BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – A Belen landmark is set to welcome back visitors next week after being closed through the pandemic and after much-needed repairs. Now, the damage from this week’s storm has put a damper on their reopening celebration. The roof has been a cause for concern at the Harvey House Museum for years and Tuesday’s downpour created another problem.
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“It’s placed right in the center of the room it’s the main feature. Then when we get monsoons and the rain seasons it came right down in the middle of the exhibit. So it’s a little bit heartbreaking,” says Museum Coordinator Frances Zeller.
Museum officials say there are minor leaks throughout the building, but the worst damage is in the front room of the museum, you can see where a piece of the ceiling came down on the newest exhibit.
Crews have been making repairs to the roof of the Harvey House since last month. Zeller says they received $120,000 from the state to repair the perimeter portion of the 111-year-old roof.
That’s the first phase of roof repair projects. Zeller says the next phase will cover repair the red pitched tile portion of the roof, that is causing water to get inside the building.
“I’ve been here for five years and I just keep watching it deteriorate and get worse with every monsoon season. You could look through the roof and see the sky in certain spots,” Zeller says.
The museum is taking donations and selling tote bags to raise money to repair the ceiling. They are working to have both the roof and ceiling fixed by July 17.
The museum will host its first event, since the pandemic, on July 17 for its 17th annual summer picnic. There will be free food and free tours of the museum. To donate, visit harveyhousemuseum.org.