On January 7, 2019, the Groton City Council voted to declare the Mother Bailey House surplus to the needs of the City. The City is now seeking proposals for the purchase of the house, located at 108 Thames Street. Please view the RFP here.
- We have applied to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status
- We are working with Circuit Rider, Brad Schide and Todd Levine, Architectural historian of Connecticut Trust Historic Preservation, State of Connecticut and the City of Groton.
- We have raised $11,000 to date, with a pledge for another $11,000 after we receive our 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS.
- We have a petition circulating and online to ‘Save the Mother Bailey House’. The petition has approximately 300 signatures.
- We requested and received letters of support from local businesses and organizations.
- Several articles about the house and Mother Bailey were published recently in the Day and Groton Times
Bullet Paper on Proposal Development
One of our primary tasks is to develop a complete proposal to the City of Groton as part of our application to acquire the Anna Warner Bailey House. This proposal will involve our sub-plan for restoration/renovation of the property, our sub-plan for how the property will be used, our sub-plan for how we will finance these efforts, and our sub-plan for how the property will be maintained (both activities associated with our proposed purpose and the physical facility).
What have we discussed previously?
In discussions over the past year, from the original committee of Anna Warner Bailey Chapter – DAR members to the Friends Working Group, to the introduction to the project at the first meeting of the Friends of the Anna Warner Bailey House in June 2017, the consensus has been that the project will:
- Involve renovations to the house in phases
- These phases would be associated with sound construction / maintenance practices and aligned with how the different parts of the house would be used after renovations are completed
- Once funds are available for the initial phase, and there is a viable plan for funding of subsequent phases, renovation associated with the initial phase would begin
What would the projected purpose(s) be for the house?
In the discussions mentioned above, the purposes of the house would be:
- First Floor: one room (most likely the room to the left as one enters the house) would serve as a Visitor Center for the Groton Bank Historic District (providing information and guide maps to the historic sites and attractions in the area, and at some future point perhaps serving as a small gift shop for items that could be used as fundraisers by the various historic preservation and Friends groups associated with Groton Bank sites)
- First Floor: one room (most likely the room to the right as one enters the house) would serve as a museum-style display area, including furnishings representative of the eighteenth and/or nineteenth centuries, an architectural display (cutaway of the wall to show typical construction techniques), and on occasion might include docent-led presentations on Anna Warner Bailey or other related topics
- First Floor: one room (most likely the larger room to the right in the rear of the house) would serve as a research room that could be converted to a meeting room for larger presentations or meetings of historical or philanthropic societies in the area; this room would include a bank of computers along one wall for individuals to perform research
- First Floor: the kitchen area would be converted into a small kitchenette and a restroom facility that meets Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) criteria
- Second Floor: one room would be converted to office space with computer access
- Second Floor: remaining rooms would be converted to archive storage space (HVAC requirements for archive storage will be included in design plans) and said storage space will be offered to groups associated with historic preservation of the Groton Bank area (the archives would be available to individuals who cannot climb stairs via a ‘runner system’ in which volunteers at the house would be available to retrieve archives for review and use on the first floor in the research room
- Second Floor: the restroom space will be converted to a smaller restroom so that a general storage area can be added for the house
- Basement: the tavern space will be restored with a display of what a typical visit to the tavern might have looked like (if this is also the location in the house where the post office existed, such a display will also be created); lighting will be upgraded so displays can be seen from outside the exterior door (this will likely require expansion of the exterior door frame and its surrounding space outside the house); a plexiglass viewing ‘wall’ will be installed so that visitors can stand outside the basement and see the displays that will be set up inside
What are the projected phases of the project? (the descriptions below are preliminary only)
- Phase 1: Exterior – the exterior siding and trim of the house will be repaired or replaced where necessary and the entire exterior of the house will be painted in accordance with appropriate period colors; the back-door entrance will be modified to meet ADA requirements and a ramp will be installed if necessary
- Phase 2: First Floor – floors and trim will be stripped to the original wood and then refinished according to appropriate period colors and finishes; walls will be painted in appropriate period colors; a cutaway for examination of historic architectural techniques will include installation a plexiglass viewing window; fireplaces will be cleaned and repaired (if necessary) to reflect the historic period; electrical lighting fixtures designed to emulate eighteenth and nineteenth century lighting will be installed; electrical and communications wiring will be installed where necessary along base trim (in the same color as the trim) to minimize its interference with the historic function of the house; the kitchenette and restroom renovation/construction will involve contemporary materials, equipment, and infrastructure; the main staircase will be stripped and stair treads and/or risers will be replaced as needed – then the staircase will be finished according to appropriate period finishes; the back staircase will be stripped and stair treads and/or risers will be replaced as needed – then the staircase will be painted
- Phase 3: Second Floor – an engineering assessment will be performed to determine weight limits for archived materials in each of the assigned rooms; floors and trim will be stripped to the original wood; walls, floors and trim will be painted and/or stained; electrical and communications wiring will be installed where necessary along base trim; the restroom renovation will involve contemporary materials, equipment, and infrastructure
- Phase 4: Basement – the exterior door and surrounding area will be excavated to create a safe viewing area that meets ADA requirements; if necessary, additional excavation will be accomplished inside the basement to accommodate planned displays; the tavern area (and possible post office area) will be renovated to reflect the historic period; lighting will be added to enhance viewing of the displays; (additional work may include removal of the furnace / HVAC system if individualized systems for first and second floor rooms are more economical and efficient)
- Part of Phase 1 should also include a landscaping / exterior property plan for the front and sides of the house (includes the fence)
- Landscaping / gardens for the adjacent lot – this project might involve creating a site where small groups could meet, or have small-scale outdoor ceremonies, or the site might be developed as an outdoor botanical display of native flora
- Insurance for the house and grounds during construction
What do we need to consider with regard to maintenance?
- House maintenance plan – cleaning, repair / replacement of fixtures or equipment as necessary
- Landscaping / yard upkeep
- Insurance for the house and grounds after construction
- Utilities costs (electric, water, communications, other based on method of heating and cooling)
How do we envision financing / fundraising?
- Current: membership dues and individual donations will serve as the ‘seed money’ to show commitment of individuals and the group to the project
- Current: some donations will also bring matching funds for that ‘seed money’
Seed $$ Goal: $5000. The goal has been met.
- Phase 2: fundraising committee will create talking points and promotional materials to request donations or pledges of donations from local small businesses
- Phase 2: fundraising committee will train members of the Friends to use the talking points and promotional materials to solicit funds from local small businesses
- Phase 2: fundraising committee will create plan for organization / delegation of responsibilities to interested Friends members to solicit funds from local small businesses
Small Business $$ Goal: (TBD)
- Phase 3: fundraising committee will create talking points and promotional materials to request donations or pledges of donations from larger businesses and corporate donors
- Phase 3: fundraising committee will train members of the Friends to use the talking points and promotional materials to solicit donations or pledges of donations from larger businesses and corporate donors
- Phase 3: fundraising committee will create plan for organization / delegation of responsibilities to interested Friends members to solicit donations or pledges of donations from larger businesses and corporate donors
Donations and Pledges Goal: (TBD)
- The Friends group is investigating hosting a large annual event for fundraising
- Large-dollar donors ($10,000 or more) must have the opportunity to choose how their donations will be earmarked / spent by the Friends
- Large-dollar donors must be assured that if the project(s) for which they earmarked their donations do not require all such earmarked funds, the remainder of their donations will be refunded unless they wish to direct those funds to other projects associated with the Anna Warner Bailey House