Lakeshore and Travel & Tourism

Windmill turns after restoration

April 24, 2014
| By AP |
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Windmill turns after restoration
Windmill Islands Gardens in downtown Holland features the five-story DeZwaan windmill, “the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the U.S.” Photo via fb.com

A landmark windmill in the region is turning again.

The blades of downtown Holland's 252-year-old DeZwaan windmill began turning again last weekend during a community celebration and open house, WZZM TV 13 reported.

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.

Restorations

The blades started turning over the weekend to signify the start of the Run of the Mill race, which raises money for improvements at the gardens, including 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. 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 said the campaign has raised about $1.4 million so far.

Gardens' future

Holland officials have approved plans to turn over operation of Windmill Island Gardens to a nonprofit group by 2016.

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