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The Holland Museum says repairs will cost seven figures

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HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The old Holland Post Office, now home to the Holland Museum, is in desperate need of repair.

Museum officials notified the city, which owns the building at W. 10 Street and S. River Avenue, of water damage and concerns about the roof about eight months ago.

“We are responsible for any structural maintenance,” Assistant City Manager Matt VanDyken explained. “Then we contract with the Holland Historic Trust to operate that building as a museum.”

VanDyken informed the City Council of the seven-figure repair request during this week’s Wednesday meeting after a historic preservation group assessed the building.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t come back very well,” he said. “There are significant structural issues with the exterior of the building that will require repair.”

No exhibits have been damaged.

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The Holland Museum started in 1937 in a different location. It moved to the old post office building in the late 1980s. While the museum regularly rotates exhibits from the more than 100,000 pieces in its collection, the main floor is known for telling the story of the Netherlands.

“It’s a story about people who developed this city into what it is,” said museum executive director Ricki Levine. “Starting with the natives, but also the Dutch and other European immigrants.”

The city council will present its municipal capital improvement plan in May. VanDyken said it is working to qualify for a grant through Michigan State Historic Preservation Office which could help cover up to $100,000 in repairs.

“There are a lot of really wonderful, historic buildings in this community, and this is one of them,” Levine said. “It would be a great loss if it was damaged to the point where it could no longer be used.”