Historical society to vote on Heritage Aspen name | AspenTimes.com
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Historical society to vote on Heritage Aspen name

Janet Urquhart

The Aspen Historical Society will henceforth be known as Heritage Aspen – that is, if its members OK the name change.

The society’s 17-member board of directors was nearly unanimous in its selection of Heritage Aspen as the group’s new name at a meeting Wednesday, according to John Moore, society president. The board narrowed the choices to Aspen Heritage Museums, Aspen History Museums and Heritage Aspen before making its decision.

Each of the society’s some 600 members will be sent a ballot proposing the name change, as required by the organization’s bylaws. If a majority of members – financial contributors to the society – approve the change, it will become official. That process will probably take until late January, Moore said.

The society decided to change its name to end confusion between the organization and the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. The public continually mistakes the historical society, which operates the Wheeler-Stallard House museum, for the HPC, according to Moore. The HPC is a city board that reviews proposed alterations to historic properties.

The new name comes as the society launches its $1 million “Bridge to the Future” fund-raising campaign.

The campaign received a jump start this week with a $100,000 endowment from board member Ann Hodges and her family, Moore said. A gallery in the renovated Wheeler-Stallard House will be named to honor the contribution of the Hodges/Wilmerding family, he said.

“It’s a nice start. It’s a very nice start,” Moore said.

In the next year, the society hopes to raise $1 to $1.2 million to fund a variety of programs.

That sum, said Moore, includes $400,000 to $500,000 in gallery endowments that will go toward continuing exhibits at the museum; $250,000 earmarked for exhibits in the near future; $100,000 for landscaping of the museum grounds; $100,000 for educational outreach; $100,000 for cataloging and editing the museum’s oral and video history collection; $50,000 to update the oral/video collection; and $50,000 for collection analysis and acquisition.

Meanwhile, a major renovation project under way at the Wheeler-Stallard House will be completed next year. The work, budgeted at $1.8 million, may cost $400,000 to $500,000 less than expected, Moore said.

The renovation is being funded by a contribution from Ruth Whyte. She donated a home on Bleeker Street to the society. Proceeds from the sale of the house are paying for the work.


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