Help needed for historic move

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Ken Hanks, president of the Naugatuck Historical Society, looks through old photos at the society's headquarters in the old train station on Water Street. The society is looking to move to the Tuttle House in downtown Naugatuck and is asking for the public's assistance in the move. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
Ken Hanks, president of the Naugatuck Historical Society, looks through old photos at the society’s headquarters in the old train station on Water Street. The society is looking to move to the Tuttle House in downtown Naugatuck and is asking for the public’s assistance in the move. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Historical Society is preparing to move from its longtime location at the former train station on Water Street to the Tuttle House building at 380 Church St.

In preparation for the move, the society needs to relocate all of its artifacts. It will start this weekend, with help from the public.

“This is a big undertaking for us, so any help we can get would be appreciated,” said Ken Hanks, the borough’s fire chief and the newly elected president of the historical society.

The historic Tuttle House currently serves as an office complex for school administrators and will be transformed into a historical society museum within the next one to three years. School administrative offices will be relocated to Naugatuck High School, which is undergoing a renovate-to-new project that should be completed in the fall.

In the meantime, the historical society has hundreds of items stored in boxes that need to moved.

All of that material will be stored temporarily in a warehouse the borough owns at 6 Rubber Ave., the former world headquarters for General DataComm.

The society is seeking people who have pickup trucks or trailer hitches and can help transport some of the artifacts. The first of three moves will happen on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Volunteers are asked to meet at the train station at 195 Water St. at 10 a.m.

The other moves will be made between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on June 27 and 28 at the same location.

The society is hoping students at Naugatuck High School will help with the move. They need 100 hours of community service to graduate and this will count as part of that, said Wendy Murphy, immediate past president of the society.

Hanks said the society doesn’t have money for temperature-controlled storage but there is adequate space available at the warehouse. The money the society does have will be put toward renovations of the Tuttle House.

Currently, the society has about $850,000 from a variety of sources to renovate the building. On Monday, officials met with six architectural firms to review their work and discuss their plans for renovation. A total of $730,000 would be allocated to restore the slate roof of the Tuttle House.

On top of that, the building needs a fire sprinkler system and may require some type of elevator/lift and other changes to be in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Hanks said the changes are necessary because the building will become a mixed-use occupancy per the state building code, which has strict guidelines.

“It’s nothing that can’t be solved, but it’s going to take some creative design,” he said.