The Stowe Center’s Harriet Beecher Stowe House, open to the public since 1968 and visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists, students and neighbors will bring the building’s physical facility to 21st century standards with the support of a $300,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The project includes installing modern climate control and fire suppression systems that will stabilize the historic collections environment, and be the foundation for interior renovations. This the first time the Stowe Center has been renovated since opening in 1968.
"The Stowe Center is proud to have the support of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving at this pivotal moment," said Katherine Kane, executive director of the Stowe Center. "As we approach the 50th anniversary of opening Stowe’s Hartford home to the public, this forward-looking project ensures that the Stowe House and the Center’s historic collections will be preserved for the future."
A National Historic Landmark, the Stowe Center is reimagining the visitor experience in the house, with innovative techniques telling the significant story of Stowe’s impact on America’s view of race and freedom. The Stowe Center is in the forefront of museums that connect history to today’s headlines. This work includes the Center’s sponsorship of community conversations designed to inspire participants to move from dialogue and debate to action on current social justice issues.
The total cost of the Stowe Center’s capital project is $3.3 million which includes $1.9 million for construction, $600,000 for exhibit reinterpretation and implementation and $774,000 for staffing costs and contingencies. With the addition of the grant from the Hartford Foundation, the Stowe Center has now raised over $2 million.
"At our recent 'Listen and Learn' convenings our nonprofit community spoke about the changing role of museums from preserving and presenting history to facilitating community dialogues and bringing diverse perspectives together," said Judy Rozie-Battle, the Hartford Foundation’s vice president of programs. "The Hartford Foundation is happy to support the Stowe Center which has done a great job bringing people in our community together for these important conversations."