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A modern addition to the Mystic Seaport

New London

MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — If you’ve driven along Greenmanville Avenue in the past year or so you’ve probably wondered what was going on behind the green fence in front of Mystic Seaport. Well that fence is now gone and News8 got a look inside.

Workers are still putting on some finishing touches for Saturday’s grand opening of the Thompson Exhibition Building a modern addition to the museum’s north end.

“A lot of exposed wood all the way up so in particular it feels like being in the belly of a ship,” says Charles Mueller with Centerbrook Architects.

The Essex company designed the building with the geometry of the sea in mind, no right angles and lots of curves.

“It could be a crashing wave to one person it could be a relic of a ship to another and so on,” says Mueller.

“There’s enough Douglas Fir here to cover 22 and a half miles,” says Anthony DiMauro who is project manager for A/Z Corporation.

The North Stonington builder used beams constructed in a unique process.

“You see big pieces of wood but it’s actually smaller strips that are glued together,” explains Lisa Carberg with A/Z Corporation. “It’s a process called glulam and it’s actually very strong and as you can see the results are really beautiful.”

26 wells dug 400 feet deep will heat and cool the building which anchors the north end quad which will be open year round.

The first exhibit in the state of the art 5,000 foot exhibition hall will showcase museum artifacts which reflect the impact of this new addition on the rest of Mystic Seaport.

“Different, change, interconnectivity, and something that’s special and will evoke some sort of spirit in the viewer,” says Mystic Seaport president Steve White. “But I’m not gonna give away any secrets.”

Visitors will have to wait and see when that exhibit opens December tenth.

During the winter months when the outside areas of the museum close visitors will enter Mystic Seaport through the Thompson Exhibition Building during the winter.

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