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Demolition, and then more rain

Friday, October 8

A current view of Vent Haven Museum from behind where the W.S. Berger Building used to sit.


A lot has happened at Vent Haven Museum since our last blog post two weeks ago. After rains delayed work for a week, "Demolition Week" finally began on Monday, September 27 when the large tree in front of the W.S. Berger Building (Building One, as we informally call it here at the museum) was taken down. The big day, though, was on Tuesday, September 28, when both the W.S. Berger Building and the original garage building (Building Two) were demolished to make way for the new museum building. We streamed that demolition live, and you can watch a replay of the day here:

Work continued on Wednesday and Thursday, as the refuse from the demolition was removed and then work was begun on the excavation of the basement for the new museum building.

This week (October 4-8), however, has been another wet week, with near constant rain from the start of the week until mid-morning Thursday. As a result, it's been too wet to use the heavy equipment (There's actually a nice little pond on the rear of the property as this blog post is being written), but that doesn't mean that nothing has been happening on site. Earlier in the week workers removed the privacy fence separating the museum property from the private, residential home next store (You can see that fence in the video above). The new museum building will be close enough to the fence that the fence was in the way of the large equipment being used. The fence was neatly stacked and stored on the rear of the property behind the Betty Nelson Garden and will be reinstalled after the museum is completed.

In addition, workers also cleared some significant brush along the same side of the property line and in the rear of the property. This was done in preparation for the new parking lot which will sit behind the new building and which will relieve parking issues on West Maple Avenue.

The forecast for the next week calls for dry conditions and much higher than normal temperatures (The average high in Cincinnati for this time of year is 67 degrees Fahrenheit, but highs for the next seven days are predicted in the upper seventies and low eighties), so some drying out should occur over the weekend. Some minor work could be completed the week of October 11 through 15, but we expect substantial work to begin again the week of October 18. You can view the construction site live 24/7 on our YouTube page or by visiting our construction page on this website.


Construction isn't the only thing happening at Vent Haven Museum (though you'll forgive us if it's understandably our focus right now). While construction is ongoing, a committee, led by curator Lisa Sweasy, is hard at work planning what the exhibit space in the new museum will look like. The hope is that--when keys to the new museum building are handed to staff members--we'll already have a basic idea of what goes where. And speaking of Lisa, she is always handling paperwork at the museum, and she and her husband Bryan are using the down time to continue entering data about the museum's massive photo collection. Over 8,500 photos related to ventriloquism have been scanned at a high resolution by museum staff, and a detailed database exists which includes information about each photo (You can read more about that by clicking this link). It takes longer to enter the data than it does to scan the photographs, so there are roughly one thousand photos scanned that need to have data entered about them.


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