110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Owners: North Florida Avenue home is in the works
posted Apr 15, 2014 - 12:26:18pm
Just about four months after it opened, a Downtown DeLand children’s museum is closing its doors at 100 E. New York Ave.
However, owner Linsey Fasold said Lighthouse Children’s Museum will soon reopen in a new location not far away, in the 100 block of North Florida Avenue.
On April 11, the toys were packed and the museum was homeless, after Fasold and her husband could not negotiate a deal with the new owner of the Dreka Building for continued occupancy, they said.
On Jan. 31, the historic landmark changed hands for the second time in a little more than two years. The new owner is New York Plaza LLC, whose offices are in Sanford.
Lighthouse Children’s Museum has offered a number of hands-on exploration stations scattered throughout its 5,400-square-foot space on the corner of Woodland Boulevard and New York Avenue.
And, a growing number of people have been bringing their children to enjoy the fun, Linsey Fasold said.
Business started off slow and has been picking up, she said, adding that a first-grade class from George Marks Elementary in DeLand was scheduled for a visit at the end of April.
The fledgling museum has also had luck with concepts like the Friday-night date night, which allowed parents to drop off their children and go to dinner in Downtown DeLand.
“Our whole goal is just to bring families to DeLand,” Fasold said. “We want to keep this alive. We poured almost all of our personal savings into it.”
On Friday, some dedicated volunteers as well as youngsters were disappointed.
Marco Mazz of DeLand is among a group of disabled veterans who have been donating time at the nonprofit museum, reading to children and leading other activities.
“We’re not happy at all,” Mazz said. “A bunch of us come here on Saturdays, and now we can’t.”
Stetson University students, high-schoolers, and local authors and artists have also donated time to conduct activities at the museum, Fasold said.
She expressed hope that members of the community will come forward to help keep the museum open in DeLand.
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