From the President
A New Exhibit Hall
It has been a long time coming, but the plans are coming together for a new exhibition building on the northern part of the Mystic Seaport campus. Years of study and research, interrupted by the great recession and renewed with great enthusiasm from the Board, our dream for a new exhibition hall and an improved northern entrance to the Museum is currently under consideration by the Town of Stonington Planning & Zoning Commission. Approval would pave the way for beginning work on the project that has become known internally as the Gallery Quad, which incorporates the new building into a quadrangle of exhibition buildings.
The new building, designed by Centerbrook Architects, will be sited on the land currently occupied by the G.W. Blunt White Building, the North Boat Shed, and the pump house building that contains the Benjamin F. Packard Cabin exhibit. You’ve seen the general plans in earlier newsletters, and once approved, more detailed renderings will be forthcoming. We are on a fast track to get this project underway, which will ultimately provide Mystic Seaport with a large state-of-the-art exhibit space that will enable us to open larger, multi-dimensional exhibits and provide the potential for both national and international traveling exhibits. The new building will provide a new gateway not only to Mystic Seaport but also to Mystic, signifying that something new and fresh is happening in a place where history is so deeply valued. It will show that history and innovation can concurrently exist and serve as important complements to one another. The redesigned northern entry will provide additional green space and a welcoming front door for the public along Greenmanville Ave., while simultaneously opening up increased views to the river and to the inside of the gallery quadrangle, formerly Anchor Circle.
In addition to working hard to provide a state-of-the-art exhibition space, the building committee has also been intent on designing a building that embraces the principles of LEED certification. This will ensure that the exhibition hall will be an environmentally responsible structure featuring geothermal heating and cooling and storm water runoff mitigation.
We greatly appreciate everyone’s support as we bring this important project to the building phase. We have valued the input from our neighbors and business friends, and we have certainly benefited from the generosity of our donors and trustees. As always, the final product will be the result of tremendous collaboration from our staff, volunteers, and external experts who have combined their wisdom into a building that we know will represent the values and goals of Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea.
Once the building is approved, we will provide more details regarding the construction work which we hope will begin soon after the beginning of the new year.