City of Portsmouth/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development CDBG Program Grant Helps Strawbery Banke Increase Accessibility
Portsmouth, New Hampshire – Strawbery Banke is a 10-acre living history museum in downtown Portsmouth interpreting daily life in the same historic waterfront neighborhood over 300+ years. Making the 37 historic buildings, most on their original foundations, accessible to a wide range of visitors is an important goal of the museum.
The museum continues to work on making the site more accessible to visitors with mobility challenges. In 2016, a City of Portsmouth/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development CDBG Program Grant funded the building of access ramps for the c. 1835 Cotton North Tenant House and its traditional weaving and basket-making craft programs and the Revolutionary War-era Pitt Tavern. The CDBG grant also funded a new brick path from TYCO Visitors Center to the Children's Victorian Garden and a ramp to public restrooms in the Jefferson House.
Strawbery Banke also offers ramps so visitors can more easily access the Goodwin Mansion, home of New Hampshire’s Civil War Governor and the Shapiro House, interpreted to 1919 and the Shapiro Family of Russian Jewish immigrants. The TYCO Visitors Center was expanded in 2015, with a café, lecture hall and restrooms accommodating wheelchairs. The museum also owns two wheelchairs that can be borrowed for use on the grounds.
“The City of Portsmouth/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development CDBG Program Grant increases the ability for Strawbery Banke to serve visitors,” said Lawrence J. Yerdon, president and CEO of Strawbery Banke Museum. “Historic buildings can be difficult for many to navigate because of steps and narrow doors and corridors. Adapting the site with ramps and flat surfaces helps realize the museum’s vision to be “a place to learn, a place to gather and a sustainable resource for the community.”
For Strawbery Banke campus map showing access, click here.
For more on site accessibility in Portsmouth, visit Access Portsmouth.