Mystic Seaport planning $10.5 million exhibit building, wants PZC permission

Rendering of a proposed 14,000-square-foot exhibit building at Mystic Seaport.
Rendering of a proposed 14,000-square-foot exhibit building at Mystic Seaport. Centerbrook Architects and Planners/Kent+Frost Landscape Architecture

Mystic - Mystic Seaport is seeking permission from the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission to construct a striking $10.5 million exhibit building at the north end of the museum grounds.

Plans call for tearing down the Packard Cabin and North Boat Shed and a section of the G.W. Blunt White Library, which are located around Anchor Circle, the site of the annual carol sing each December. The application states that a large section of the library is unused and it suffers from extensive moisture damage due to a basement that routinely floods.

The application states the 14,000-square-foot building is needed because the museum is very limited in its ability to exhibit items from its own vast collection or host traveling exhibits.

A total of 5,000 square feet of the building would be used for subdividable exhibit space. There would also be meeting space, a lobby, restrooms and a small museum shop.

The project also calls for creating a one-third of an acre grassy area that will be open to the public between the new building and Route 27. It would also open up views of the Mystic River for Route 27.

The building was designed by Centerbrook Architects, which designed the $140 million reconstruction of the Ocean House hotel in Watch Hill. Kent + Frost Landscape Architecture of Mystic designed the landscaping. The project is slated to begin in early 2015 and be completed in mid 2016.

Other Anchor Circle buildings are slated to receive canopies, vestibules and handicapped ramps.

The commission will set a public hearing on the museum's request for a zone change, site plan approval and coastal area management approval.

j.wojtas@theday.com

Twitter: @joewojtas

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