Volunteers finished upgrades to the entrance of the Troy Historic Village two days ahead of the July 1 deadline.

Volunteers finished upgrades to the entrance of the Troy Historic Village two days ahead of the July 1 deadline.

Photo provided by the Troy Historic Village

Troy Historic Village volunteer lobbies for a new lobby

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published July 9, 2019


TROY — Visitors to the Troy Historic Village were sometimes unsure of how to proceed when they first walked inside the main entrance.

Loraine Campbell, the executive director of the Troy Historic Village, said that visitors entered the foyer and often walked past the entrance to the store, which is where they must pay for admission to the village.

So when Michael Nowosatko approached her in January with a request to update the lobby, she said yes, under the conditions that nothing could be permanently attached and nothing could compromise the historical building. And it had to be finished by July 1. And it couldn’t be expensive.

The entrance to the Troy Historic Village is from the original Troy Township Hall, built in 1927.

Campbell said she is delighted with the results, funded largely with donations and volunteer hours.

“The cost to the village was under $200, and the result looks like a $1,000 project,” she said.

The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Trevarrow Ace Hardware and Sherwin-Williams donated oak boards, plywood, stain, paint and various other supplies. Signs & More in Troy provided all of the printed materials and signs for the lobby.

Stephanie Suszek, the adult programs director for the Troy Historic Village, noted that many of the volunteers are engineers who were “very thoughtful in their construction.”

“It was definitely a labor of love,” she said. “We’re very proud of it. They did a wonderful job.”

The lobby updates include window frames with awnings depicting the inside of the store just inside the interior wall, signage directing visitors to enter the store first, Plexiglas display boxes and a rack with information on programs at the village.

Volunteer Bill Ziemba said that the end result is Nowosatko’s vision, which he achieved with David Branch, Jeff Despard, Susan Lindsey, Mike Morrison, Jim Serafino, Lee Matthews and Jill Valuet.

“We put Michael’s vision into reality,” Ziemba said. “Everything can be removed as if it wasn’t there.”

The city of Troy owns the land and the structures at the Troy Historic Village. The city maintains the buildings and grounds, and the Troy Historical Society runs and operates the village.

Ziemba said the group worked on the project every Tuesday starting in February. For the last three weeks in June, the volunteers, all members of the Troy Historical Society, worked Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays up to six hours each day, to finish the project.

Nowosatko, a graphic artist who attended the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, worked as a design director. He created a 3D cardboard model, which the board for the Troy Historical Society approved in January.

“I’ve always had a knack of being able to create things,” he said. A couple of years ago, he created the red wagon that was in front of the entrance to the village.

Nowosatko said he started volunteering there when he helped his son Dane strip and repaint the print shop in 2010 for his Eagle Scout project.

Nowosatko said he got to know Ziemba, a fellow volunteer and former design engineer at General Motors Co., who helped him assemble the team of volunteers on the project.

“Bill was able to secure other designers and engineers,” he said. “The idea was to give visitors to the village a new experience coming into the village — the experience they are walking back in time. When they first come in, all the information is there. And it directs them into the store to get admission.”

The Troy Historic Village is located at 60 W. Wattles Road. For more information, visit TroyHistoricVillage.org or call (248) 524-3570.