Donations provide windows for museum freight shed
Four large window units were recently installed on the exterior of the historic Freight Shed, which is the north-east wing of the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel. The galleries are a major part of the development of a Museum about Cranbrook
This $16,000 project has been made possible due to capital donations from private donors, including one from Calgary that iniated the project. The project provided the bronze windows framing and high-efficiency sealed window units that match others on the front of the museum facing the highway. The exterior mirrored window surfaces also cut down on heat generated inside the building, particularly from morning sun in the summer and will reduce the level of natural light entering the “Long Gallery”, an important consideration when exhibiting temporary displays of historical items and art for which the Galleries are being designed.
Each donation also includes a small bronze plaque inside beside the window and electrical wiring to be installed inside the interior pilasters that frame the window units in the Long Gallery. This final work will allow the Long Gallery to be readied for taping, mudding, sanding and painting although these finished will depend on more funds. The project is intended to provide some temporary signs on the exterior to explain the galleries development which is intended mostly for residents of the city although tourists can also visit them.
As an added exterior heritage feature, the top of the window units have the original multi-paned wood-framed “transom” windows inserted. These small windows, painted in a rich yellow-gold colour, were originals that were formerly above the freight shed doors.
The large openings into which the window units have been installed held the original freight shed sliding doors that were removed over 15 years ago when the first stage of development started on the restoration and retrofitting of this historic structure. The Freight Shed is one of the oldest buildings in Cranbrook dating from the arrival of the railway in late1898. City Glass, the contractor and donors of one of the window units, also installed most of the other exterior windows at the Museum.
“This is a major exterior feature that we have been planning for many years to show the progress on this part of the facilities, which contains the Exhibition Galleries - an vital part of our continuing development of a “Museum about Cranbrook,” said Corinne Friesen, Chair of the Museum Board. “Thanks to the four special capital donors, this has now been made possible. We have developed the Museum over several decades with many small steps like this. It has been a succesful way of doing it, although it takes time and patience.”