The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society received a 2008 Clean Michigan Initiative Grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, through the City of Sault Ste. Marie, for historic restoration of the exterior of the U.S. Weather Bureau Building. This award is full funding in the amount of $100,000; a required match will be provided by the Shipwreck Society and by a 2008 grant from the National Park Service Save Americas Treasures Program in the amount of $125,600. Grant support has also been received from the City of Sault Ste. Marie Historical Commission and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Funding will support the following work items:
Removal of existing shingles from mansard roofs, flat roof, and porch roofs
Installation of new underlayment and 18” western red cedar singles on mansard and porch roofs
Installation of modified bitumen membrane on flat roof area
Installation of two terne coated historic replica metal cover dormers
Installation of historic decorative wrought iron handrail around flat roof perimeter
Installation of metal roof flashings
Construction of barrier-free ADA access ramp
Elevation of porches to accommodate barrier-free access ramp
Repair of front and rear porches including stairs, balusters, and rails
Installation of replica gutters and downspouts
Construction of steel roof access to observation roof deck Installation of security fencing and electronic security
Exterior brick repair
Most of the exterior work will commence in the spring of 2010.
The Weather Bureau Building, located within Soo Locks Park, is both an element of the St Marys Falls National Historic Landmark and the City’s Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront Walkway Plan, which outlines a complete recreational walkway along the south bank of Sault Harbor for visitors to the City. This Plan is being implemented by the City as funds become available, and restoration of the Weather Bureau is an important part of it.
The Society sincerely thanks the DEQ; the National Park Service; and the City of Sault Ste. Marie for this funding. The Shipwreck Society’s occupancy of this building is the first time it has ever been made accessible to the public.
Building hours during the winter months are 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. The building is located at 400 W. Portage Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, at the corner of Portage Avenue and Ferris Street.
The above grant funding still requires a local match, for which the Shipwreck Society seeks private contributions. If you are interested in learning how you may contribute to this exciting restoration, please visit contact information on this section of the web site.