Stained glass valued at $150,000 will remain in Ypsilanti museum

Date: 17 January 2006
"I have no plans to move the window,'' said City Manager Ed Koryzno. "As far as I am concerned, the city owns it unless somebody tells me differently.'' The city paid Frank H.

Boos Gallery of Troy $500 in December to evaluate the window that includes a Madonna-like figure in the middle of colorful depictions of an hourglass and an oil lamp. The window is kept in a wooden frame on the second floor of the museum.

David McCarron, senior appraiser at Boos, told the city that he analyzed the 115-year-old window and compared it to other windows in the market, putting the insurable value at $150,000.

The 4- by 7-foot piece, once part of the Ladies Library building on North Huron Street, has been at the museum for 38 years and is currently part of the negotiations between the Ypsilanti Historical Society and the city. The nonprofit group wants to buy the historical museum at 220 N. Huron St. and renovate it.

Koryzno said the city has no plans to sell the window and had it appraised for insurance purposes. If the society buys the museum, the city will negotiate with the organization to keep the window there, he said. The negotiation is pending an appraisal of the property, expected to be completed in early March.

"As of now it (the window) is going to stay in the museum,'' said City Council Member William Nickels, D-2nd Ward.

Al Rudisill, president of the historical society, said the organization would like to keep the window in the museum, but no record has been found to prove that it belongs to the society. The window came from a building that was owned by the city, he said. "That much we know,'' he said.

Doug Winters, the current owner of the Ladies Library, said the window ought to be brought back to its original home, and that he would sign an agreement with the city that the window would not be sold and will stay with the building.

The city owns the building and the museum is operated by the historical society.

The society would like to renovate the 145-year-old structure, handling an estimated $100,000 in repairs, and ensure its future as a museum. Society members fear that if the city goes bankrupt, the 5,406-square-foot building would be sold and the museum's collection would be displaced, Rudisill said.

The society, which includes about 300 members, has offered the city $80,000 for the building and the carriage house adjacent to the museum.

The cash-strapped city has been struggling to balance its budget for several years. Nickels said the City Council is working very hard to shore up the city's finances and keep it out of state financial management.

He also said in addition to paying for the repairs, the society would be able to maintain the building, and the city would save about $7,000 a year in utilities, as well as acquire the income from the sale.

If the appraised value of the property exceeds $500,000, the city would have to ask residents to vote on the sale of the museum. If the appraisal falls bellow that amount, the council will hold a public hearing and vote on the sale, and the future of the stained glass window.

600450 Stained glass valued at $150,000 will remain in Ypsilanti museum
Date: 17 January 2006

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