Apr 9, 2014 2:10 PM
Chico's iconic Veterans Memorial Hall will be turned into a museum for local art.
Museum of Northern California Art, or monca, held a press conference this morning to announce JoAnn Morgan, Stanford graduate and Chico resident, will lead renovation efforts.
While making her inaugural speech, veterans from American Legion Post 17 in Chico showed their support by handing Morgan a $1,000 check to kick-start the renovation campaign. Carlos Castle presented the check and said Post 17 challenges other veterans in the community to match or exceed their donation. Castle said he is excited the old building will be put to use once again. The building has been vacant for the last five years.
“I thank the veterans profusely,” Morgan said while accepting the cash donation for the museum. Morgan said this was her first time inside the building, and while nodding at its beauty, acknowledged there was a lot of work to do. Board president of monca agreed.
“Nothing has been done on this building since 1927. The county will keep the outside up but we need to renovate the inside,” monca president Pat Macias said, adding they need to raise $500,000 for renovations.
Chico resident and Chico State graduate Reed Applegate donated 400 works of local art from his own collection to monca.
Macias is excited for the new addition to the city. "Chico is an art town—we all know that,” Macias said. “And this is basically an art museum that will benefit the entire community."
Macias says monca hopes to open the museum to the public by the fall of 2016.