Frank House Bed Chamber Restoration Project Ribbon Cutting Saturday (May 1)

KrisAnn Sullivan
Frank House director, 308.865.8284 OR

UNK– A ribbon cutting of the refurbished Frank House bed chamber will take place on Saturday, May 1, at 11 a.m.

“The original plan, as suggested by the Frank House Advisory Board, was to refurbish the vestibule, dressing room and closet areas on the first floor,” said KrisAnn Sullivan, Frank House director. “We consulted the State Historic Society and the guidelines for the treatment of historic buildings.

“The lead-based paint, kitchen cupboards, wall tile and layers of flooring that had been added in the early 1900s were removed,” she said. “The woodwork and floors were refinished, and the walls were painted in colors that closely resemble the original colors from 1889.

The ceremonies will open with a welcome from Sullivan, followed by a greeting by the Frank House Advisory Board president Margaret Brown. Nebraska State Historical Society associate director and deputy state historic preservation officer Bob Puschendorf of Lincoln will speak about the importance of the house and preservation, and Lee McQueen, UNK Facilities Management and Planning director, will describe the bed chamber project. The ribbon will be cut by Leiton “Swede” Anderson and Howard Strong, both UNK facilities carpenters; Mark Talarico, UNK facilities painter; and Lola Hoagstrom, Bobbie McKenzie and Colleen Gage, all project committee members from the Friends of Frank House.

More than one-half of the funding for the project was supported by a gift from the late Marian Johnson, who was the first Frank House director. The Friends of the Frank House and the UNK facilities department also provided funding and labor.

“Johnson refinished the wood work in the bedroom herself in the 1970s and 1980s when she lived in the house and developed it as a historic home on the UNK campus,” Sullivan said.

“Because of the labor provided by UNK facilities, we were able to expand into the bathroom and, in the last two weeks, the bedroom itself,” Sullivan said. “The UNK carpenters and painters are working up to the last minute to complete as much of the project as possible before the ribbon cutting. Their pride is evident in their work. It is beautiful!”

The bedroom chamber will be furnished and will display items from the 1890s collection. According to Sullivan, the closets and dressing room will serve as a place for guests to hang their coats and for other related needs, such as a changing room for bridal parties.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Frank House “Preservation Celebration.” The celebration features an antique road show, and discussions on preservation and online trading beginning after the ribbon cutting.