The Matheson History Museum is delighted to announce that it has received a $300,000 special category grant from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. This major historic preservation grant will go toward the renovation of the former Melting Pot building at 418 East University Avenue. The historic preservation grant will fund renovations of the exterior of the building. Private donations will fund renovations of the building’s interior, which will be transformed into a library, archive and community meeting space. The former Melting Pot building, which was originally the Gainesville Gospel Tabernacle church, is located across the street from the Matheson History Museum.
Shortly before the building became a Melting Pot fondue restaurant in 1982, it was the Barrow Family Antique Store. Dr. Mark V. Barrow, a retired cardiologist and one of the founders of the Matheson History Museum, operated the antique store with his wife, Mary. The building housed the Melting Pot from 1982 to 2009. It was vacant until 2014, when the Matheson History Museum purchased the building. Many of the items the Barrows collected when they owned the antique store are now on display in the Florida’s Global Kitchen exhibition at the Matheson History Museum, which was originally the American Legion Hall.
The Matheson’s board of directors, under the leadership of Board President Betsy Albury, has formed a special building committee to oversee this important historic preservation project. The completed museum library, archive and community meeting space will stimulate heritage tourism, provide researchers with greater access to the museum’s archives and provide community groups with an attractive meeting space. A list of all funded special category grants for 2016 is attached.
For more information call 352-378-2280 or email [email protected].