Windmill blades turn again after restoration
HOLLAND (AP) - A southwestern Michigan landmark has been revived - and now it's been rededicated.
The blades of downtown Holland's 252-year-old DeZwaan windmill began turning again Saturday morning during a community celebration and open house, The Grand Rapids Press and WZZM-TV reported. The rededication ceremony was dubbed "Turning of the Blades."
The 125-foot high windmill, which was brought over from the Netherlands in the 1960s, underwent about $760,000 in restoration and repair work after a fundraising effort. A crack was found two years ago in the structure's cap and rendered it inoperable.
The windmill also has a new copper roof and cedar shingles.
The windmill is part of Windmill Island Gardens, a popular tourist destination that's also undergoing improvements. Project consultant Jodi Syens tells the newspaper that the windmill is open for daylong tours.
The blades started turning to signify the start of the Run of the Mill race, which raises money for improvements. They include restoration of the Amsterdam street organ and a hand-painted Dutch carousel.
The carousel was built in 1908 and bought in the 1970s by the city of Holland, which is known for its Dutch heritage. The organ was built in 1928 and given to Holland in 1947 by the city of Amsterdam.
The effort to raise $2.1 million for restoration received a big boost recently from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, which has donated $250,000. City officials say the campaign has raised about $1.4 million so far.
Holland officials have approved plans to turn over operation of Windmill Island Gardens to a nonprofit group by 2016.