I think Virginia Donnelly makes some good practical points in favor of not moving the historical society out of the railroad station, which has parking, handicap accessibility and a great hall for large events. The Tuttle House lacks these advantages and the building seems to me to be much more suited for law offices, an architectural firm, a social service agency or a professional group of some kind.
The 1908 railroad station, designed by Lincoln Monument architect Henry Bacon and fostered by John Howard Whittemore, is an architectural gem and a Naugatuck icon. Selling it may well be the first step down the road of neglect, decay and destruction, a fate seen all too often elsewhere and which is too horrible to contemplate here.
I have great respect for the Naugatuck Historical Society and their amazing calendar of programs and events. I myself have given one of my railroad-history talks there and reveled in the atmosphere. The sound of the passing trains alone creates an ambiance that evokes the past and merges it with the present. Other societies would give their eye teeth to be located in a building of such historic importance.
I would urge the society to take their stewardship of that building, as well as the advantages of that location and venue to heart, and I would encourage the town to find a more appropriate use for the Tuttle House.
I hope that the people of Naugatuck will express their feelings about the matter to their elected and appointed officials and throw their weight behind working with the society to keep it where it belongs — in a great historic building.
Robert Joseph Belletzkie