The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, Connecticut has installed a brand new elevator, making the mansion more accessible to visitors. The new ADA elevator installation took about 15 years to complete.
The Board of Trustees faced many challenges because of the mansion’s status as a national landmark and had to avoid constructing the elevator shaft on the exterior in order to preserve the building’s historical appearance.
The elevator installation and upgrading of the Museum’s bathrooms were the second phase of a $800,000 renovation project. The changes made were expected to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The upgrades were jointly funded by the City of Norwalk, Norwalk Historical Commission, and State Historic Preservation Office.
The 62-room mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1978. It is considered as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States. The mansion was built 1864 and 1868 by renowned financier and railroad baron LeGrand Lockwood and features matchless Gilded Age interiors and furniture, magnificently showcasing the beauty and majesty of the Victorian Era. The City of Norwalk later purchased the mansion from the Mathews family in 1941 to be used as a park.
The new elevator offers a spectacular mansion experience for visitors. With a total of five stops, the device allows visitors with mobility challenges access to all parts of the museum. It will also enable visitors to view the “Stairs Below exhibit” which features the elegant servants’ quarters, which will open in October.