The USS Essex, a National Register Property located in Duluth, is Minnesota's only US Navy shipwreck, and the only known shipwreck originally built by renown shipbuilder Donald McKay. Its current location on the shoreline of Minnesota Point is unfavorable for long-term preservation. To ensure the long-term preservation of the Essex this project developed several options for the future of the Essex, and the requirements needed to fulfill those options.
The specific purpose of the project was to conduct an evaluation of the University of Minnesota Duluth Museums' Mechanical Systems (also called the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system or HVAC system) to determine what changes and improvements are feasible and necessary to improve the environmental conditions in each of three buildings: Glensheen, Tweed Museum of Art along with a proposed Tweed museum storage and work space on the second floor of the Chester Building.
An engineering professional conducted a review of the Bois Forte Heritage Center HVAC systems, their operation, capacity and capability to maintain tight temperature and humidity conditions. In addition, they presented recommendations for addressing current concerns and improving systems performance and efficiency.
Improvements and reconstruction of Locomotive Park, a National Historic Landmark, through interpretation signage at different locations on the site to tell the story of Mountain Iron mine and the miner's heritage in the community.
A 1’ scale model of the gallery, developed a visitor traffic flow plan, developed specs for new exhibit walls/structures, researched & developed major exhibit themes & topic areas and developed preliminary activities for these topic areas. The exhibit design allows free movement within the gallery, allowing visitors to enter from either the south or the north door. Visitors move about freely with no dead-ends or backtracking required, which accommodates large groups of school children without diminishing their experience.