/Basement—During renovation Museum staff found a newspaper article from a June 1917 edition of the Silver City Independent.  Apparently, the two bottom rooms, currently used to house collections, were originally the girl’s and boy’s locker rooms and showers!  Now we know why there are plumbing fixtures and old sewer hookups in the floors.


Parts of Fleming Hall Originally to be a Museum?—The 1917 article also stated that the smaller rooms located between the locker rooms in the basement were slated to be a “Museum.” These rooms were to house museum type exhibits of “…Normal School memorabilia currently scattered throughout the various campus buildings.”  Unfortunately, we do not know if this plan came to pass, but it does seem to Museum staff that Fleming Hall was always meant to be a Museum.


Old Electrical Toggle Switch Backing—Many of the old electrical toggle switch backing found on the Museum’s lower, or second floor, in the various different laboratories are made from grey slate.  In 1916-1917 composite had not developed and slate was used for electrical switch backing. Visitors will be able to marvel over the changes in electrical equipment and wiring (rubber-coated cloth wiring) between 1916 and 2007 in a new exhibit slated for our re-opening celebration in 2007.


Biology Lab Water Supply Still Working!—Museum staff and contractors just located the original plumbing, in a wall, for the Biology Laboratory.  The Biology Lab was located in what staff now refers to as the “Buggy Room” on the second floor where Colonel Fleming’s buggy (donated by Scott Nichols) is displayed along with other historic objects.  And yes, much to our amazement the plumbing still works (water went flying everywhere when we tested the pipes)!  The plumbing will be disconnected downstairs in the collection area located in the basement and the pipes removed from the wall on the 2nd floor so the wood chair rail disguising the new electrical outlets can be constructed over the area.