NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Industrial Museum will have an official grand opening at its new location at 59 W. Main St. on Saturday.
“I think that the New Britain Industrial Museum’s opening on West Main should be exciting for the city and downtown,” said Randall Judd, chairman of the board. “We already generated much curiosity and ‘unofficial’ visitors who didn’t even know we existed.”
The West Main Street location, formerly Leaves & Pages Café, will mark the first time in the museum’s history that it will have a street presence.
The museum spent 21 years in the CCSU Institute of Technology and Business Development building downtown, first on the second floor, then moving downstairs in 2015.
In March, ITBD director Rick Mullins told the museum its lease would not be renewed, to make room for expansion of the university.
“After more than 22 years building our amazing collection of New Britain’s history, the products of generations of New Britain workers and industries will now be on view for a greater audience. We feel the museum will add an important element to downtown New Britain’s recent reformation,” Judd said.
He added that it is the museum’s mission to highlight New Britain’s current industry as well as its past. Judd said over 100 manufacturers and processors now operate in New Britain.
“In saving all these objects and documents, our founder, Horace Van Dorn, and the many other museum founders and volunteers looked forward to this day when the hard work and unmatched ingenuity of New Britainites could be proudly shared with the world. If you want to understand the city’s potential you have only to look at its amazing past,” he said.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the museum will be offering free admission.
Mayor Erin Stewart will make an appearance around 10:30.
Visitors will notice a few changes at the new location. Through a donation, the museum has acquired two new display cases and professional storage for its archives. A grant from Stanley Black & Decker has made it possible for the NBIM to create a more professional lobby, with a visitor services desk. The new space also allows for expanded shop area and non-collection storage.
Regular hours will be 2 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
The museum can be opened earlier or later by appointment.
For the first time, the museum will also charge admission - $5 for adults; $3 for seniors 65 and older, teens 13-17 and students with a school ID. Children 12 and under are admitted free.
Admission will be free on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
For more information, visit nbindustrial.org or follow the museum on Facebook.