Bob Duff

Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Standing Up For You!

March 28, 2022

Duff Applauds New State Bonding for Wall Street & Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

Today, State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) announced that the State Bond Commission is expected to approve funding for improvements on Wall Street and to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum.

“This bonding will support the continued renovation and improvements of Wall Street to strengthen the neighborhood as a friendly and safe place for Norwalkers and visitors alike especially cyclists and pedestrians,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff. “The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a treasured historical monument here in Connecticut. This funding will help the museum continue much-needed upgrades that have been ongoing for over a decade. I’d like to thank Governor Lamont for his support of these two important Norwalk projects.”

“These state funds we are approving for Norwalk will make important transportation safety improvements in the town, and also ensure that one of our treasured tourist attractions – the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum – has a modernized facility to continue its operations,” said Governor Ned Lamont, who serves as chairman of the State Bond Commission. “I’m glad that we can partner with the City of Norwalk on these projects.”

“I applaud Governor Lamont and thank Senator Duff for yet again, bringing much-needed funding home to Norwalk,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. “Upgrading the intersection of Wall Street at West Avenue/Belden Avenue and Mott Avenue has been a top priority for my Administration and our Transportation, Mobility, and Parking team is beginning the community engagement process for the design. This funding will bring significant economic development benefits for small businesses and residents along the corridor, creating a vibrant urban center that is safer for all modes of transportation: walkers, cyclists, and drivers. Additionally, I’m grateful that Governor Lamont and Senator Duff have prioritized funding towards the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, a cherished historical building in our City in need of significant repairs and a key cultural destination that will continue to bring visitors to our City from all across the region.”

“Seeing these projects included in the bonding agenda is very exciting because as a delegation we have been working together to make them a priority,” said Rep. Lucy Dathan. “We are fortunate to have such cherished gems in Norwalk and I am grateful to the governor and the Bond Commission for granting this critical funding.”

“I am pleased the bonding agenda includes funding for the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, a National Historic Landmark that is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style homes in the United States,” said Rep. Chris Perone. “These funds will provide necessary upgrades while continuing to restore one of Norwalk’s most enduring examples of American architecture.”

“This funding reflects a delegation that works together to get results for our constituents and to continue to make Norwalk an attractive place for residents and visitors alike,” Rep. Travis Simms said. “I thank Governor Lamont for working with us and for placing these important items on the agenda.”

The State Bond Commission is expected to approve:

  • $3.5 million to upgrade the intersection of Wall Street at West Avenue/Belden Avenue and Mott Avenue. The upgrades aim to modernize, improve safety, and accommodate for bicycles
  • $3 million for renovations at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. The museum is looking to update HVAC, electrical, alarms, and fire prevention system.

The current conditions of this intersection reflect an outdated roadway design model, lacking safe pedestrian passage, poor bicycle accommodations and a higher than average crash rate. The City is currently in design of reimagining this corridor as a vibrant urban center after decades of studies and planning. The project will improve the operations and safety of the corridor by normalizing the intersection while creating the modern infrastructure necessary to support growth of development and businesses. The re-design will strengthen the identity of this diverse neighborhood by creating open green space and a pedestrian plaza anchoring both sides of this gateway to historic Wall Street. A new traffic control system will improve vehicle movements through the intersection while also improving safety and mobility for both cyclists and pedestrians. This intersection will serve as a signature project for the forthcoming larger Wall Street corridor and neighborhood improvements. The project will set the precedent for a walkable urban core and improve accessibility to Norwalk Transit District’s Pulse Point as well as the Norwalk Public Library, the Historic Wall Street Theater, housing, and a variety of local businesses. It is important to note, that the area will soon be home to the Norwalk Conservatory of the Arts, a four year institution that will be moving to Wall Street.

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum renovation was originally conceived in 2008 and was estimated to cost approximately $7.5 Million. Lockwood procured funding from private foundations, the State of Connecticut and the City of Norwalk to perform the work. All stand alone improvements have been accomplished, but Lockwood never had sufficient funds to tackle the largest item – the interconnected mechanical systems. This work which includes HVAC, electric, alarm, IT and a fire suppression system, must be done concurrently due to the historic nature of the property – the walls and ceilings cannot be opened repeatedly – requiring the work to be done at one time. Over the past 14 years costs have escalated significantly and additional funds are required to complete the work. Without the completion of new HVAC, electrical, alarm, IT and fire suppression system, the museum will be unable to provide a key cultural destination for the city and the region.
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States. Built by renowned financier and railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood from 1864-1868, the Mansion illustrates the beauty of the Victorian Era. When the building was threatened with demolition in the 1960s, concerned citizens saved the Mansion and later formed the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum of Norwalk, Inc., a 501(c)(3), which was designated a National Historic Landmark, in 1971.

The Bond Agenda is set to be approved Thursday, March 31.