Stonington lighthouse museum renovation options to be unveiled

Stonington - The Stonington Historical Society will unveil options for renovating the Old Lighthouse Museum at a public forum at 6 tonight at the La Grua Center in the borough.

In January, the historical society held a meeting to get input from the public about what they would like to see done with the 173-year-old building, which attracts about 10,000 visitors a year.

The suggestions were taken into consideration by Oudens Ello Architecture of Boston, which then worked with the historical society to come up with various alternatives that will be presented tonight.

The society said it wants to renovate the lighthouse without "compromising its charm or architectural integrity."

The society is considering making improvements such as upgrading handicapped access and installing a climate-control system to protect the artifacts on display. There are also structural problems with some of the building's posts and beams, which need to be replaced. The building also needs a bathroom for visitors.

It would be the first renovation of the small museum at Stonington Point since the society acquired it in 1925.

There are no plans to make any significant changes to the size or appearance of the stone building. A capital campaign will be necessary to cover the cost of the work.

The society is using grants from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, the Eastern Connecticut Community Foundation, the Connecticut Humanities Council, Heritage Preservation, and other supporters to undertake the historical assessment of the building.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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