Plan for Plymouth Historical Museum threatened by ordinances

June 19, 2018 by  

An important piece of Plymouth history might be caught up in red tape.

Officials at Plymouth Historical Museum hope to obtain a working train caboose, a symbol of life in the city, from CSX. CSX has offered to sell two cabooses to the museum.

Local historical museums can use printing services to highlight new exhibitions and to explain their connection to the city. The two cabooses would live in the front of the museum and would be available for tours and observation. According to Liz Kelley Kerstens, the cabooses would help to improve the museum’s presence and would attract more visitors, because of Plymouth’s long history with trains.

It might seem like a win-win situation, but there is an issue – city ordinances would not allow the museum to actually put the cabooses on display.

As John Buzuvis, the community development director, told the Plymouth-Canton Observer, the cabooses would be an “accessory building” and would not be allowed in the front of the museum. Buzuvis tried to find a way to allow for the display, but came up empty-handed.

The museum is not out of options, though; it could place the cabooses at another location, or it could request the city for a variance in the ordinance. To receive a variance, the museum would have to demonstrate that the current rule creates a hardship for it.

The staff at the museum are also exploring other possibilities and remain hopeful that they will get to put the caboose on display.