Sunlight is a good thing. Unless you’re a museum or historic site with artifacts to keep preserved. Then it can be a real problem, causing fading and damage after prolonged exposure.

Draper’s ability to provide solutions puts us in touch with a lot of interesting projects. Now we’ve connected with the Underground Railroad.

The Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site in Fountain City, about 45 minutes northeast of Spiceland, added a new interpretive center. The Coffin home was a depot on the Underground Railroad in the first half of the 19th century. We provided solutions to glare and artifact damage issues in exhibit and store spaces on the south side of the building.

We took this opportunity to explore the facility and get a look inside one of Smithsonian Magazine’s “12 Places to Visit” in 2016. It was an eye-opening experience.

Joanna Hahn, site director, has a beautifully designed, first-class facility. Through sometimes jarring images, multimedia displays, and interactive exhibits, visitors learn about the Underground Railroad through which tens of thousands of escaping slaves were able to flee northward, into free states or Canada.

In addition to the link of our products being located there, we also share a bit of history because of our geographical location. According to “Bury Me in a Free Land: The Abolitionist Movement in Indiana” by Gwen Crenshaw, travelers along one secret way called the Carthage Route passed through several communities, including Spiceland, on their way to the Coffins’ home in Fountain City—then called Newport.

Our shading solution fit seamlessly into the interpretive center’s design, solving their sunlight problem and preserving their artifacts.

“The shades blend well with aesthetic of the architecture, which blends historical details with modern touches,” Hahn said. “The shades are easy to operate and seem very durable. A site like ours depends on durable materials that will last for years and we expect the window shades will only be a benefit!”

To read more details about this story, click here to download a free copy of our case study.

To learn more about the Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site, click here.

For more information on Draper’s window shade products and fabric choices, click here.

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