News

The Galena Foundation is an active not-for-profit organization which consistently launches new projects and initiatives. This news feed from the Foundation's blog features the most recent news and updates.

For a complete list of Foundation blog posts, visit the Galena Foundation blog.

MONDAY, JULY 3, 2017

Grant Park fountain work shows the art of restoration

By Hillary Dickerson, Editor
Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–The fountain at Grant Park is taking center stage after months of restoration work. On Wednesday, June 28, Jeremy and Cory White, contractors for the project, turned on the water, stood back and marveled at the fountain’s beauty.

Added to the park in 1891, the fountain was last restored in 2004. As part of the ongoing Grant Park project, a partnership between the city and Galena Foundation, the fountain restoration–including caulking, painting, a new pump to improve the spray and miscellaneous work–is the latest improvement. The project budget was $15,000, with all expenses paid by the foundation. The bid from White Construction was for $14,000.

It’s been quite a project.

During the winter, the Whites removed the center sculpture and four cherubs, as well as the benches on the sidewalks surrounding the fountain. While the center sculpture is original, Jeremy said, the cherubs are all aluminum. No one is certain of the date they were replaced, but they appear very similar to the originals.

After inspecting the center sculpture, Jeremy found major issues that no one was aware of up to that point. He sought the assistance of Galena artist Charles Fach to make the repairs.

Fach, who knew full well what he was getting himself into, agreed. All together he spent 40-and-a-half-hours making a replacement foot and fingers and then ensuring the head was securely attached to the zinc casting sculpture that was soldered and pieced together.

In the end, Fach charged only $100 for his work, an amount included in the original bid; Fach was only interested in covering the cost of the materials he used in the process.

Fach said he found the head of the sculpture held on by a rotten piece of wood. He went to work, logging time each day. He created molds to make the melting lead pieces necessary, a multi-step process. All the pieces were attached with stainless steel screws.

When Fach was finished, the Whites painted the sculpture and put it in place.

“It ought to last a couple hundred years,” said Fach of the restored sculpture.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have (Fach),” said Jeremy, noting that the sculpture probably would have been taken to Chicago for the repair work if Fach hadn’t been able to take on the project. Jeremy estimates Fach’s work was worth at least $5,000.

The work has been significant for Jeremy as well. He remembers falling in the fountain as a child as he tried to grab the coins that had sunk to the bottom.


TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 2017

The Galena Foundation to host Hunter Fuerste June 16

Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–The Galena Foundation announces its annual concert featuring Hunter Fuerste and his American Vintage Orchestra. This authentic re-creation of popular music from the big band era will take place at Turner Hall on Saturday, June 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Although donations are welcome at the door, admission to the concert is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Balcony and handicap-accessible seating on the lower level will be available. Attendees are also encouraged to hit the dance floor on the main level or just relax and listen to the sounds of the orchestra and featured singers.

All donations received will be used to support the work of the Galena Foundation. Recent foundation projects have included work at the Galena Train Depot, the Old Market House State Historical Site, Turner Hall and Grant Park.

Sponsors include Vincent, Roth, Toepfer & Leinen, P.C.; Ellen Steinbrecher; Prairie Ridge of Galena; Nack, Richardson & Nack, P.C.; Log Cabin Steakhouse and Gobbie’s Sports Pub and Eatery; La Vie en Rose; Illinois Bank & Trust; The Galena Gazette; Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery; Fried Green Tomatoes; First Community Bank of Galena and Apple River State Bank; DeSoto House Hotel; John and Bonnie Cox; BestOfGalena.com Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers; Baranski Hammer Moretta & Sheehy Architects; and in memory of Annemarie E. Bluhm.


MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017

Foundation, city celebrate a public-private partnership that benefits the community

Courtesy of Galena Gazette

Foundation, city celebrate a public-private partnership that GALENA–The city of Galena joined with the Galena Foundation on Tuesday, April 18 for a Galena Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours. The aim of the event was simple: to celebrate public and private partnerships for the benefit of the community.

And Turner Hall–the site of the event–has certainly seen benefits from those partnerships.

On hand to celebrate were Charlie Marsden, chairman of the Turner Hall Project Committee, and Ken Robb, president of the Galena Foundation.

Marsden summarized the work done at Turner Hall, thanks to the contribution from the Galena Foundation. Some of the work included lighting control upgrade, interior lighting fixture restoration, rear stage wall reconstruction, exterior balcony painting, exterior cleaning, restroom updates, kitchen rewiring, tuckpointing and sealing, interior painting, new stage floor, complete refinishing and painting of interior and several more.

“This is the 35th anniversary of the Galena Foundation, founded in 1982. At one of our earliest meetings a small group of dedicated community members had a vision, to build an endowment to preserve, enhance, and protect Galena’s history, heritage and culture,” said Robb.

As the years passed, the Galena Foundation’s assets grew, now reaching over $895,000. “Thanks to the city of Galena for your partnership and for the generous support of many individuals in our community,” said Robb. “Beginning with our first project to restore the Old City Cemetery, this endowment has made it possible to fund more than 50 projects for a total investment in excess of $650,000 in our community since 1982.”

The next big Foundation project is the multi-year Grant Park restoration project. The Foundation intends to raise $200,000 to support this effort and has recently expanded the planning committee to partner with the city of Galena.