A Tale Of Two Very Different Historical Societies

1238361_10200829931695051_2113557737_nBased on a recent Council decision. The Hatch Building on Washington St. will not be the new home of the New Britain Historical Society.

The Herald reports, “Any prospective developer must demonstrate they can secure financing of $100,000. The minimum purchase price is $40,000.”

New Britain Historical Society President Amy Kirby told the The New Britain City Journal.

“The City was originally asking $20,000 and we were struggling to raise that amount and $40,000 is nearly impossible.

“This was done as a deliberate, malicious attack against me,”

Bristol has a much more promising Historical Society. The city gave BHS the current building on Summer St. for $1.

Ellen Zoppo-Sassu who is active with the Bristol Historical Society said.

1000791_528078693912952_473582138_n“The BHS had been searching for a permanent home for a few years after the owners of the homestead graciously gave us much advance notice that they wanted to sell their parcel. Several options were investigated including other homestead properties in various locations in the city.

Then BHS President Frank Johnson approached the city about the BHS taking over the building and eventually the transaction was done for $1 and the understanding that all improvements and code updates were on BHS.

We felt that the BHS was probably the only entity that was prepared to tackle this project and save, restore and rehabilitate the historic building. Through a combination of a starting DECD grant of $200,000, reserve funds, and an aggressive grants program, we have put over $850,000 into the building and now have a vibrant cultural hub that straddles both the downtown and Bristol’s historic Federal Hill neighborhood.

Regarding the New Britain historical Society Ellen offered her thoughts on what they could do for funding.
993337_10200728978131275_1556320769_n“There are many grants available but they typically do require ownership or a long-term lease. They could also take advantage of the City’s CDBG grant cycles and receive some type of report on the current conditions so they have some idea of what the costs for code updates and repairs might be. I am also confident that they could take advantage of many solid collaboration opportunities with the Downtown District, Arts Alliance, Chamber of Commerce, foundations, and other cultural institutions in town”.
The New Britain Historical Society will have a Rock Around the Clock event “the 1950’s” a night of entertainment, dancing, and 1950’s cars! On Friday, September 6th, 2013 (Rain date: Saturday, September 7th, 2013) 4 PM – 9 PM Miss Washington Dinner 10 Washington Street, New Britain. Tickets are $20 (plus $2.09 online service through

1 comment on “A Tale Of Two Very Different Historical Societies

  1. OssianLovell

    It is sad that the New Britain Historical Society was unable to raise the funds required to meet the city’s August deadline and qualify for the reduced price. Hopefully the future will be brighter, they will be awarded 501c3 status and be able to raise the funds necessary to fulfill their dreams