September 19, 2013
How a Type Museum Rewrote Its Fate

Late October 2012, the board of the Hamilton Wood Type, the largest vintage wood-type repository and museum in the United States, was notified they had six months to pack up and move out of 35,000 square-feet space—with a million and a half pieces of wood type. The company that owned the original Hamilton factory building where the museum was housed in Two Rivers, Wisconsin wanted it back, and fast. The end for the famed typography institution seemed near.
But within days of announcing the dire news on social media, friends of Hamilton forged a human chain of donors and volunteers. “The response was overwhelming,” Artistic Director Bill Moran says. “Fundraising events took place in Seattle, Chicago, Brooklyn, Milwaukee and San Diego and other cities around the country with folks designing and printing works for sale, with all proceeds going to the museum.”
The organization received donations from people in 42 states and more than 20 countries. Sixteen-hundred hours of volunteer time went to packing and loading 27 semi-trailers. A local shipping company lent trucks and drivers. A neighboring pallet manufacturer provided more than 500 shipping pallets and another company donated a forklift. Working nights and weekends, Hamilton volunteers moved lock, stock, and typecases into a converted factory just 10 blocks away.
Hamilton’s goal, Moran tells me, was to keep the museum in Two Rivers but have enough space in which to grow— “and we did both.” They settled into the former Formrite building on the southern end of the city with a view of Lake Michigan, one in a cluster of ’50s-era industrial structures. While the new building lacks the same character as the previous one, Moran says it fits their needs: “It has a dry roof and safe electrical system.” At 85,000 square feet it more than doubles the previous space. And with the help of the city council and Two Rivers Historical Society the building was rezoned and brought up to code.
Read more. [Image: Jeff Dawson/Lester Public Library]

How a Type Museum Rewrote Its Fate

Late October 2012, the board of the Hamilton Wood Type, the largest vintage wood-type repository and museum in the United States, was notified they had six months to pack up and move out of 35,000 square-feet space—with a million and a half pieces of wood type. The company that owned the original Hamilton factory building where the museum was housed in Two Rivers, Wisconsin wanted it back, and fast. The end for the famed typography institution seemed near.

But within days of announcing the dire news on social media, friends of Hamilton forged a human chain of donors and volunteers. “The response was overwhelming,” Artistic Director Bill Moran says. “Fundraising events took place in Seattle, Chicago, Brooklyn, Milwaukee and San Diego and other cities around the country with folks designing and printing works for sale, with all proceeds going to the museum.”

The organization received donations from people in 42 states and more than 20 countries. Sixteen-hundred hours of volunteer time went to packing and loading 27 semi-trailers. A local shipping company lent trucks and drivers. A neighboring pallet manufacturer provided more than 500 shipping pallets and another company donated a forklift. Working nights and weekends, Hamilton volunteers moved lock, stock, and typecases into a converted factory just 10 blocks away.

Hamilton’s goal, Moran tells me, was to keep the museum in Two Rivers but have enough space in which to grow— “and we did both.” They settled into the former Formrite building on the southern end of the city with a view of Lake Michigan, one in a cluster of ’50s-era industrial structures. While the new building lacks the same character as the previous one, Moran says it fits their needs: “It has a dry roof and safe electrical system.” At 85,000 square feet it more than doubles the previous space. And with the help of the city council and Two Rivers Historical Society the building was rezoned and brought up to code.

Read more. [Image: Jeff Dawson/Lester Public Library]

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  4. thebattleofwits reblogged this from whatswithtodaytoday and added:
    Same.
  5. whatswithtodaytoday reblogged this from meredithbklyn and added:
    I want to go to there.
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  8. meredithbklyn reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    a FONT MUSESUM ?!?!?!?!
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  19. notinahundredyears said: Hate to be that person but the ignorance of AP style guide in relation to numbers is driving me crazy in this story