The Sudbury History Center & Museum
Sudbury History Center & Museum
The Sudbury Historical Society is in the midst of its most ambitious project to date, creating the Sudbury History Center & Museum at the circa 1730 Loring Parsonage in the Town Center. The choice to establish the History Center in the heart of Sudbury was purposeful. SHS Trustees considered this decision carefully with extensive research over several years. A feasibility study proved that the Parsonage would not only accommodate SHS operations but also provide a focal point for the town's history.
The nonprofit SHS is an active membership-based organization dedicated to collecting and preserving Sudbury’s historic records, promoting study of local history, and connecting people to Sudbury’s traditions through educational programming and community engagement. With a History Center we can achieve our mission. Our vision for the town-owned Loring Parsonage is for an inclusive, active, multifunctional facility for all ages. We have an opportunity to build something outstanding for Sudbury.
The Loring Parsonage, home of Sudbury’s first minister and later Wheeler and Haynes family descendants, is an important structure because of who lived there and because it is one of the few extant buildings of its type which, as a town resource, would be opened to the public with the SHS as the lessee. (See Sudbury History Virtual Tour for the history of the building.)
As the Town Center has just undergone infrastructure improvements the History Center will support the Town’s investment in this revitalization. The location will allow greater collaboration with other historic entities there. It will promote the use of the Town Hall, Grange Hall, and park lands. The tourism potential is great. With the Wayside Inn campus in South Sudbury and the Town Center historic resources as a draw, there is no need for out-of-town guests to go far afield to learn about local history. Sudbury has what is needed and tourism dollars spent in town are a win for Sudbury.
Beyond tourism and maintaining character, the History Center would also create a place for people to learn, to use their skills, to understand why Sudbury’s unique past is relevant to the present -- why history is important for the future of our Town.
The Loring Parsonage now is ailing. The structure needs stabilization. The second floor cannot accommodate the public. Repurposing will give the building new life. It needs stabilization for use and creative design to preserve its greatest assets while incorporating the SHS’s programmatic needs, including meeting accessibility requirements necessary to provide a facility which allows a fully enriching experience. With guidance from Town committees and staff and through the work of preservation architects Spencer & Vogt Group, the SHS has developed a detailed plan for the building.
The stabilization of the existing building phase is underway now with a state grant that the SHS obtained through the tireless efforts of State Senators Mike Barrett and Jamie Eldridge and State Representative Carmine Gentile.
The next step is a modest extension of the building to accomodate an new entryway, staircase and elevator.
South Elevation Plan for the Extended Loring Parsonage
Rendering of the South Elevation of the Extended Loring Parsonage
Oblique Rendering of the South Elevation of the Extended Loring Parsonage
Phase I of our project handles the design of the structure. Phase II involves reconstruction and construction. The two phases of work will cost approximately 1 million dollars.
$290,000 of the funding comes from the State Office of Tourism. Approximately $250,000 will come from funds established by Sudbury Citizens in the past for such a project. Approximately for $65,000 will come from the SHS. The final $400,000 comes from Community Preservation Act funds from the Town of Sudbury.
The Sudbury Community Preservation Committee has allocated $400,000 to the Historic category from its Historic Reserves and FY17 Revenue to support this project. At Town Meeting on May 2 residents will be asked to appropriate those funds. These funds are critical to our funding plan. With the state grant, plus the Town’s Harry Rice and Wood-Davison Trust Funds, the CPC appropriations, and additional funds raised by the SHS, we will reach much of the estimated $1 million construction cost. The final project cost will also include an equal amount of additional funds (to be raised privately) to outfit the interior and provide an institutional endowment.
|© 2009-2017 Sudbury Historical Society, Inc.||Last updated 6/13/2016|