A museum comes to reality in Grünberg

On September 29, 2007 the Museum im Spital was officially opened by the mayor of Grünberg, Frank Ide.
It was a long and rocky road getting to that point.

SchlossRathaus On September 27, 1952 the local newspaper reported that the newly established "Local History" working group, verbalized, among others things, the creation of a museum of local history. This desire was affirmed in 1955. It was to find a place in the Town Hall, because a Town Hall move was being discussed. Likewise, a room at the local castle was being considered. Public demand to open a museum for the 500th anniversary of Gallusmarkt (1980) could not be met.

Franziskanerkloster In connection with Hessentag 1980 and the execution of an intensive town restoration program in the following years, the discussion about a museum continued. To that end, possible locations around the center of town were evaluated a number of times since the political leadership decided that the town hall would continue to be used as such for the foreseeable future. Even the restored Franciscan cloister was not available to house the museum after the „Barfüßer Förderkreis Kultur e.V.“, formed to stimulate the cultural life of arts and crafts in town in 1985. The "Brauhaus" -brewery- was reviewed and discussed as a possible location too.Brauhaus However, the building was, in the end used as a residential building and became the home of public offices such the city's public library and redevelopment offices so as to not lose public funding for the urban redevelopment project.

On December 16, 1986, on the recommendation of Mayor Siegbert Damaschke and with the support of the "Local History" working group a museum commission was formed. The commission was comprised of city councillors, town selectmen, and expert citizens. The museum commission's task was the preparation, construction and opening of the museum and was to make corresponding recommendations to the City Council. As early as the spring of 1987 the commission recommended the (Very much in need of rehabilitation) former Augustinian Spital (hospital) on the premisses of the old city cemetery. Museum im Spital Logo

In 1988, the first design by a local architect was presented. In addition, the concept of a "Museum Walk" was included. The "Walk" was to pass historic sites to allow for and give further insights to the interesting history of Grünberg; for example, the Schloß (castle), Diebsturm ("thieves tower", historic jail), Wasserhäuschen and Wasserwerk (water house, pump station, water wheel), Schmiede (forge/black smith shop), and Barfüßerkloster (monastery).

The intention of the City Council, the establishment of the museum and the scientific monitoring of the submitted concept proposals to be run by an expert historian was approved. This person then supervised the works from January 17, 1989 to July 31, 1993. During this time the "Museum Walk" was completed (inaugurated on February 26, 1992) and two (2) Grünberg museum booklets ("Thistle and Green Mountain - The Luther printer Rhau-Grunenberg" and "Get the water on the mountain - Well Design in Gruenberg") were published.

In parallel there were renewed efforts to expand the historic town restoration area to the Spital, Hospital of the Augustines. However, corresponding efforts to open up and fund this area for redevelopment were not successful.

Neue Eingangshalle Museum In the time thereafter, the foundation underwent a comprehensive effort to insulate the oldest building in the city from the effects of moisture.In February of 1999, the newly formed Museum Commission began their work. Museum im Spital Glasvorbau The the building / construction effort was discussed in a number of meetings. A modern glass front building to allow barrier-free (wheelchair-accessible) access led to heated discussions.

The interior work - exposure and partial gutting - started in conjunction with the department for the preservation of historic sites in 2002. The shell was completed in July of 2003. Work on the interior of the building, building services and interior plastering, were continued after the mayoral change from Siegbert Damaschke to Frank Ide in 2004.

The ethnologist, Mrs. Karin Bautz, took up work to build the museum on January 11, 2002. Together with the museum architects and in close cooperation with the Hessian Museum Association, the city government and the Museum Commission she developed and oversaw development of the design concept and the expansion of the museum.

The inaugural grand opening was celebrated on July 29, 2007. The great historical past of Grünberg was brought back to life.


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