August 28, 2013 update
ACCESS FOR ALL in 2013!
Below: The New Entryway as envisioned by the architect from Westwood Road. The wheelchair lift is on the facing side.
In the Fall of 2011, the Museum board undertook a survey of the building and grounds to determine what needed to be done to bring the Museum into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). From that information, the Museum's architect, Richard Graf, created plans for a new entranceway on Westwood Road that includes a wheel chair lift and attractive portico. An interior first-floor handicapped-accessible restroom along with a multitude of internal changes required by the code will bring the Museum into ADA compliance. The lobby will need to be reconfigured as one wall must be removed to make space for the restroom. The carpet will need to be changed out, when the configuration changes. The front reception desk will need to be lowered at least in part to the height easily accessibly by a visitor in a wheelchair. The molding of the some doorways will need to be removed to widen them. The Bulfinch staircase will need to be protected by a barrier to prevent damage to it from wheelchairs. The cost? We anticipate needing another $115,000.
The current state of the Westwood Road entrance. Stairs are to the right and not shown above.
An example of a Garaventa wheelchair lift is shown above. This is the type of lift that the Museum will have after the ADA work is completed, although it will be on the exterior and covered by the Portico.
The new portico and pedestrian stairs seen from Central St. (The wheelchair left is on the opposite side)