Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Closing, but just for a bit


October 31, 2019

Something’s missing from the sidewalk along 3rd Street this week: the sign that once drew attention to the 1875 Gallery. The building now awaits new occupants, having been emptied of its artistic contents, which will remain in storage awaiting their new home in the Old Stoney cultural center.

Old Stoney is, of course, not yet finished and it will be at least a couple of months until the building is ready to house the county’s museum and art gallery. However, there was little choice but to hit the pause button on the gallery until that moment comes, says Museum Director Rocky Courchaine.

“The lease agreement was up. Actually, our lease was up in April,” he says, expressing gratitude that the owners were willing to extend it by another six months.

Now, however, a new tenant has been secured, which meant there was no possibility of extending the contract further.

At this time, there is no firm finishing date for the old school that will become the gallery’s new home. On the other hand, the battle to install the elevator shaft has finally been won: after months of trouble with shallow foundations and groundwater, the shaft is now installed.

“We have no walls on the elevator yet, the hydraulics aren’t in yet,” Courchaine says, but once those things are done, “They can start sheet rocking around it and putting the floors back in. They’ve still got to cut the hole in the top floor for the elevator.”

For the last two weeks, says Courchaine, “They’ve been pouring the concrete in the basement.”

With the shaft now in place, Courchaine feels that everything will start coming together. Until now, he explains, “It’s been all little things where nobody knows what they’re doing. You can’t get anything done until these little things are done, and then [suddenly] people see progress.”

Replacing flooring, stripping floors and other necessary tasks should be completed relatively quickly he says, noting in passing that he would be grateful for volunteers who are familiar with floor refinishing.

Meanwhile, the doors are all in, as are most of the windows aside from the top floor. For that level, the windows are currently on order and should arrive in December.

“I can’t say a date,” Courchaine warns. At present, he is anticipating the move into Old Stoney will begin around the first of the year.


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