State Rep. Larry Cafero and I announced that two historic sites in Norwalk will receive state construction grants to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy and to make other facility improvements.
Norwalk’s historic sites are cultural treasures which help to define our community, and link our past to our present and the future. They also serve as a draw for visitors and residents alike to patronize our local shops, restaurants, and other businesses. I am happy to be able to help these three historic sites make improvements to their grounds and facilities. In the case of the Norwalk Seaport Association, repairs to their seawall after damage during Superstorm Sandy will also help to protect many other properties along Norwalk’s shoreline.
“Norwalk has a rich tradition of preserving its natural treasures and historically significant sites. The commitment of these state resources will fortify the Norwalk Seaport and make the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion more accessible to the public, both critical needs,” said Rep. Cafero.
The State Historic Preservation Office in the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has awarded separate construction grants to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum and the Norwalk Seaport Association. Both grant amounts will be matched one to one by funds raised by the grantee.
“We are pleased to be able to award these grants, funded by the Community Investment Act, to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum and the Norwalk Seaport Association. These are very unique and wonderful properties, and they now join a number of other projects we have going on in Norwalk. We are always happy to be able to give the city the help it needs,” said Laura Mancuso of the State Historic Preservation Office, DECD.
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will receive $179,558 to improve access to the building for disabled visitors, in compliance with American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. The grant will also facilitate installation of a new basement exit.
“We are extremely grateful to the State of Connecticut and the Connecticut Historic Preservation office for this very significant grant, and to Senator Bob Duff and all of the state legislators who have helped us. This grant will support the museum’s efforts in achieving ADA compliance and creating a basement egress. It will allow us to take some very important steps toward universal access, making sure all visitors can see and enjoy this national historic landmark,” said Susan Gilgore, Executive Director of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum.
The Norwalk Seaport Association will receive $33,700 to help with replacement of the association’s seawall, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy last year.
“Superstorm Sandy caused a great deal of damage to our seawall near Sheffield Island, which protects the island and much of Norwalk’s shoreline. If Senator Duff and Rep. Cafero had not helped us to secure an earlier grant for repairs to the historic Sheffield Island lighthouse, it would have been greatly damaged by Sandy as well. I would like to thank DECD and Senator Duff for this latest grant, and especially our volunteer Peter Bondi who put together the grant application. As a purely volunteer organization, we rely heavily on support from our volunteers,” said Irene Dixon, President of the Board of Trustees of the Norwalk Seaport Association.