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Colby-Curtis Museum Solarium Turned into Rubble

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--September 27, 2012.

larger_solarium.1.jpgThere’s nothing like the sound of crunching wood, especially when it’s combined with a chorus of shattering windows, the dull throb of a back hoe’s engine, and the squeaking sound of a big shovel as it digs methodically into the side of a building.

That was the sound heard at the Colby-Curtis Museum in Stanstead first thing on Monday morning, as a demolition crew got to work destroying the hundred-year-old solarium on the south side of the building.

The Stanstead Historical Society is now proceeding with the costly but long overdue restoration (or rather replacement) of the closed-in sun room, a part of the building that had been rotting away, and unusable in winter, for years.

Harry Isbrucker, a member of the museum board of directors, says that the project had been postponed a number of times over the years due to lack of funds. A recent anonymous donation of $200,000, however, is finally allowing the museum to go ahead with the work on the sun room, he says.

The plan, according to Isbrucker, is to replace the old solarium with a structure that is similar in appearance and design, but built according to modern standards, properly insulated, suitable for use as a tea room and other functions, and usable year-round. Once completed – later this fall, Isbrucker says – it is hoped that the new solarium will last for another century of so. Construction is slated to begin shortly.