Gardner Museum's future in question

The museum sits closed due to lack of funding.

A decision on the future of the Gardner Museum could come very soon.

The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County has owned the museum for two years, and cannot financially afford to maintain both the museum and John Wood Mansion.

It once stood as the library for the city of Quincy, and then became the Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design in 1974.

Currently, it sits closed due to lack of funding.

Although The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County can't afford to maintain it, Board President Justin Coffey hopes someone will step up to occupy the space.

"The Gardner Museum is right in the city's downtown," Coffey said. "There's a lot of foot traffic here, a lot of cars go by. The cities downtown is growing, there are new business going up all the time. It's a perfect place to have a business here, and the whole city would welcome someone occupying the Gardner."

Located at the corner of 4th and Maine, some think this location is a prime area for a new business to make a start.

Historic Quincy Business District Executive Director Travis Brown thinks the location is ideal for downtown Quincy.

"It's at probably one of the more critical intersections in our downtown," Brown said. "That intersection, and we've said this with the Newcomb obviously, but that intersection is where people make the decision whether they're going to enter our downtown, or whether they're going to skirt around and go to Broadway. And so the more we can put at that intersection that's a vibrant, welcoming, presence, the better that's going to be for downtown Quincy and really for our whole community."

At the end of the day, Coffey hopes the building becomes occupied quickly.

"The Gardner Museum simply cannot stand vacant," said Coffey. "The hotel across the street was vacant, and vacant buildings are not good for the society, they're not good for the community, please help us."

If you're interested in leasing or buying the museum, you're asked to contact the society at 217-222-1835.

According to a statement from Board President Justin Coffey, the Historical Society is currently exploring all options regarding the sale or lease of the Museum.

The Society is looking at the proper use of the Museum for the Society, the Museum and Quincy.

The Gardner Museum Blue Ribbon Committee will meet next week to consider all options and to make a recommendation to the Board.