CT State Bond Commission Support for Facilities Improvements and ADA Compliance at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
April 22, 2021
Hartford, CT– The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center will receive a $1,617,168 grant-in-aid from the State of Connecticut to address urgent repairs and ADA accessibility upgrades to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s historic campus that will preserve the eminent Hartford site and enhance its community and programming use. On Friday, April 16, the State Bond Commission approved the request, placed on its agenda by Gov. Ned Lamont.
The project will address critical preservation needs at the Katharine S. Day House, a publicly accessible building located on the corner of Farmington and Forest streets and visually the most prominent historic house in the neighborhood. Additional priorities include ADA accessibility and landscape amenities to facilitate community use of the Stowe Center’s park-like campus, supporting quality of life and community wellbeing for Hartford and Asylum Hill residents.
“We are extremely thankful to the State Bond Commission, Gov. Lamont, Rep. Matthew Ritter, and all elected state officials that had a hand in granting us these funds,” said Briann Greenfield, executive director of the Stowe Center. “This award helps us to continue furthering Harriet Beecher Stowe’s legacy while allowing us to create the best experience for our visitors from the Asylum Hill neighborhood, around the state, and internationally.”
The state’s support matches a $385,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Capacity and Infrastructure Building Challenge Grant received in December 2020. Additional project contributors include the Norman & Nancy B. Beecher Lifetime UniTrust that has supported an outdoor classroom on site.
Founded in 1941 and opened to the public in 1968, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center comprises a 2.5 acre site with three buildings on the National Register of Historic Places: the National Historic Landmark Harriet Beecher Stowe House (1871), home to the writer and her family from 1873 until her death in 1896; the Katharine Seymour Day House (1884), with the Library Archives, program space and administrative offices; and the Day House Carriage House (1873), which serves as a Visitor Center with museum store, admissions, exhibit and program space.
Recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities as “critical to American history and culture,” the Stowe Center attracts local, regional, national and international visitors and consistently ranks in surveys as a top draw for tourists to Greater Hartford.
The historic home of writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the influential and best-selling novel of the 19th century, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, opened in 1968. The attraction was one of the earliest Victorian house museums in the country and one of the earliest focused on women’s history and African-American history.
The Stowe Center is a museum, research library, and program center located at 77 Forest St. in Hartford, Connecticut. The cultural institution’s mission is to preserve and interpret Stowe’s Hartford home and the center’s historic collections, promote vibrant discussion of her life and work, and inspire commitment to social justice and positive change. The Stowe Center recently reopened for tours and now offers online ticketing. Tours, along with a variety of online content and virtual and in-person programs, link history to important contemporary issues.
The Stowe Center is a valuable resource for educators, providing information to scholars and students worldwide. The Stowe Center is one of 800 museums nationwide accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.