The Museum is embarking upon a major project: the completion of our second floor and the addition of a handicap access elevator lift.

Since the new museum opened in 2003, the unfinished second floor has been used primarily for dead storage and exhibit preparation. There have been numerous occasions when we wished that we could have used the space as an active research center, or for lectures and children’s programs.

Marine Library

The Museum was spurred on to undertake this project by the very generous donation of the late Jerry Riegel’s nautical book collection by Barbie Riegel and her family. Jerry’s collection of approximately 500 books will be housed in the tower room on the second floor with a central reading table and surrounding chairs. In addition, the Family of Burton Tremaine, Jr. has donated a variety of nautical books that wonderfully complement Jerry’s collection, and Sandy and Debbie Riegel have donated a rare, almost complete set of Lloyd’s Register of American Yachts.

Meeting Room

Besides providing easy access to the nautical book collection and other Fishers Island reference books, the new design for the second floor space will allow us to host a variety of more personal-scale programs, lectures and presentations within the Museum rather than at borrowed sites.

Our goal is to have the floor completed by the spring of 2015. The finished architectural plans have been prepared by Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects, Boston, Mass. Z&S Contracting, Inc. is set to begin construction as soon as building permits have been obtained.

We hope that all “Friends of the Museum” will join in and support this dynamic expansion of the Museum’s active public space.

Pierce Rafferty,
HLFM Director

November 2014