Barnum Museum rebuild continues 9 years after tornado damage

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BRIDGEPORT -

It has been nine years since a tornado hit the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

A tornado ripped through the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport in June 2010, smashing windows and filling the interior with debris.

"Did I expect it to take nine years?" asks Executive Director Kathy Maher. "I can't even imagine what the next nine years is going to be so I don't think so. I think, at the time, it was about figure it out, what next?"

According to Maher, the museum finally turned the corner on disaster mitigation after years spent trying to find out how the building and artifacts were affected and what needs to happen next.

Over 3,000 pieces had to be photographed, numbered, cleaned, packed and documented -- and fortunately everything was saved. The gallery currently displays a small portion of it.

But Maher doesn't want to recreate the museum that was. Instead, she and a team of experts put together a plan for a state-of-the-art institution that would carry forth Barnum's legacy in an innovative and interactive manner.

The exterior renovations are planned to begin this summer. The entire project should be complete before 2025.

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