Crestview history museum at Lorenza Bush House opening summer 2022

CRESTVIEW — Like a rediscovered jewel receiving a final renewing polish, the historic Lorenza Bush House downtown is in its last phase of renovation and could be ready to open as a treasure-filled Crestview history museum by late July.

The white, two-story, 3,661-square-foot Bush House stands under a green metal roof at 198 Wilson St. It was built in 1925-26 for Lorenza Bush, who at the time was the tracks supervisor for the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad Co.

Renovations to the historic Lorenza Bush House in downtown Crestview include the addition of a second-floor balcony that matches the one original to the structure.

Background on the museum:Crestview’s Bush House to be renovated for historical center

Earlier:Crestview offices of Elder Services of Okaloosa County have a new home

Triple R Construction of Navarre began an almost $330,000 renovation of the city-owned building last December. The work is anticipated to be completed by the end of May.

Then, Crestview Cultural Services Specialist Brian Hughes and his fellow members of the Crestview Historic Preservation Board will be able to set up their respective offices and museum archives on the building’s second floor and place exhibits, furnishings and other museum items on the first floor.

The museum will have free admission.

“This is going to be a beautiful exhibit display area,” Hughes said Friday after stepping through a narrow, formerly walled-up “pass through” to the future museum’s gallery room.

Crestview Cultural Services Specialist Brian Hughes stands next to a formerly walled-up "pass through" on the first floor of the historic Lorenza Bush House, which soon will serve as a city history museum.

Like other rooms in the old house, the gallery space is lit with historically accurate lighting fixtures that replaced fluorescent lights. In the gallery room, Hughes opened the door to a corner closet, the walls of which were covered with the original rose-pattern wallpaper that was cherished by Lorenza Bush’s wife, Laura.

“We might put some vintage clothes and luggage and maybe some hats in this closet,” Hughes said.

Historically-accurate lighting fixtures have been installed throughout the Lorenza Bush House in downtown Crestview. The house soon will contain a city history museum.

The gallery room also will feature an exhibit highlighting the 1949 Academy Award-winning war movie “Twelve O’Clock High.” It starred Gregory Peck, and much of it was filmed at Duke Field just south of Crestview.

Clyde Ponder, who is a friend of Hughes’ and lives in Dallas, is loaning to the museum a set of eight 14-by-11-inch “lobby cards” that contain hand-tinted photos of scenes from the movie. Such lobby cards once adorned theater lobbies to advertise films.