NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s Lockwood-Matthews Mansion Museum and the Norwalk Seaport Association will receive more than $213,000 combined to help with Hurricane Sandy related repairs and other improvements, state Sen. Bob Duff (D-25) and Rep. Larry Cafero (R-142) announced last week.
The museum will receive $179,558 for improvements to the building for disabled visitors and to facilitate installation of a new basement exit. The seaport association will receive $33,700 to help with replacement of its seawall, which was heavily damaged by last year’s hurricane.
“Norwalk’s historic sites are cultural treasures which help to define our community, and link our past to our present and the future,” Duff said in a statement. “They also serve as a draw for visitors and residents alike to patronize our local shops, restaurants and other businesses.”
Cafero agreed. “Norwalk has a rich tradition of preserving its natural treasures and historically significant sites,” he said in a statement. “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.”
The money is coming from separate construction grants from the state Historic Preservation Office in the Department of Economic and Community Development. It will be matched one-to-one by additional money raised by the two groups, according to the state legislators.
“Superstorm Sandy caused a great deal of damage to our seawall near Sheffield Island, which protects the island and much of Norwalk’s shoreline,” Irene Dixon, president of the board of trustees of the Norwalk Seaport Association, said in a statement. “If Sen. 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.”
Susan Gilgore, executive director of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, was equally grateful to the state and the legislators.
“This grant will support the museum’s efforts in achieving ADA compliance and creating a basement egress,” Gilgore said in a statement. “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."