Recent Restoration Projects
Kern County Museum Special Projects
Tejon Ranch Gallery
An art/ photo gallery was created in the former gift shop. The $ 150,000 project was supported by Tejon Ranch and completed in the fall of 2017.
Thanks to the generosity of Norman Lum and a $7,000 gift, the Joss House was remodeled and 150 year old altar artifacts were added. The Sing Gong Temple was rededicated in October 2017 with the Kern Chinese community.
Funded by the Ellen Baker Tracy Guild, the 100 year old school received new interior walls, fresh paint and refinished wood floors in Spring 2018.
Mrs. Gayle Batey refurbished Batey Gardens in the Spring of 2018 adding $25,000 in new shrubs, landscape material and new concrete borders.
Adventist Health has brought the popular music center back to life. The $25,000 project was completed in time for the annual Box Car Music Festival April 2018.
Heller House: Complete remodel of the historic Heller House for our costume department April 2018. The $30,000 Lowe’s Local Heroes project was completed in four days with 30 volunteers.
Bud and Virginia King Volunteer Center
The Bud and Virginia King Volunteer Center was created in the Summer of 2018 with a restroom, kitchen and lockers compliments of the Lazzerini Family Foundation and Advance Beverage.
Thanks to the generosity of Ray Mish and Mission Mortuary, a complete remodel of the Undertaker Parlor in the Summer of 2018. The $4,000 project improved the exhibition of late 19th century funeral practices.
Partners at Kaiser Permanente have made possible a $4,000 remodel of the historic Drug Store building. Project completed in October 2018.
Dust Bowl Exhibit
Two worker housing units from the 1930’s farm labor camps in Shafter and Sunset were restored in the Spring of 2019. The $25,000 project was funded by the EBT Guild.
Thanks to the Bakersfield Woman’s Club, the $40,000 project has stabilized the foundation, remodeled the porches and added new interior wall surfaces. Completed May 2019
BHS Alumni Plaza
The Bakersfield High School alumni provided funding for a $30,000 plaza for the base of the historic BHS Water Tower. The project was completed in May 2019. Murals were added to the tank in the Spring of 2020 thanks to the Class of 1959.
The 100 year old building received a new coat of interior and exterior paint, roof repair and cleaning in Fall 2019. Funded by the McCoy Family Trust.
Ray’s Wheel House
Thanks to support from Ray Watson, a large exhibit hall for 40 historic vehicles was dedicated in March 2020. With other funding from the Harrell Foundation, the EBT Guild and 40 community donors, the exhibit was a long awaited goal of the museum. It is estimated the project was a $600,000 investment by the community.
Trolley Car Station
Support from the Arkelian Foundation and West Foundation created a special events venue featuring an early electric street car and the iconic Noriega Hotel Bar. The station was completed in Fall 2019 and the Noriega Bar was installed in the Summer of 2020. The Trolley Car was restored in the Spring of 2021 at a cost of $50,000.
The early real estate office received a fresh coat of white paint, a roof coating and new interior flooring thanks to a donation by William Edmonds. Completed in June 2020.
Noriega Hotel Bar
The iconic bar and back bar were moved from its 90 year home on Sumner Street to a new location in the Trolley Car Station in 2020. Funding provided by Mary Trichell, The Wheeler Foundation, Turner Trans Lift and 40 separate community members.
Thanks to Boy Scout Troop 44 and Eagle Scout Nathan Van Dyke, exterior improvements including a circular sidewalk were completed in the fall of 2019
The Discovery Center has been completely reimagined thanks to funding from Chevron, the Wheeler Foundation, the Junior League for a total of $200,000 in improvements:
A lively room for creating junior masterpieces.
Remodeled classroom for large groups and parties.
A recreation of local businesses that employ science, technology and math careers including a café, farm, fire house and bank.
A guided education experience for older children to learn about power generation and energy.
A hands-on paleontology experience to explore the Mesozoic era.
An outdoor performing arts area for music, theater and dance. Funded by the Wheeler Foundation. Scheduled for the fall of 2020.
Entrance and Exterior Paint
Complete refurbishment of the outside of the facility.
The 100 year old office for the Collections Department had an extensive exterior remodel including paint and woodwork thanks to a grant from the Arkelian Foundation in 2020.
The full restoration of the Bena Railroad Depot was completed in the Summer of 2020. Thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Wheeler Foundation, the depot received a new coat of exterior paint, a new platform deck, new back porch and interior cleaning.
The Survey Office
The original Miller-Lux civil engineering office was restored in the Fall of 2021 due to the generosity of the Nickel Family. The project will include external and internal paint, flooring, wallpaper, and new signage.
The entire village is now 100% energy independent saving an estimated $150,000 per year in electric costs. All of the panels are hidden to maintain the 1910 visual.
20 iconic Kern County neon signs were added to the outdoor plaza adjacent to Watson Transportation Exhibit. Thanks to a gift from the Hinmon Family and the Batey Family, the new Mission Bank Plaza was also expanded in 2021 to support special events.
Four original statues from the 1912 Courthouse were put on display with a custom built cupola. $ 7,500 in funding from the Kern County Bar Association and William Edmonds in the Spring of 2021.
St. John’s Missionary Episcopal Church
Thanks to a donation from Ernie and Joellyn Schroeder, the 1895 church had its exterior painted the iconic red in November 2021. Additional improvements call for freshening up the interior, a new landscape design and celebration patio in the rear of the church.
Fairhaven Pump House
The Schroeder Family supported the exterior paint and carpentry repair of the 1920 irrigation house from Fairhaven Drive in the Spring of 2022.
The Bakersfield Sound
Supported by a grant from the California Dept. of Natural Resources and other local funders, Kern’s honky tonk legacy is celebrated in a new stand-alone $80,000 exhibit that features costumes, musical instruments, and architectural elements. Slated to open in Spring 2022.
The Yokut Tejon Education Center
A new building supports Native American education for the estimated 20,000 school age visitors who annually visit the museum on school tours. Funded by a grant from the Wheeler Foundation and the Lessenger Soland Familes. The Center will open in the Fall of 2022.
The 1910 bakery, originally from East 21st Street, will be completely refurbished and returned to its original appearance. $25,000 in support from the Ellen Baker Tracy Guild is making this project a reality in the Spring of 2022.