Thursday, September 6, 2012

Houdini Museum in Scranton will get a facelift

The Weekender reports that the Houdini Museum in Scranton has received a $30,000 grant from Scranton's Office of Economic and Community Development to help with renovations to its weathered facade. Originally applied for in 2010, the grant was recently made official and papers were signed earlier this year.

"The artwork I've seen for (the new facade) is really outstanding," says Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty. "It’s only going to add to that neighborhood and beautify it, and also add to their business as an attraction."

Curators Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz are very proud of the things they’ve accomplished since establishing the Houdini Museum in 1988.

"It was really a wreck of a building when we first got it, but we did our best to fix it up," says Dorothy. "Everything had to be replaced. When it rained outside, it rained inside. Was it a good idea to start with a place that was that dead? Probably not, but we did it anyway."

Dorothy and Dick are now working overtime to raise the rest of the money needed to begin the renovation. Being a matching grant, the pair will have to pay the full $60,000 for construction before being reimbursed with the $30,000 grant from OECD.

"People can give us a call or send a check to our address," says Dorothy. "Just make the check out to the Houdini Museum, and since we’re a non-profit organization, it is tax deductible."

Among the items housed in the museum are the original portraits of Houdini's mother and father that hung inside Houdini's New York home. The museum has been featured on the History Channel and the Travel Channel, and has also been referenced on NBC's The Office.

For more information or to make a donation, visit the Houdini Museum website.

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