For the past year, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center has been hard at work quietly raising funds for a new wooden floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall, one of the two great halls. With the help and support of private donors, businesses, Nevada City, Nevada County and the Nevada City Chamber Commerce they have raised 70% of the total amount needed. With just three weeks remaining before breaking ground on January 28, the Miners Foundry is reaching out to help make this much needed facility improvement a reality for the community to use and enjoy for generations to come.
“A wooden dance floor will allow the Foundry to produce Swing, Ballroom, Salsa and Blues dance events without making excuses about dancing on cement. It’s a big step in the improvement of the Miners Foundry,” says Paul Emery, a local promoter who has produced music and theatrical events at the Miners Foundry.
Located in the heart of downtown Nevada City, the Miners Foundry is a California Registered Historic Landmark. The building retains the character of the Gold Rush days with its rough-hewn beams, iron doors, and antique fixtures and furnishings. From its earliest days as a machine shop that spawned such modern marvels as the Pelton Wheel which would go on to revolutionize hydroelectricity to the fabrication of steel that was used in the Liberty Ships of World War II to its current use as Nevada County’s premiere cultural arts and community center, the Miners Foundry has and continues to play an integral role in the story of Nevada County, and ourselves.
“Charles Woods and David Osborn had a magnificent and brilliant vision which they made a reality; to create a cultural center for Nevada County from the ruins of a once bustling but ultimately derelict industrial building which once served the mines,” said Paul Matson, board member of the Miners Foundry and friend of the late partners, Osborn/Woods. “Today what was then the American Victorian Museum is alive and well while actively fulfilling that original mission, in what is now known as the Miners Foundry.”
In 2009, the Miners Foundry brought together community members, organizers and leaders for a strategic planning session. During the meeting the floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall, along with a new sound system, stage, curtains, and kitchen, were all identified as areas that needed improvement. Since then, these areas with the exception of the floor have been updated. A new floor would beautify the hall by lightening the room and improving acoustics. It would attract more music events that involve dancing. It would also provide an elegant space for dinner dances, night-club-style events and dinner theatre. Rental business for daytime uses such as exercise, yoga and dance classes would expand dramatically.
Last year the Miners Foundry hosted over 400 events and nearly 50,000 people, local and out-of-town, visited to either attend a rock concert, theatrical production or reading, non-profit or school fundraiser, private party, wedding, or just to admire the historic mining relics and the Foundry’s famous stone walls.
Young’s Carpet One has been selected as the contractor for the job. The scope of the floor project includes sealing and leveling the existing concrete floor, and then installing a premium hardwood floor. Donors of a certain level will have their name or the name of their choice permanently imprinted on the new wood floor.
“Like many non-profit arts venues, only 40% of the buildings operating costs are covered through rental income,” explains Gretchen Bond, Executive Director. “The remainder comes from Foundry-presented events, annual memberships, fundraising events, grants and donations. Individuals and businesses that choose to support the Foundry make an enormous difference and insure the legacy of this great building.”
Hurry! Donations of any amount are welcome. There is a deadline of January 26th for those who donate $1,000 or more and will have the name of their choice imprinted on the floor.
To make a tax-deductible donation you can do so online here or simply call (530) 265-5040. You can also mail in your donation to Miners Foundry, attn: Osborn/Woods Hall Floor, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA, 95959. For questions or additional information please contact Gretchen Bond at (530) 265-5040 or Gretchen@minersfoundry.org