Fundraising for renovation of the Neal Building in downtown Carlisle is off to a flying start with pledges and donations exceeding $110,000. The Nicholas County Historical Society began its search for funds to convert the West Main Street fixture into a combination museum and arts and welcome center for the community by conducting a leadership campaign for major gifts.
Bob Garvin, the fundraising chairman, says the leadership campaign is off to a splendid start and will continue. At the same time, though, he says, the fundraising committee also will open the effort to the Historical Society membership and to the general public.
"Due to Dorothy Neal's generous gift, the Neal Building is now the property of the Nicholas County Historical Society," says Garvin. "While we take responsibility for it. It really is for the entire community of Carlisle and Nicholas County. We hope everyone will help us get sufficient funds to do a good job of converting it."
Garvin says the Historical Society board and the fundraising committee have been pleasantly surprised, and delighted, by the enthusiastic response to plans for the building. Specific plans are now being developed for renovation.
Conversion of the Neal Building will allow the Historical Society to move its genealogical library and historic artifacts to the building. Space will also be provided for a welcome center for visitors to the community, with the country store atmosphere that prevailed during the late Gene Neal's years as owner to be retained.
The restoration of Mozart Hall on the second floor will provide a new venue for entertainment and educational programs as well. And, says Bob Garvin, "It's going to help us stabilize our downtown business area with all its architectural treasures which are so attractive to visitors."
In addition to Bob Garvin, the Historical Society's fundraising committee members include Dr. Bob Sparks, Michelle McDonald, Winfred 'Wimp' Hughes, Carolyn Dotson, Virginia Kingsolver and Jim Haag. Any of those individuals will be glad to answer questions and receive comments from the citizens of Carlisle and Nicholas County.