June 1, 2018

Lawmakers Herald Funds for Hill-Stead Museum

State Senators Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain/Berlin/Farmington) and Beth Bye (West Hartford/Farmington) and State Representatives Mike Demicco (D-Farmington), and Derek Slap (D-West Hartford/Farmington/Avon) are applauding the approval today of funds for renovations and improvements at the Hill-Stead Museum. At a special meeting of the State Bond Commission, members voted in favor of a $1,750,000 grant requested by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

“I want to thank the Governor and members of the Commission for making these funds available,” said Rep. Demicco. “Hill-Stead is a major attraction for Farmington and the region and the museum’s contribution to our history and culture will continue to grow as these renovations go forward.”

“The Hill-Stead museum is a center for community life and this construction bond will help fund an addition to provide much-needed spaces,” said Sen. Gerratana. “The new wing will host ongoing education programs. I am grateful to the governor and the Bond Commission for their support.”

Rep. Slap said “Hill-Stead not only offers a glimpse into our past, but is an exceptional learning tool for students and children throughout the region. I applaud the Commission for approving the allocation of these funds for Hill-Stead to expand its facilities and provide even more beneficial programs for the community.”

“I toured the Hill-Stead Museum in late January, and they explained their plan and their need for state assistance to make it happen,” said Sen. Bye, whose 5th State Senate District includes the Hill-Stead and most of Farmington. “I’m very impressed with the Hill-Stead’s vision for their property; I believe these changes are going to be wonderful for students, for the region, and for Connecticut tourism.”

Susan Ballek, executive director & CEO, said “This funding through the DECD will support the adaptive re-use of our historic Carriage Barn, converting it into a new visitor center, museum shop, rotating exhibition gallery, another interactive exhibition gallery and an adaptive education space for student and adult programming.”

William Watson, president of the Board of Governors, said “We’re really excited about this project. A lot of people think of Hill-Stead as a hidden gem, and that’s nice, but to us we want it to be a real gem and a forefront attraction in the Farmington community and greater Hartford area. I think this on-site exhibition hall will make a big difference and entice people to be repeat visitors to Hill-Stead.”

The $1,750,000 grant-in-aid from the Department of Economic and Community Development will assist with renovations to the Hill-Stead’s Carriage Barn building. The improvements will include a new and expanded entrance, gallery space, meeting and event space and an expanded gift shop.