A number of local individuals and organizations have provided the remaining funds needed to complete the exterior restoration of the Lord Higel house. The historic 1896 building will house exhibits of early settler artifacts, as well as related events and educational programs. Venice Heritage Inc. had to raise the approximately $157,000 that was needed to complete the building's exterior restoration, including replacement of the first floor siding and the house's wrap around porch.
Julia Cousins Lanning provided the final $10,000 of the funding needed to complete the work. Two years ago, the local philanthropist donated $1 million towards construction of a new Venice history museum, which is currently housed in the Triangle Inn. Additionally, the local chapter of the Questers has donated $1,000 towards the restoration, and an anonymous couple has given the same amount. The Venice Nokomis Woman's Club also donated $1,000 towards this goal and has offered to match any additional donations totaling up to $1,000.
"Considering that we have been a vital part of this community since it was formed in 1926 and our founding member was Mrs. Fred Albee, who was dedicated to preserving our community's history, we are honored to help complete this most worth while project," said Carolyn Redlin, president of the Venice Nokomis Woman's Club. "We are anxious to see the restoration completed so the house can help educate the public about our area's unique past."
Restoration of the building's exterior is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Donations are still needed for landscaping, an ADA restroom and exhibit materials. This will give us something to watch this season as the restoration of the wrap around porch will restore the house's original silhouette. Enjoy history in Venice.