Patterson residents may have noticed the yellow caution tape that now encircles the downtown Historical Museum. The building is undergoing renovations as part of the Museum Restoration Project.
The project will demolish and replace the arbor foundations and ramps with ADA accessible ramps; furnish and install new structural connections between floor elements and foundations; repair exterior cracks; repaint portions of the interior along with the entire exterior; replace the arbor with a new replication and furnish and install a new sill plate under the building wall.
The project will cost $231,000, and will be funded partially by the California Cultural and Historical Endowment’s (CCHE) Museum Grant Program, which requires a 50/50 minimum matching contribution from the City of Patterson. According to their website, the CCHE is a state entity tasked with preserving and protecting California’s cultural and historical resources, such as artifacts, collections, archives, historic structures and properties that cultivate
the understanding of California’s collective past, and preserve the many treasures that are California’s cultural legacy.
The Museum Grant itself is funded by the Snoopy License Plate fund, a specialized license plate supporting California museums that features a dancing Snoopy (of Peanuts fame) that can be purchased for $50 through the DMV’s website.
According to City Management Analyst Xavier Guluarte, who also serves as the project’s Grant Administrator, the grant application process began in May 2017, and the city was awarded the grant on October 5, 2018.
Guluarte cites the Patterson Township Historical Society for being an integral part of the process throughout. After the Historical Society provided historical content to the grant narrative in the first round, Patterson Township Historical Society Director and Patterson Irrigator Publisher Emeritus Ron Swift presented a compelling historic demonstration during the second round, when state representatives visited the Museum for a tour.
“The Patterson Township Historical Society has been an invaluable partner and participant,” said Guluarte.
The museum, which displays the office of J.D. Patterson, served as a Post Office from 1910 to 1931. In the 1940’s, Mr. Patterson sold the building to the city but maintained his office there, from which he would manage his properties, and the Patterson City Water Company. In the 1960’s, Mr. Patterson relocated to the building that is now Valadez Jewelers and the Center building was used off and on as a “card room” for the local men’s club. In 1969, the Patterson Township Historical Society was formed, and 9 years later, in 1978, the Museum was opened.
Members of the Historical Society will be present during the renovations, which has been awarded by Harris Builders, to ensure that the artifacts from Patterson’s past are handled correctly and safely.
“Some of us need to be down there just to make sure that we can be there to watch them, and guide them; there is real precious things inside,” said President of the Historical Society, Linda Briggs.
Briggs said that anything that needs to be moved out of the museum during the renovations will be temporarily held at the Historical Society’s Resource Center located downtown.
The estimated completion date for the project is late October to early November.