CRESTVIEW — The Bush House, located at the corner of South Wilson Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, will soon be under repair and renovation.
The building is currently occupied by Elder Services of Okaloosa County, but last week the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) approved the process to start renovating the space.
The renovations will include turning the building into a multipurpose house with the continuation of Elder Services, along with adding offices for the Crestview Main Street Association board and a Crestview museum.
“It has long been a dream for the Crestview Historic Preservation Board to have the space for a museum in Crestview,” said the board’s president, Ann Spann. “We’re very excited about the prospect of a museum.”
Spann said the Bush home is a great place for the museum to be located.
“It’s a historic home. It was built in 1925-1926 by Lorenzo Bush, who was supervisor of tracks for the L&N railroad,” Spann said.
Spann added the museum will include photos, artifacts and memorabilia that help tell the story of Crestview.
“We have already had pledges in the local community for artifacts and memorabilia,” Spann said. “A lot of the native families here feel the same as we do that there was a need for a museum.”
Some of the things that have already been lined up for the museum include railroad memorabilia, history of the Bush family and old newspapers, such as the Okaloosa News Journal.
“We’re looking for items from pioneer families who contributed to the growth of Crestview and businesses over the years,” Spann said. “We’re also looking for items such as old yearbooks, maps and strong collections of old photographs to draw from.”
Spann said this is just the beginning for a Crestview museum.
“I feel like it’s time to do something with a museum in our town before things get away and as the older pioneer families fade out and changes come,” Spann said. “We’ll lose artifacts and we’ll lose history. It’s our goal to preserve it.”
Spann said having a museum in downtown Crestview will be beneficial to the city.
“Preserving our area history is an important part of our culture,” Spann said. “It will also serve as a place to visit for the many newcomers and the community to learn about the local history.”
A completion date for repairs and renovations is currently unknown, but once the museum opens it will be under the care of the Crestview Historic Preservation Board and will be free to the public.
Anyone who would like to donate to the museum can contact the board or call Spann at 850-398-9057.