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April 20, 2007

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Thanks, Mark, for a good, informative article on this project.

Here is another article that I will post that I admit will help to unabashedly promote the museum. Please pay close attention to the last paragraph which directs all to donate to the cause at The Burlingame Historical Socety, PO Box 144, Burlingame, Ca 94011. Please make checks payable to The Burlingame Historical Society and write in the memo "museum fund."

From The SM County Times, article by Aaron Kinney

All aboard to raise museum funds
Burlingame plans to fix up railroad station

BURLINGAME The Burlingame Historical Society is ramping up a $1million fundraising drive to pay for renovating the city's Caltrain station and installing a museum of local history there.

Even if the campaign is not finished by the end of the year, officials say, the museum will open in limited form sometime in 2007 to commemorate the city's centennial celebration.

The fundraising effort will target private and corporate sponsors and tout the society's goal of creating a 21st-century museum that is interactive and dynamic, society president and Burlingame City Councilman Russ Cohen said.

"I'd like to say that we are keeping the bar fairly high, because what I don't want to happen is to have a museum where nothing ever happens," Cohen said.

The society wants to transform its 125,000-piece archive into a digital database that is easily searchable, while providing visitors with the chance to make new history by recording first-person video or audio files, Cohen said.

Society member Richard Terrones, vice president of Dreiling Terrones Bartos Architecture Inc., said the changing nature of the museum also will be meant to maintain the public's attention.

The society, which documents the history of both Burlingame and Hillsborough, aims for the museum to be a "repeat business, so it's not just static and once you experience it, that's it," said Terrones, who is helping implement the vision for the new institution.

Most of the $1 million will go toward renovating the train station, which was built in 1894 and stands as "one of the first permanent Mission Revival structures to be built," Cohen said.

Owned by Caltrain, which has agreed to provide the facility at no cost, the train station needs seismic and structural improvements, cosmetic fixes and improved access for the disabled.

In time, Cohen hopes to be able to pay for an executive director and paid staff members to oversee the exhibits and interactive activities. The all-volunteer organization has between 300 and 350 dues-paying members, Cohen said.

So far, the society has raised only $16,000, but its campaign is still in the early stages. The society has yet to set out official fundraising benchmarks, but donations can be sent to the society at P.O. Box 144, Burlingame, CA 94011.

Staff writer Aaron Kinney can be reached at (650) 348-4302 or at akinney@sanmateocountytimes.com.

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