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Museum plans stalled for now

To celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the Franklin Trek, owners of the famed Syracuse-manufactured air cooled automobile (1902-1934) once again will be returning to Cazenovia from Aug. 12 to 19. The Trek is a weeklong celebration that brings together Franklin owners from across the world to share the histories, legends, and travels of their favorite automobile. Last year, over 140 Franklins participated. This will be the 36th consecutive time the Trek has made Cazenovia its destination.

The Franklins will be headquartered at Cazenovia College and, on Sunday Aug. 13, will have their annual parade of cars on Albany Street beginning at 11a.m. The cars will be on display to the public that day from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lakeland Park, where there will be a chicken barbecue ($9 per person), also open to the public, beginning at noon.

Of special interest this year will be the sale of the 2006 Franklin poster, which may be purchased at most village stores, and the beautiful 300+-page, hardcover book, "The Franklin Story" by Thomas Hill Hubbard, which will be on sale at the picnic. The book contains hundreds of historic photographs and the story of the classic Syracuse-made automobile.

Designs for the Franklin Automobile Museum, to be located here, in Cazenovia, have hit a standstill. Proposed plans were presented to the Franklin Board of Trustees at its annual meeting in March. However, the project is now mired in a lawsuit due to disputes about the conditions of the trust left by Hubbard, founder of the Franklin Museum currently located in Tucson, Arizona. A restraining order has been obtained against the relocating of the museum.

The current plans, the restraining order not withstanding, include a main exhibition gallery that will hold up to 50 cars, a changing gallery that will allow new exhibitions to be presented twice a year, a gift shop, and a recreated fa ade of the original Franklin factory building on the second floor from which both galleries may be viewed. The plans also call for a one-mile driving loop that will be used for rides offered in a Franklin. The museum and site will provide a stunning gateway into Cazenovia from the east, complementing Lorenzo as a gateway from the west.

The Trek is expected to attract close to 100 cars that can nearly always be viewed from the Cazenovia College campus. Call 655-9243.

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