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$6.2 million in state funding coming to Norwalk

Picture of the Gallaher Mansion.
Camila Vallejo
Connecticut Public
The Gallaher Mansion in Cranbury Park, Norwalk, CT.

The Gallaher Mansion at Cranbury Park has been a backdrop for most Norwalk residents at one point in their life. From prom to local weddings, the 1930s limestone mansion offers a historic touch to special events. And now thanks to new state bond funding, it will continue to do so for many years to come.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Connecticut’s bond commission is set to approve $5 million dollars to revamp the mansion.

“This mansion that has been here for such a long time, I don’t think has ever had a renovation to it. We’ve been able to identify this as a project that needed to get some state investment in order to really regain its glory so it can properly be used and showcased in our city,” said Senator Bob Duff, who represents Norwalk and helped push for project funding.

He recalls attending several weddings at the park and years later taking his children’s graduation pictures there.

“It really is such a gem in the northern part of Norwalk. It’s 227 acres, has lots of trails that people walk and bike on, there’s a dog park, there is a theater and more,” he added.

The money will go towards façade, plumbing and electrical improvements. Renovations can start as early as next spring.

Duff was joined by several local officials and Governor Ned Lamont at Cranbury Park to announce the news Monday morning. Lamont said investments into local parks and their fixtures are what will continue to make Connecticut special, especially as we potentially see another spike in COVID.

“We have really beautiful parks within about 10 minutes from just about everybody in this state and I think that was really great last year and maybe this coming year,” Lamont said, alluding to the increased concerns over the omicron variant of COVID-19. “It was great for us but particularly our kids to get out and get some fresh air.”

But it’s not the only investment that will help children locally. Gallaher Mansion is one of two projects being approved in Norwalk this week. Another $1.2 million will be available in state grants for the city’s new YMCA building in South Norwalk.

The building will have a teen center, community kitchens, a multi-purpose room and more. It will also host programs for other local organizations like the Norwalk Housing Authority and Americares.

The YMCA of Norwalk closed its doors at a different location in 2012.

“Bringing the Y back to Norwalk is a really big deal for us. It’s more than a beautification project.” said State Representative Chris Perone. “The Y in any city, any community is the heartbeat of that city,”

Camila Vallejo is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. She is a bilingual reporter based out of Fairfield County and welcomes all story ideas at cvallejo@ctpublic.org.

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