A year after the devastating explosion in sun prairie that killed fire captain cory barr and leveled buildings ... an important piece of the downtown's history is preparing to reopen.
Madalyn o'neill is back from sun prairie with how your memories can play a role the sun prairie historical library and museum on main street has been closed since the explosion last year.
As they work to preserve history ..
Both long ago and recent ..
They're asking the community to be a part of the process.
P- helen wirka museum dir., city of sun prairie historical museum 19:40 "it was very much a striking moment in this community."
The explosion that wrecked buildings and took a life ... wirka 12:15 "it profoundly affected everyone who lived here."
... couldn't touch the thing museum director helen wirka spends her life preserving: wirka 9:35ish "telling stories, it's in my very fabric.
It's in my blood."
History and the artifacts that represent it -- wirka 22:18 "almost heart-stopping, when i first saw it."
-- like this clock from a business at the old city hall building when time seemed to stop a year ago.
Wirka 21:58 "can you see how it says 7:07 p.m.?"
It's now been donated to the sun prairie historical library and museum.
Wirka 22:30ish "the fact that it was that moment, just incredible."
Which is now a part of history, itself.
Wirka 57:45ish "the building was very severely affected by it."
The explosion just down the block cracked the walls and blew out windows of the the nearly century-old building housing the museum, which opened 50 years ago.
Wirka 59:26 "it has been here since may 4, 1969.
It wasn't time to close the book on it yet.
Wirka 15:05ish "this is going to be where we celebrate the georgia o'keefe works."
Wirka says most exhibit items were untouched ..
But had to be moved into storage ..
And the common council approved a budget amendment to help with a long rebuilding process.
Wirka 3:33 "it has been slow."
But well worth the time put in ..
To keep the city's history alive.
Wirka 8:08 "it relates people.
It brings them together, shared memories."
Memories that help rebuild.
As the clock ticks ahead ..
The community moves forward, as well.
Wirka 8:38 "i also think very much history is now.
We're making history every day, as well."
Wirka thinks that's something worth preserving.
Wirka 12:57 "it's really just been incredible to see.
It's a very strong community."
13:02 there's still set up and construction work to be done..
But the museum will reopen its doors next sunday and begin limited public hours.
And on the evening of july 10th, exactly a year after the explosion ..
The museum is inviting community members to share their memories and artifacts from that historic day that could end up as part of a planned exhibit.
Stay with us through wednesday for continuing coverage of how sun prairie is still recovering one year later in our "sun