Finger Lakes museum officials sign agreement
KEUKA PARK—Officials from New York State and the Finger Lakes Museum held a ceremonial signing at Keuka Lake State Park on Friday, Sept. 17.
The proposed museum site was selected after a two and a half year process that included consideration of 19 sites throughout the Finger Lakes. The $40 million project is an initiative to create a world class educational institution to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square mile Finger Lakes Region since the last glacial recession began over 12,000 years ago. It will include the geological formation of the region as well as the culture, native animals, history and the story of each of the 11 Finger Lakes.
After unveiling the museum’s logo, museum board president John Adamski said the bald eagle represents the most successful wildlife restoration success story in American history and it all began in the Finger Lakes Region near Hemlock Lake in the 1970s. He stated, “Our plans for the museum project are to mirror the success of the bald eagle.” Adamski and Finger Lakes State Parks Regional Director Tim Joseph signed a letter of Intent to start the process that will enable the Finger Lakes Museum to build its campus in Keuka Lake State Park.
Under the Letter of Intent, The Finger Lakes Museum and the New York state Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation will begin a comprehensive planning process for the museum’s facilities at Keuka Lake State Park. The process, which will include public input opportunities and a full environmental review, will develop a detailed concept design and site building plans.
A joint Memorandum of Understanding listing the commitments of five other Keuka Lake State Park site sponsors was also signed. Those members include Yates County, the town of Jerusalem, Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, Keuka College and the Finger Lakes Visitors Association. A separate agreement with the Yates County Chamber of Commerce will be signed at a future date.
Last Tuesday, more than 70 people from 60 architectural, engineering and exhibit design firms from across the country met at Keuka Lake state Park to listen to Adamski and project director Don Naetzker describe the concept, mission and vision for the project. After the presentation they took a walking tour of the park and the Branchport School campus, which is serving as the museum’s interim headquarters.
When asked what constitutes a world class museum, Adamski responded, “When dozens of design professionals from five countries; Canada, China, England, Germany and the United States express an interest in designing the project, you can’t get much more world class than that.”
The attendees were asked to submit qualifications to compete for the commission of designing the Finger Lakes Museum. The board plans to narrow the list to five firms which will then each submit design proposals before the end of the year.