Museum gets $50K for chapel car renovation

A ninth place finish in this spring's Partners in Preservation competition was enough to put a $50,000 grant in the hands of the Northwest Railway Museum.

The Snoqualmie organization's 118-year-old chapel car, Messenger of Peace, will be renovated with the money. The contest began in April and was sponsored by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The chapel car beat out the Kirkland Arts Center, Seattle's Museum of History and Industry and a number of other well-organized groups.

"Results suggest a lot of community support for the project," said Museum Executive Director Richard Anderson.

Schooner Adventures and Washington Hall in Seattle were joint winners in the online vote.

"We're very proud to be recognized," said Museum Marketing Manager Sue Van Gerpen. "We got in there and held that position."

"We're very thankful to everyone who voted," Van Gerpen added. "They realize the importance of that artifact to this museum, to the area and to the nation."

The Chapel Car will eventually be brought inside the museum's Conservation and Restoration Center for renovation. Work is expected to start this summer, subject to approval from the Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation.

"It will be the difference between finishing the car and not finishing the car," Van Gerpen said.

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