The Marysville Art League is looking to spruce things up at the historic Houston House.
The Houston House, 264 W. Fifth St., also called the Houston House Gallery 264, serves as the league's home base. The building needs a new wheelchair ramp and the Art League is trying to raise money for the project by asking the public to "Buy a Board."
The "Buy a Board" committee's goal is to replace a dilapidated back porch with a structurally sound deck that includes a wheelchair ramp. The ramp is essential to improving wheelchair accessibility to the main level of the Houston House.
The group has prioritized various improvement projects at the house into stages.
"The 'Buy a Board' campaign is a smaller, more realistic project now," Art League President Kim Heminger said. "We need to have wheelchair accessibility and the added space will help us generate money.
"This project allows us extra classroom space and rental appeal, with an outside location and a wheelchair ramp to the main floor."
Individuals or families can buy a board for the new deck and wheelchair ramp for $20 each. Those who buy a board have an option of personalizing it before it is added to the new structure.
The "Buy a Board" campaign will kick into full-swing with an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at the Marysville Elks Lodge, 125 E. Fifth St.
The cost is $6 for adults; $4 for children between the ages of 3 and 12; $1 for ages 2 and younger.
Tickets for various raffles will be sold at the dinner, including drawings to win original artwork, free memberships to the Marysville Art League and a 50-50 raffle, among others.
Those who cannot go to the dinner can "Buy a Board" online through the Marysville Art League's website at www.marysvilleartleague.org/buy-a-board-campaign.html.
Donations can also be made through the Union County Foundation at www.unioncountyfoundation.org, taken to the foundation's office at 126 N. Main St., in Marysville, or mailed to the Union County Foundation, P.O. Box 608, Marysville, Ohio, 43040. Those who donate through the Union County Foundation should to specify that the donation is to go to the Houston House Gallery 264 Restoration Fund.
More information is available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 937-243-5811.
Future improvement projects include having more gravel brought in for the driveway by the end of July and, depending on the success of the "Buy a Board" campaign, repairing sidewalks.
Heminger said she would like to replace the soffit on the house but that is a costly improvement and is on hold for now.
The Marysville Art League took ownership of the Houston House in 1982, but the house had fallen into disrepair. The new owners began making improvements last year.
Christopher Houston built the home in 1872. Grace Houston Biamonte was an artist who lived in the home from 1949 until she died in 1979. Her paintings still hang on the walls of the home today.