Suffolk County Historical Society Granted Handicap Accessibility Funding

Suffolk County Historical Society, Photo: Barbara Lassen
Suffolk County Historical Society, Photo: Barbara Lassen

The Suffolk County Historical Society has been selected as a recipient of $500,000 in grant funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and Empire State Development (ESD) through the Arts & Cultural Facilities Improvement grant program. Along with a previous grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, the funding will be used for the construction of a new entrance wing for the museum that will incorporate all handicap-accessible accommodations for improved access throughout the building.

The museum’s multiple staircases have presented accessibility challenges for many patrons since its inception in 1930, but that will no longer be an issue once the renovations are complete. The two-story addition will feature a ground-level entrance and reception center with an elevator, providing access to all public floors of the 16,000 sq. ft. museum; in addition, the project will include two new ADA-compliant restrooms and designated on-site handicap parking spaces. The complete project is expected to cost approximately $1,000,000 and is now fully funded.

“We are thrilled to be getting this project under way; it is long overdue and has become our priority in better serving the residents of this County,” said Executive Director Victoria Berger. “It’s time we open our doors to all, and we anticipate this will revolutionize the way the museum is used as a history education and research center.”

With permits already in place, construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2018 summer season. Museum operations will continue through construction. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and located at 300 West Main Street, Riverhead.

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