October 3rd. Flash Flood.
Dear Friends and Supporters of the Art League of New Britain!
As we approach the 90th birthday of the Art League, let us take moment to see how far we’ ve come. The 1870 carriage house that is our home has undergone many improvements over the years. In the 80’s, we had major sewer and drainage work along with improvements to the floors and foundation in the Low gallery and classroom. Since then, the electrical system has been updated with all knob and tube wiring removed. The galleries have energy saving LED bulbs. A gas furnace was installed five years ago. Last year, thanks to many of you and the city of New Britain, we saw the the Carriage House get its’ first fresh coats of exterior paint in over fifty years. The kitchen and bathroom both received a makeover this past year.
This year ALNB was able to hire Pirie Associates Architects (PA), an architectural and urban design firm to conduct a high-level needs assessment for improvements and growth of the organization at their Carriage House building. This study was funded by a matching grant from the Department of Economic and Community Development of Connecticut.
The Challenges Ahead.
During the visual inspection and preliminary structural assessment,Jacobson Structures and Pirie Associates identified some structural deficiencies in the building. The primary areas of concern are the roof structure over the stable area and the second floor beams above the current main gallery space. The roof structure lacks adequate load paths, and the gallery beams exhibit signs of overstressing including significant cracking. Repairs to structural framing are recommended prior to the upcoming winter months and snow loads. ALNB will hopefully have these repairs done by the end of December.
On October 3, a sudden deluge of rain prompted a flashflood that engulfed the Carriage House in a foot and a half of water. Thanks to Greg Radin and Atlantic Restoration along with boardmembers and many volunteers, we were able to do the preliminary clean up and drying out. We will be redoing the floors in the near future. We were able restart classes and drawing sessions. The gallery has been closed for November and through December. We will reopen the galeries in in January.
Pirie Associates developed three diagrammatic plan options that were presented to the Art League Board in May 2018. After much deliberation and feedback from the Board, elements from each option were combined into final concept design approach. The selected design creates a new vestibule and restroom addition on the southwest corner of the building, updates the kitchen and pottery studios, creates rentable artist studio areas in the stable area, provides an accessible classroom and storage on the second floor level, and upgrades the building for code and life safety considerations.
The total cost for all the work would be $1,500,000.
The challenge of course, is how to pay for this. We hope to be able to complete the plan in steps. We will apply for grants, some of which will be matching. Your contributions will be an important factor in whether or not we succeed. If we all do our part, we will raise the Art League to be a shining gem for our community. Won’t you please help.
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Art League of New Britain
30 Cedar Street
New Britain, CT. 06052
ALNB Board of Directors; Paul Baylock, President
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