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Mystic Seaport Museum opened the contemporary Thompson Exhibition Building in September 2016. Named for the late trustee, Wade Thompson, and designed by the renowned Connecticut firm Centerbrook Architects and Planners, the 14,000-square-foot facility includes an outstanding exhibition space, the Collins Gallery, which is the crown jewel among the Museum’s seven such galleries.
This flexible, 5,000-square-foot hall features soaring ceilings and an unobstructed floor plan to accommodate objects of varying size and installations of all types, from watercraft to priceless works of fine art. The Masin Conference Room graces the west side of the building. The room can be reconfigured for meeting, additional gallery space, or educational programs, adding to the new building’s versatility. On one wall is a panoramic window looking out over the Mystic River; on the other is a mural-sized enlargement of a photograph of Greenmanville Avenue (the site of present-day Mystic Seaport) in 1874.
The Thompson Exhibition Building incorporates a wraparound deck that allows visitors to enjoy the riverside setting and serve as a covered overlook to the Quadrangle lawn. Other components include a prominent Museum entrance, the Pilalas Family Reception Lobby, a ticketing center, a retails shop, and visitor amenities.