HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - It will be expensive and time consuming, but Holland now has a plan to repair one of its oldest and most popular attractions. Earlier this year, cracks were discovered on an aging windmill near downtown and the city is now looking for donations from the public to help fix it.
The 250 year-old windmill was given the Dutch name DeZwaan, which means "graceful bird."
"We're talking about history here in the center of Holland, Michigan," says Ad Vandenakker, Managing Director of Windmill Island Gardens.
This spring, a crew at Windmill Gardens was replacing the deck when they discovered cracks in the copper roof and on several v-shaped beams.
"Those were the parts that needed to be replaced because they weren't structurally safe anymore," says Vandenakker.
Now, the city is looking at repairs ranging from $500,000 to $750,000 and it requires specialized work.
"We've engaged a firm from the Netherlands who specializes in these old windmills," says Kurt Dykstra, Mayor of Holland.
The city plans to form a committee charged with raising donations from the public.
"This is one of our great symbols and I think we'll rally well to fix it," says Mayor Dykstra.
In the meantime, tourists continue to pour in from around the world and across the nation.
"It fascinated me. It's the main reason we came," says one woman from Louisiana.
Vandenakker says the windmill tours are still perfectly safe.
"We have a liability and a responsibility to our visitors and of course it is safe, that's why we took those beams down," says Vandenakker.
Officials say the windmill is not only getting a makeover but it will be a working machine once again.
The city plans to officially launch its campaign for donations in the next few weeks. However, the Mayor says a few thousand dollars have already been collected.